Once your pepper or tomato plants grow up a little, they should start producing flowers. Those flowers should turn into peppers or tomatoes once theybare pollinated. Each flower on a pepper or tomato contains both male and female parts. This means that you don’t need bees to make peppers or tomatoes. In fact all you need is a slight breeze. I have grown pepper plants in my kitchen, and got good pollination using only a cheap fan. If you want even better results you can shake the branch of the plant. I have found that this is not necessary. If you have a plant that drops its flowers, there is always a reason. Go back to the fundamental principles and look into the five things that your plant needs. Something is off. Not enough light, too much/too little nutrients, wrong kind of nutrients, wrong PH, soil too wet, soil too dry, or even the genetics of the plant could matter.
If a plant has the wrong ratio of food it can cause all kinds of problems. Instead of a low nitrogen diet like most peppers like, one will get too spindly. Without having solid branches, the plant will never set fruit. I have also seen habanero plants that wont even consider giving peppers unless their EC is high, with a spike of P+K.
Once the peppers or tomatoes start growing, the plant will probably require a little extra food. If you have not added any extra calcium, you might want to. Especially if you notice potholes on your pepper leaves, or even worse yet the ends of your peppers and tomatoes are turning black. This is called blossom end rot. It means you either need more calcium or your PH is off.
There are many different pruning methods that people use to increase yields. I will briefly cover a few of them.
1. First is the easiest. Grow the plant as normal until it gets too big for its environment. Next cut it back a ways, then let it grow back.
2. The next method is used by many indoor gardeners. This is to cut off all branches and leaves that light does not touch. This directs the plants energy to its fruit production. Outdoors this is not as important as the sun can penetrate much deeper into the leaves.
3. The final method is to wait until the plant gets large enough to fork at the top. Once this happens cut the plant below the fork. This puts the plants energy into growing many new branches that will all eventually give fruit. This method could easily double your production. I believe this method to work best outdoors with peppers. This also works good if you over winter a plant. Simply cut the top off before the next growing season.
When pruning your plant it is important to know where to make your cuts. We always make our cuts about a half inch forward of a leaf. This will ensure that the plant will continue to give life to that part of the plant. Always use clean scissors to make your cuts. We clean ours with bleach.