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PaulG 2012

greenhouse germination cloning topping pinching composting budding T12 shop light

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#1 PaulG

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:08 PM

I'm chomping at the bit to get started with some new chilli varieties this coming Spring. So far I've just scratched the surface with Poblanos, Jalapenos and Serranos, all of which I really like. I've been egged on by a new Second Generation Mejicano neighbor as we've talked about hot chillis over the back fence! He helped me make some Pico de Gallo with my Serranos and Early Girl tomatoes and has some great recipes from his mother and grandmother. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of them on this forum in the future. I need to grow more Cilantro. Oh yeah!

I've ordered seed from several sources which received at least a few good comments on this forum (6/12 - items crossed out did not germ, or weren't planted this year):

US Hot Stuff:
Bolivian Rainbow
Yellow Peter
Nosegay
Trinidad Scorpion (from Spankycolts)
Devil Tongue

The Hippy Seed Company: Seed Packet Mixes
NuMex Twilight (from Siliman)
Yellow Jellybeans
Tom Thumbs
Wild Texas Tepin

Refining Fire: Seed Packet Mix
Scotch Bonnet
Chocolate Habanero
Jamaican Red Mushroom

New Mexico State University:
Chiltepin
Omnicolor
Red Carribean Habanero
Orange Habanero

Pepper Gal:
Aji Yellow (request from a Peruvian friend of ours!)
Thai Hot

Peppermania:
Inca Lost
Fatali
White Habanero (from Spanky)
Red Savina (cross with Fatali, from Spanky)
Bishop's Crown
Inca Red Drop
Orange Rocoto
Congo Trinidad

I doubt I will be able to try all of these out this year, but I have saved my seeds in small glass jars with tight-fitting lids for storage over the next year. I have been saving seed from other garden produce and have had good luck with germinating them after two or even three years. The jars are stored in boxes in the garage for a cool dark location for them. I have ordered several compact varieties with an eye toward trying to winter over some of my plants this year. Since I didn't even know peppers were perennial, I can say I've already learned something from this forum!


I purchased a small greenhouse from One Stop Gardens (via Harbor Freight) for $300 four years ago. This is one of the greenhouse kits I've noticed in the greenhouse advertsing bar at the bottom of some of the pages on this forum. This picture is from Spring/ Summer 2011. You can see my tomato and pepper starts on the sheves. I winter over some bonsai trees and jade plants as well as geraniums, begonias and Gerbera Daisies. In the winter, I use a small space heater (visible on ground in the picture) to keep the temp at 40F during the few cold weeks we experience here. So far it has worked pretty well. If overwintering pepper plants becomes a reality I'll be making more room in the greenhouse! I've started a thread in the Grow Tech forum to discuss issues which crop up with these units.

Posted Image

January 14, 2012:

Composting:

Okay, I need to do something outside. I know, I'll dig out a compost bin. We've had a little dry cool weather, so the worms have burrowed down, and the compost is crumbly, if a tad wet.

Posted Image

The first step - dig out the bin and sift the material. I use a homemade frame with a layer of 1/4 inch plastic hardware cloth backed with a layer of one inch mesh poultry netting. The fine stuff goes into the wheelbarrow, the coarse stuff into an adjacent compost bin we're still building up.

Posted Image

The bin on the left is covered to keep the leafy material dry and fluffy. The dry leaves are an important layer in the compost 'cake'. The bin on the right is the one I'm digging out. Nice, dark and crumbly with lots of worms! The sifter is on the wheelbarrow, and some of the coarse stuff is already on the active compost bin in the middle. The bin in the back is resting for several of months. It has a black plastic hardware cloth cover to keep out squirrels and racoons.

Posted Image

The bin is all dug out. I left about two inches of broken up compost on the bottom of the hole to create a space for the worms to move into. You can see the bin in the middle has a layer of coarse stuff spread out on the top.

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The last step is to put a nice deep layer of dry leaves on the bin we just dug out. Now that bin will rest for a at least several months or more while the earthworms move into the compost/earth interface and do their work. That will make a great base for the next cycle of composting in this bin. I put a thin layer of leaves on the middle bin, too. Now there's a nice layer cake of dirt/compost, leaves. kitchen scraps. All small yard clippings except grass go into the compost bins, even tomato vines and pepper branches and twigs. I don't even chop stuff up too much. I try to have at least 10 or 12 layers of stuff built up before I cover the bin with a layer of dirt/compost and let the worms work for several months. I'm getting about 12-18 cubic feet of compost from these bins a year. My goal is to become 'soil self-sufficient' at some point, perhaps only having to procure horticultural pumice or vermiculite and some peat moss every so often.

Posted Image

The good stuff. It will go into a plastic, vented storage bin for at lest eight weeks to cure a bit. Then I mix it with a little peat moss and some vermiculite or pumice for aeration. In my large containers, I add 2 or 3 inches of compost worked into the top of the container only every year. I try not to mix up the soil layers in the big containers very much, letting the nutrients percolate down through the soil as in a natural setting. As the blog continues this summer, I'll include photos of the irrigation system and containers I use to grow my tomatoes and peppers, and a few other things.

