Shrinkrap, “Third time’s a charm!” (Or, you can email me.)
My slow satellite connection out here is preventing me from taking a closer look at the ailing peppers. But, from what I can see, it looks more like stress from bugs than serious fungus. When my peppers got blights, they wilted down dramatically, like the roots were cut off. So, it looks like the plants can be saved. The older leaves seem more affected, which reinforces the bug/bad guy hypothesis. I’d try giving the plants a foliar feed of seaweed extract to eliminate micronutrient issues. Then, in the evening, when bugs do their skulking and temperatures are cooler, hit them weekly with neem, and as the label indicates, perhaps a pyrethroid or spinosad. It looks like mites may be joining the party, but neem should help, if applied weekly.
Part of the battle is getting a very fine fog/mist over and under the foliage. After using a backpack sprayer and torturing my brachial plexus nerve (think Dr, Spock in Star Trek) I bought a Rocket sprayer. This rechargeable wonder can fog neem, or other pesticides, with very little effort. Many organic pesticides rely on contact with the pest or “complete coverage”. I use this sprayer both in my veg garden and the nursery.
When I fearfully went to my MD, complaining of odd numbing going up and down my neck (heart attack, stroke?), he asked if I was putting pressure on my shoulders. “Yes”, I was using backpack sprayer and had to pump it a lot to get a high pressure fog. “Get an electric sprayer!” was his response. Wise words indeed.
Parts of CA are getting very high temperatures. Don’t apply any pesticides, organic or otherwise, in the morning-right before temperatures climb. Once the sun goes down and temperatures settle down, that’s the time to hit the miscreants.
If you are worried about fungal blights, you can use Daconil/Chlorothalonil. Spray the lower stem and upper root zone with. a “sprench”, a soaking spray which soaks in about 1/2-3/4 inch deep, around the root zone. Leaf fugal infections are less serious than root infections. If leaf spots, with an ash-grey center are seen (Septoria), get out the Daconil.
I’ve had horticultural friends recommend Dawn dish soap for insect/mite control. However, I have not experimented enough to advise using this method.
Get a Carson microscope! You’ll be glad that such an inexpensive tool can enable you to see into the beyond! Don’t look at your fingernails!
The more you grow, the more pests attack. I’ll try to download your images when internet traffic is lower, see if any clues present themselves. Meanwhile, relax a bit. Your plants don’t exhibit the telltale sudden death of root blights. Last year, 120 foot row of peppers wilted and died within a few days; it was very dramatic, like someone torched the plants. Luckily, those symptoms are not reflected in your pictures. There is hope!
Cheers, bogman bogman bogman
PS: That was a fun movie!