Chili Pepper Madness

February 08, 2014

An Interview with Dr. James Edward Brown, College of Agriculture

An Interview with Dr. James Edward Brown, College of Agriculture

Dr. James Edward Brown, College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Allied Programs at the Fort Valley State University

"If chili peppers are to be grown during the fall or winter months, then they should be grown not very far from the equator because it is a warm season crop. Chili pepper grows best at a temperature range between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is very important that the gardener becomes familiar with the seasonal growth pattern of the pepper. If the temperature is too low, chili pepper will not produce to its greatest potential or if the temperature is too low, it will not survive during the winter or fall.

When a gardener anticipates growing vegetable crops during the fall or winter, it would be wise to contact the local agricultural representative in an effort to find out which types of vegetables grow best at specific times of year. Cool season vegetable crops grow best during the fall and winter months because they can tolerate lower growing temperatures than warm season vegetables.

Some cool season vegetable crops are turnip, collard, mustard, kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. These cool seasons crops grow best at a temperature range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Regardless, of whether the crop is cool season or warm season, the soil should be tested before planting to ensure that an adequate amount of fertilizer is present for maximum performance.

Also, the pH of the soil should be tested prior to planting. The fertility and pH of the soil are two factors that must be at the proper range for the crops to perform well. The gardener should make arrangements two to three months before planting the crop(s) to ensure that these factors are at the right range. A successful gardener is one who keeps up with the weather reports, who loves to work outdoors in the soil and who develops a good working relationship with a local agricultural representative."

About James Edward Brown

James Edward Brown is on the faculty in the College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Allied Programs at the Fort Valley State University (an historically black university located in Middle, GA). As Professor of Horticulture, he has taught Organic Gardening and other vegetable science courses to over 35,000 students and has directed a number of graduate students in receiving master’s and doctoral degrees. Brown’s credentials include a B.S. in Agronomy from Fort Valley State University, an M.S. in Plant and Soil Science from Tuskegee University, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of Illinois. Brown recently retired from Auburn University as Professor of Horticulture after 26 years of service.

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