[Market-farming] Sweet Peppers Turning to Slime

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Thu Aug 30 15:49:17 EDT 2007

I think you're probably right Bob. There aren't any other problems with 
peppers that result in the same symptoms. It's classic for fruit that turn 
to mush on the plant. If you look carefully in the debris that's left, 
you'll often see the larvae and the frass it leaves behind. If it's european 
corn borer, the larvae will be about 3/4" - 1" long, creamy white and thin, 
with a brown head. Corn earworm larvae will be twice as large and may be 
brown, green or orange in color. They both prefer corn so you might want to 
plant corn as a trap crop nearby. But plant in several successions so that 
there are always fresh silks for the corn earworm. If you plant a dry 
variety of corn rather than sweet corn the damage usually isn't too bad and 
you can still harvest something from it.

Bill Shoemaker, Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
University of Illinois - St Charles Horticulture Research Center

> Corn earworm and bores second favorite food after corn is peppers along 
> with pepper maggots all are very common at this time of the year. They 
> enter the fruit under the calix and into the seed cavity leaving a trail 
> of decay that leads to bacterial soft rot... Bob.
> Sunny Meadow Farm
> Bridgeton, NJ.
> From: SHEILA PAYNE <srp75 at msn.com>
> Date: 2007/08/30 Thu AM 09:38:12 CDT
> To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: [Market-farming] Sweet Peppers Turning to Slime
> I'm in Colorado. I have some lovely pepper plants with lovely immature 
> peppers on them. Two varieties-- red and orange bells. The peppers lower 
> on the plant that are getting red and orange are a disgusting brownish, 
> slimy mess. The stem is strong and still attached to the plant, so when I 
> try to pull them off -- ugh, a handful of mush slides off the stem/seeds 
> into my hand. No indication of disease on the plants or immature fruits. 
> Â Any ideas? Sheila
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