Edited by PaulG, 25 October 2012 - 11:11 PM.

Every Pod a Victory!

#2 compmodder26

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:11 PM

That is one sweet looking greenhouse. Nice variety of peppers too. Good luck with your grow this year.

#3 S.S.Tupperware

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:36 PM

Nice variety... i would defiantly do Fatalli and i am hooked on Bishops crowns for stuffing with cheese of some sort... Good luck.

#4 SuperHot

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:39 PM

You have a really nice selection and a beautiful greenhouse.
Good luck!!

Edited by SuperHot, 09 January 2012 - 06:40 PM.

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#5 stc3248

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

Still dreaming of a dreamhouse myself...been looking at a few of the small portables. I move a lot so portable is key. Love the Jade in there! They make pretty cool fast growing bonsai candidates...My son did a jade bonsai, and it needs to be trimmed and made into about 10 more jade plants already.

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#6 PaulG

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:16 AM

That is one sweet looking greenhouse. Nice variety of peppers too. Good luck with your grow this year.


Thanks for the well wishes. It has been a pretty good unit with some minor exceptions which I mention in the Grow Tech forum.

Nice variety... i would defiantly do Fatalli and i am hooked on Bishops crowns for stuffing with cheese of some sort... Good luck.


Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take your advice!

You have a really nice selection and a beautiful greenhouse.
Good luck!!


Thanks, for the money it's not a bad unit. I wish I had room to grow lots of varieties. I do mostly container gardening, using 7-gallonUS pots or some slightly larger.

I have tried putting three plants in big tubs, about 18 gallon, but with less success. Seems like it should be about equal.

Still dreaming of a dreamhouse myself...been looking at a few of the small portables. I move a lot so portable is key. Love the Jade in there! They make pretty cool fast growing bonsai candidates...My son did a jade bonsai, and it needs to be trimmed and made into about 10 more jade plants already.


There are some great little greenhouses on the market that look like you could pack them in a box. Being able to move a small space around has some attractive advantages. The jades are fun to mess with. I'm jealous of the folks in California who can grow big jades outside in the ground or in really large pots! Sounds like your son has his work cut out for him : )
Every Pod a Victory!

#7 PIC 1

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:43 AM

Nice size greenhouse, does it have louver's that can be opened or window pane's?
I believe my brother-in law put a themostast/mech controlled device to open louvers in his when the temp rises during the day temp.

Good luck with your seed starts

Greg

#8 HillBilly Jeff

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:13 AM

Good luck on your grow

I have OCD and ADD...Everything has to be perfect, but not for long.


#9 PaulG

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:51 PM

Nice size greenhouse, does it have louver's that can be opened or window pane's?
I believe my brother-in law put a themostast/mech controlled device to open louvers in his when the temp rises during the day temp.

Good luck with your seed starts

Greg


Hi, Greg. The greenhouse has two window panes that are hinged at the top so they swing up and open. My buddy tried some automatic openers (temperature controlled) his greenhouse like this, but found they didn't work all that well. I find it's just as easy to open them up in the morning or when it starts getting too hot. The first summer I forgot to open the windows on a hot day (90ish) and the temp hit 141F! Fortunately everything was out by then. I don't keep much in it in the summer, anyway.

Good luck on your grow


Thanks, Bodeen. I appreciate the good thoughts!

Edited by PaulG, 10 January 2012 - 02:59 PM.

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#10 PaulG

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:32 PM

Nice size greenhouse, does it have louver's that can be opened or window pane's?
I believe my brother-in law put a themostast/mech controlled device to open louvers in his when the temp rises during the day temp.

Good luck with your seed starts

Greg


BTW, that's an awesome profile pic - what kind of pepper is that?
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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:44 PM

BTW, that's an awesome profile pic - what kind of pepper is that?


That was the very 1st Butch T, on any of my "T" plants....all the rest after that look pretty normal......thought I'd use a photo of that one with all the hype going on last year-ish

Greg

#12 PaulG

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:58 PM

Thanks - what a gnarly pepper! From what I read on this site, it seems like the super hots are sensitive to watering in terms of their growing to form. Any experience with that?
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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

Thanks - what a gnarly pepper! From what I read on this site, it seems like the super hots are sensitive to watering in terms of their growing to form. Any experience with that?


Less is better with the super-hots. They can take the sun, but the humidity is a killer. People tend to overwater to compensate the lack luster look during the tuff summer heat.
That usually defaults to root rot. My garden is small, I can water in the early morning before work and lightly if absolutely necessary prior to sundown
I noticed my thai peppers became more pungent when stressed with dehydration. I follow that road with watering prior to picking the pods.......full proof?.....who knows.

Greg

#14 PaulG

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:02 AM

Less is better with the super-hots. They can take the sun, but the humidity is a killer. People tend to overwater to compensate the lack luster look during the tuff summer heat.
That usually defaults to root rot. My garden is small, I can water in the early morning before work and lightly if absolutely necessary prior to sundown
I noticed my thai peppers became more pungent when stressed with dehydration. I follow that road with watering prior to picking the pods.......full proof?.....who knows.

