My good gardening friend and I were talking about what we were growing in our own gardens this year. I have been starting my warm-season vegetables from seed for years now, and told Jeanne The Organic Gardener that I was disappointed by my last few harvests of peppers and eggplant. Our Chicago summers have been erratic during these harvests, so it is hard to pinpoint what is to blame - possibly the weather?
I plant my peppers and eggplants in the ground in late May after the soil in our raised bed is good and warm, just like they'd prefer. But we never get much fruit - specifically from the peppers. Jeanne suggested that I give our plants a boost - mixing worm compost "juice", fish emulsion, green sand on the soil. She says they her company does this a few times during the growing season to ensure that the transplants have all of the nutrients that they need to really be productive.
A few days later, I found an article from Organic Gardening's electronic newsletter that talked about peppers specifically. I have been putting my peppers in the same place for the last three years - apparently they don't like that. If you have enough space rotate your peppers! This and extra "feedings" of nutrients are sure help out.
I will report back on my own experiment and any increased yields that result. And let's hope that we get some more sun here in the midwest so that warm season crops can get the temperatures they require to be succcessful!