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A Q for you vet growers


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#1 megahot

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:53 PM

I am just curious to know how your first few yrs of growing hot peppers went??? I also wanted to know how long it took before you really got things down and started growing very nice plants!? Thanks for the replies in advance! ;)
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#2 Hot Pooper

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:55 PM

First years were decent for me, but I only grew basic jalapenos, habs, etc. As far as "healthy" plants....honestly, any "veteran" grower can have unhealthy plants. Sure, thats typically due to factors outside the grower's hands...
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#3 megahot

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:20 AM

First years were decent for me, but I only grew basic jalapenos, habs, etc. As far as "healthy" plants....honestly, any "veteran" grower can have unhealthy plants. Sure, thats typically due to factors outside the grower's hands...


Thanks for the reply!
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#4 indoChilli

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:38 AM

Well to be honest my first year is a mess. aphid, mite, over watering, rain, overfert etc. But the thing is i learn from all of that and make adjustment, because every chili has a different need in a different place you grow them. Just don't stop doing it, be patient and you'll be fine.
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#5 smokemaster

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:51 AM

A lot of times the only difference between a veteran grower and a first year grower is a veteran decided they don't have to baby their plants to death.(Besides,they don't have that much time to baby each one of their gazillion plants anyway. :) )

Plants are designed to grow with or without the super duper potting soil and the special nutes people overdose their plants with.

Don't fix what isn't broken.

If the plant is green ,leave it alone.

If it gets the dreaded heeby geebies then go on the internet and see what you are probably doing wrong to your plant.
Most of the time it's that the plant is getting loved to death one way or another.

Not always but 99% of the time it's pilot error not something you aren't doing but something you are doing too much of - water,nutes or whatever.

Aphids are easy,MITES suck big time.

A lot of times I see people posting that their other plants are doing great but a couple are doing their best to die.
I'd bet the ones dying are the ones they wanted to grow the most,their favorite variety.
They are getting loved to death in a lot of cases.

Edited by smokemaster, 28 February 2012 - 12:55 AM.


#6 Capsicum

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:56 AM

When I found out to not water so much believe it or not.

#7 jsschrstrcks

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

My first year went quite well... pounds and pounds of peppers from a handfull of plants... this year I am sort of following Smokemasters example (feels like any way) and trying to grow them all.

141 plants in the ground of around 50 varieties, with about 50 varieties (plus whatever comes from the seed swap) on their way to my mailbox...

I found out early on that finding just the right amount of neglect is better than giving them too much care.

For instance, we have so much humidity here, and thus so much dew, that part way through last spring, I quit wattering all together, and my plants were quite a bit happier for it. I gave them some fert this spring (they survived over winter in the ground) and now they are exploding once more.
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#8 biscgolf

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:27 AM

i agree 100% with smokemaster.

don't overwater or overthink is the best advice i have.

peppers want to grow.

i grow produce for a living and peppers are among the most forgiving, tough, easy to grow (however you want to put it) items i grow.

as kung fu panda put it : "there is no secret"
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#9 POTAWIE

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

I always found chiles to be about the easiest plant to start indoor under cheap lights for a nice head start. I've been growing peppers since I was a wee kid but every year I find new tricks to extend my season or add productivity. I think the best advice I can offer is to not get carried away in the number of varieties you grow, it can get overwhelming. Best to get to know a few types and their growth habits and then add or eliminate varieties each year
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#10 theghostpepperstore

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

My first few years were great growing the typical habs, jalapenos, and cayenne. My first year of superhots was outstanding due to me not having a clue about how to care for them. The second year of superhots was awful because I tried to have a better year than the first and did way too much research into caring for them. Overcare is the fool proof way to ruin your crop. I just leave them alone most of the time now, unless they look like they have a problem.
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#11 AlabamaJack

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

thats typically due to factors outside the grower's hands...


agreed 100%...weather doesn't always behave in a way that is conducive to plant growth/production...


Well to be honest my first year is a mess. aphid, mite, over watering, rain, overfert etc. But the thing is i learn from all of that and make adjustment, because every chili has a different need in a different place you grow them. Just don't stop doing it, be patient and you'll be fine.


I think everyone goes through this...some year's aphids are a bitch, some years it's the mites...again, just depends on the weather...dry hot weather is great for mites...best advice here is to look at each plant every day...if you see shiny leaves and look under the leaf that is on top of the shiny leaf, chances are you will find aphids...the shiny stuff is honeydew produced by the aphids....and ants, if you see ants, they are probably scheming on how best to farm the aphids on your plants...