Greg


Thanks for the good advice. I have a drip system with containers, so I'll have to be careful with watering, I guess.
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#15 PaulG

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:54 AM

I have looked at a gazillion glogs and stolen just about that many ideas.
If you see anything familiar here, it's because I thought it was cooler than sliced bread.
Thanks to all the great chiliheads for sharing your techniques and ideas. I'll be calling
on you often during the growing season. :doh:

1/21:

Soaked overnight in distilled water (I have never soaked my seeds before.)
I am starting twenty-four varieties including some I have grown before, a number
of ornamentals for summer color in sunny spots in the yard, and few hots for now.
I may start some more later, we'll see. I hope there aren't too many typos - let me
know if one gets by me, or if I have made an error. Thanks in advance.

Posted Image

My hope is to spend two or three years finding out what grows well in our neighborhood,
and then to concentrate on those. The letters in parentheses are seed vendors:

c. chinense: Yellow Aji (PG), Choc. Habanero (RF), Wt. Habanero (PM), Fatali (PM),
Red Caribbean Habanero (NMSU), Congo Trinidad (PM), Yellow Jelly
Beans (THSC)

c. baccatum: Inca Red Drop (PM): OmniColor (NMSU), Bishop's Crown (PM)

c. annuum: Black Pearl (THSC), Explosive Ember (THSC), NuMex Twilight (THSC),
Wild Texas Tepin (THSC), Nosegay (USHOT), Chiltepin (NMSU), Bolivian
Rainbow (USHOT), commercial packets: Long Red Cayenne, Serrano,
Poblano, Early Jalapeno, Marconi Rosso

c. frutescens: Tom Thumbs (THC)

c. pubescens: Orange Rocoto (PM)

1/22:

Seeds into starting mix. I am trying two different media, so there are two cells of each variety.
One is Orchid Mix with most of the big stuff sifted out, the other is the Heinz 57 I have always
started my veggie seeds in - basically a little bit of everything from recycled potting soil
to compost with some peat thrown in. Not very scientific, but it has worked okay for general
gardening. There are two or three seeds in each cell.

Posted Image

Posted Image

For germination, I'm using two 4' full spectrum flourescent tubes. The 'tent' is made of
corrugated cardboard covered with foil on the inside. It's an upgrade from my post in the
Ghetto Growing Gear thread which just had 2-year old foil draped over the light fixture.
The corrugation provides a bit of insulation and the foil keeps the light bouncing around
inside the tent. The temp inside the tent is about 80-82F, with no heat mat.
Right now the lights are on 24/7.

Posted Image

Here's the seeds-eye view:

Posted Image

The starting mixes were a little wet, so I'm letting everything mellow out for awhile,
then I'll put covers on for humidity control - probably tonight. Once everything is in
a nice balance, a light spray now and then should keeps the mix moist. this worked great
last year with just foil draped over. This should be more efficient. I just got tired of
messing with three sheets of draped over foil flopping around all the time :banghead:

Now just to wait with great anticipation! :drooling:

Edited by PaulG, 23 January 2012 - 01:59 AM.

Every Pod a Victory!

#16 PaulG

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:54 PM

Something bizarre happened to my data post, so I recopied from my computer doc:


Spray cells with water:

1/23
6:00a
10:00a
10:00p

1/24
10:00a
3:30p surface dry
.........added dome covers
10:00p spritz some cells

1/25
10:00a - check, still moist
4:00p - spritz some cells

1/26
12:45a
3:00p

Temperature: (at top of soil level)

1/23
11:30a........81F
4:00p..........80+
5:30p..........81

1/24
10:00a........76+ (right after opening up and misting)
11:45a........84+
..................Put clear domes on the trays
9:30p..........84+
11:30p........90 with covers and corrugated 'tent'-removed tent

1/25
12:00a........83.7 covers only
9:00a..........81.7 " "
..................added foil skirts
11:00a........87
2:00p..........94.2 - with domes and foil skirts - no end panaels
6:15p..........91.4 " "
5:45p..........91.2 " "

1/26
10:15a........81.5
11:00a........84
12:00p........84 - skirts, end panels on, domes off
12:40p........81.2
2:40p..........85
2:50p..........85
3:20p..........82.2
3:50p..........81

Edited by PaulG, 26 January 2012 - 07:52 PM.

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#17 S.S.Tupperware

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:30 PM

put a puter fan on one end...

#18 BigCedar

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:01 PM

Nice start Paul! Love the greenhouse.
+1 to SS, That fan will drop it to exactly where you need it to be I'm sure. That homemade germ tent you got there is pretty sweet.
Congrats on growing only edible peppers this year (non supers lol..) When october comes around and I can hardly sit down from eating supers all summer I'll be hittin you up for a trade lol.

Brandon

#19 SocalChilehead

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:14 PM

Great set up but like everyone mention you might need a fan to keep it around 80s great list and good luck through the season.

#20 S.S.Tupperware

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:02 PM

I'm really focusing more on dinner type peppers for the wife and I... :beer:





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