Last night we had some typical coastal Texas summer weather blow through. Around here, warm air from the gulf works inland moving northwest, and as it comes over the land mass, huge thunderstorms brew up and dump rain, usually in the afternoon, and it usually stops just as evening comes. This is a typical summer pattern that we frequently experience. Sometimes, the moisture in the air is far too much to stick to the pattern, and we get huge storms. Last night was a huge storm.
While the rain is good for the vegetation, it was very heavy, and it was accompanied by wind. A tree came down on the street behind us and there were some broken branches strewn here and there when I went out this morning. My Poblano peppers were lying on the ground. The stems were not broken, but they had been pushed down. Likewise, my three tall okra plants were leaning. My chard was pelted pretty good too.
I had to build a support for the peppers before the next thunderstorms roll in, and this week is supposed to have plenty of rain. I built the same kind of support structure for the pepper plants as I did my tomatoes. It is easier to build as the plants grow, rather than building to support mature plants. Here I had three large, fruit-laden pepper plants. These need another week or two before I can start harvesting, and I’d really love to see some of them go to full red ripe. To get the plants back to vertical, support was essential.
As with the tomatoes, I used a strong post on each side of my plant row, driven into the ground outside of the garden block wall. I tied bamboo poles to this support and trapped the plants carefully between the two bamboo poles. Once secure, I tied the plants loosely to the poles, returning them to their proper positions. Its a nice way to support plants, fairly easy, and the materials will last many years. I did not want to drive a stake close to the plant stems as root damage would be almost certain; this method avoids root damage on established plants.
As a precaution, I also purchased some of those wire posts with a circular hoop at the top to support my small pepper plants growing beyond the Poblanos. Some of them were leaning as well, some were not, but I like the peppers enough to keep them going, and the wire posts are thin enough to do little to no damage to the root system. These will come in handy in the future as well to keep young, flimsy pepper plants upright. You can see the supports I purchased here.