A lot of times the only difference between a veteran grower and a first year grower is a veteran decided they don't have to baby their plants to death.(Besides,they don't have that much time to baby each one of their gazillion plants anyway. :) )


all I can say is amen to that...

I always found chiles to be about the easiest plant to start indoor under cheap lights for a nice head start. I've been growing peppers since I was a wee kid but every year I find new tricks to extend my season or add productivity. I think the best advice I can offer is to not get carried away in the number of varieties you grow, it can get overwhelming. Best to get to know a few types and their growth habits and then add or eliminate varieties each year


that's the ticket Derek...finding out which varieties grow best for you at your location...for instance, plants I grow have to be very heat tolerant/heat loving and may not grow well for folks with shorter cooler growing season...

I had all kinds of issues when I first started and found out that I was, as smokemaster said...loving my plants to death...


The one hard lesson I learned was overwatering in the peak of summer heat...the top of the soil was dry so I just watered every day...would give each plant close to a gallon a day...boy, all that did was give me a case of root rot...I lost 80 something plants out of 350 that year...
AJ
"If people will learn to "listen" to their plants, they will tell you what they want". AlabamaJack

#12 megahot

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:29 AM

Thanks for all the comments! there is a lot to be learned! :)
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#13 Hot Pooper

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:40 AM

I always start extra plants each year because I usually lose a few. Then all I have to do is, when Im ready to transplant outside, I pick the healthiest plants.
Like AJ said, amen to the "overcaring" for plants. There is TONS of advice someone could give, but I would say the NUMBER ONE bit of advice is to leave them the hell ALONE! What comes with experience is knowing what to give them, and when. Also, what works for ME may not work for someone else. Mots people on here grow in dark soil. I have to worry about red clay here. That is why I grow my peppers in pots. So I have to modify MY methods for MY situation. Pepper plants will tell you what you need. If you dont know what they need, thats what this site is for.
So for a beginner, like Smokemaster said, if its green, leave it alone.
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#14 jsschrstrcks

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:46 AM

So for a beginner, like Smokemaster said, if its green, leave it alone.


Even if its not green, chances are 50/50 the answer is going to be that you need to leave it alone more than you've been (over watering, over fertilizing, hardening off too fast etc)
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#15 AlabamaJack

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:16 AM

Pepper plants will tell you what you need. If you dont know what they need, thats what this site is for.


see my signature...
AJ
"If people will learn to "listen" to their plants, they will tell you what they want". AlabamaJack

#16 muskymojo

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:24 PM

+1 for trying too hard, but my biggest problem the first year was planting too close together. It's hard not to when planting little seedlings, and trying to plant as many as you can.
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#17 bigt

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

Don't over water and especially don't over fertilize. Peppers need very few nutes and really like being left alone for the most part. I'm beginning to think the "starter nutrients" in Pro-Mix BX are all they ever need. I'm going to grow one plant this year in a Root Pouch w/ PM BX and give it nothing but water all year.

#18 LGHT

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:13 PM

My first year was not bad considering all the bad decisions I made.


1rst year mistakes:

I read germination rates would not always be 90% so I planted 3 seeds per section in a 72 cell jiffy dome. I ended up with around a 98% germination rate and tried to grow all the plants!
I used miracle grow soil and when they where still young and lost several plants because they died for excessive ferts
I typically over watered my plants because I noticed yellowing and thought yellowing was a lack of water and not too much water.
I ended up getting a huge infestation of aphids and tried to neem and squish them only to realize 2 months later it wasn't a solution, but simply a deterrent. Only solution was a thriving colony of lady bugs I picked up for $6 at a local hardware store
I eventually planted some of the plants in a raised bed without amending the soil and quickly realized that they suffered in comparison to the plants in 5 gallons pots.
Even though I had over 50 plants and spent hours upon hours each week my overall pepper output was VERY low and not a successful season.

Lessons learned:

I attending a garden class at a local college and met a master Gardner who pointed me in the right direction. First thing I did was read read read, and when I thought I learned enough I read a lot more. I quickly realized gardening can be fun, but it's also a lot funnier if you reap a huge crop. All that ready allowing me to get a much better understanding on what peppers want and need in order to thrive. I now only grow in pots because I have total control, I have started doing things to help improve my yield such as foliar feeding with worm tea, and adding micro and macro nutes. Selective pruning to help grow fruit and not foliage. I use large containers and home made "earth box" types of setups. All in all looking back I now get more than twice the yield from 12 plants than I had with over 50 and ironically I spend less than half the time doing so.

It's like they say if you fail to plan you plan to fail.




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