Supporting pepper plants

Do you have an innovative way to support your pepper plants, other than using tomato cages? Looking for some alternatives! Thanks!!

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I’ve just grown them with a piece of bamboo in the pot and tied them to that as they got bigger

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I’ve done mini T-trellises with string. Works pretty well for long rows.

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My pepper plants are huge, so I have to build a support structure for them. I start with metal square folding cages I bought in Jobs Lot. (They look like these ones Cages, but 2 times cheaper). They are cheap, but also flimsy. You need to reinforce them. I set them over every other plant in a row(I do not have enough of them for each plant), making sure I have a cage over first and last plant. Then I use 4 feet bamboo sticks I buy in the same Jobs Lot and electric ties. I connect the cages on all four levels (back and front) using bamboo sticks and electric ties. Then I tie whole structure to the frame of my net enclosure where the peppers growing. It is a bit time consuming to set and take away, but it does the job very well and doesn’t require too much space in the shed, and that is very important for me. Sometimes, for the tallest ones I also use Texas tomato cages. They are not cheap, but great.

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input. My pepper plants get really bushy and tall. I feel that the stems are very weak though. If I am not careful when harvesting or checking the peppers for ripeness, I can break off a whole branch! This is mainly bell peppers, doesn’t happen as often with hots.
@moose71, this is what I have done most years, although mine are planted in ground rather than pots. And I haven’t used bamboo. I raid the junk pile for whatever pole, post, rebar, large stake, etc. I can find! My garden tends to look a bit…messy!

I haven’t tried to train them up vertical string @jcguarneri , like you would do tomatoes or other plants that vine. Still seems like they would need more support, but maybe I will try a few this way and see if it is enough support for them.

I do cage peppers once in awhile, but I never have enough cages! If I have any leftover wire, I usually make a quick cage for peppers, but only a few plants get them, the majority are staked. I also found that the peppers grow closer to the interior of the plant, so they don’t utilize the support of the cage very effectively. @galinas, that looks like a good system you worked out! I agree, using supports that don’t take up a ton of room in the off-season is so important!

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I should clarify, it’s more of a corral than a trellis. I put 2 cross pieces on each post, 2-3 ft high total, and run strings between the posts on each cross piece. Provides just enoughough support the keep them from flipping out of the row, and the plants support themselves in the row.

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I’ve used 2’’ x 4’’ gap rectangular fence wire bent into a square 12in. for my tomatoes with good results. probably would be good for bell peppers too.

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Ok, I see! Makes sense.

How about doing a Florida weave with them?

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That might work. I had to look that up, I didn’t know what Florida weave was. I think it was 3 years ago, I tried something like that, but didn’t have stout enough end stakes/posts. I used baling twine between the stakes and I had trouble keeping it tight enough. It sagged and stretched, and I didn’t think it would/could stretch. The pepper plants ended up flopping over the twine since I couldn’t keep it tight. Perhaps if I were to execute the technique correctly, it would work! :wink:

I’ve used Florida weave some years, and like you say, you need strong support, especially at the ends of the rows. It also helps to place stakes every two plants. More recently, I plant in double rows, which are less conducive to Florida weave. I do like you describe, tying to stakes with fabric stips. Sometimes I break branches when harvesting. I cuss myself out and move on.

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Some of the better tomato cages are 5 feet, some stack too. Mine don’t grow that tall in my short cold season! I use both a stake and a cage. The stake can go inside the cage to hold it vertical and can be used to tie plant in best position too. Not perfect but requires little to no effort :slight_smile: The stake is a tying point that is sturdy, so if plant strays you can bring it back to best position. Gives plant some support if the plant grows past the cage, you still have the stake (I use 10 foot sometimes).
My problem is the peppers get heavy and tomatoes even more and wind will tilt the cage. The stake eliminated that problem.
I like the square cages, 4 feet, can stack to make 8 feet. Plants seem to hang perfect off of them. And they fold up for very easy storage.
Another good way is to use hardware cloth to make cages. I think you can get them 5 feet tall. Too much work for me to store, but make some nice solid sturdy cages.

I hadn’t considered using both a stake and a cage. I can see the advantage. They can get so heavy when loaded with fruit and the cage alone doesn’t always help, they do tip as you mention. The folding cages would be so nice, but are out of my price range. More good ideas, thanks!

I hear you. I got 4 on sale and want more, but every time I look, see the price, I’m not gonna pay that!

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I don’t think there is a way I could make folding ones, but it would be nice! I like to raid our junk metal pile for stuff! Re-use, re-purpose, recycle- I love being able to do that and not spend a dime! Of course, that’s also why I sometimes have stuff that doesn’t work very well. :thinking:

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Yeah I had that one year too when I tried it with sisal twine. That and the tomatoes grew too fast and kind of went everywhere. I had better luck with the plastic bailing twine.

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I’ve also been thinking about making some type of mini tomato cage with the concrete wire either bending it in a square or small circle. It could act as a stake and support at the same time. I’m just not sure how to bend it easily. Or something like this: Pepper Supports - Pack of 3 from Park Seed

I have no idea how well it would work though.

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I have been using old aluminium arrow shafts for a very long time. U can criss cross the shafts where they are needed. I have been bowhunting for about 50 yrs and have accumulated 100’s of arrows. I also use them to prop up blueberry branches when they are heavy with fruit.

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The real Green Arrow! :slight_smile:
Wow, inventive!

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I tried the Florida weave with peppers one year, but didn’t really like it. For one thing it seemed to expose more of the peppers to the sun and increased my sunburn.

When I have a row of peppers I now use a double set of strong nylon lines with 5 foot high t-posts (or u-posts) at the end running down each side of the row, pounded in about a foot deep, so 4-feet high above the soil line. My rows are short, just down my 9-foot raised beds, so going longer rows you would need some additional posts so that you have them every 6 to 8 feet down the row. The posts are about 2 feet apart (one foot from the center of the row on each side) and I run the nylon line at 2 feet and then around 3.5 to 4 feet heights down the row. If you have really high peppers you might want to use 6-foot posts and do another line at the top.

As the peppers grow and branch out to the sides, I just secure the branches to whichever line they are growing toward using the tomato clips I use for growing my tomatoes up a string. These are loose enough to allow some motion, but since they lock onto the string, you can set them where you want to keep the pepper a little more open for good airflow.

I hope this is clear. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures last year.

Here is the nylon string I use (will last me many years) and the clips for securing the branches.

https://www.amazon.com/Braided-Nylon-Seine-Twine-Construction/dp/B01FGHTCMS
https://www.amazon.com/LEOBRO-Support-Vegetables-Trellis-Healthier/dp/B01IOL09WA

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