Hi Diane I will give you my secret for pepper in container. Container of 8-10 gal, inside, weekly added kitchen waste, cover with compost or with light earth or dry grass. When the container is full, added 10cm of good compost and plant the pepper. full sun and great irrigation. Result : lots of fruits. It's a good method for egg plants too. Good luck
go to the link to my container with vegetarian pepper (Capsicum Frutescens) trinidad pepper (Capsicum chinense) and spangles pepper (Capsicum baccatum)
Anyway, yeah, when our soil gets on the leaves of young plants, and older ones, too, but less noticeably (peppers or not) in our garden, they grow a *lot* more slowly. I'm not sure exactly why. Washing the leaves off helps to fix the problem.
Dust really cuts into the efficiency of solar panels too! Probably scatters a lot of light.
Hi shule, that's fascinating. I bet you're working with clay subsoil, which can have toxic amounts of aluminum and manganese in it...or conversely, if you're in alkaline country, maybe toxic levels of salts. It could be very worth your while to get a soil test. I like Logan Labs, loganlabs.com, and I used Steve Solomon's method for interpreting and amending it (see his book "The Intelligent Gardner"). If you're not a fan of Solomon, you might check out the Bionutrient Food Association bionutrient.org/site/growers They do have something of an east of the Mississippi bias, but are good people and I know they're looking to expand membership out west and might be able to connect you with a local group. Or your local extension officer should be able to help.
Growing in a coastal zone 7a in the Northern Hemisphere. Hot humid summers and cold snowy winters. Plenty of rain. Sandy loam topsoil over clay subsoil, whatever the glacier left behind when it made Long Island.