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Sawyer's 2013 Glog - Last Harvest/First Sauce

Superhots Jalapenos Habaneros

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#1 Sawyer

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:11 PM

I haven't done a grow log before, but thought I'd give it a try this year. I'm growing mostly super hots, so I feel like I'm already behind schedule. Anyone know where January went? No pictures yet, I'll add some later when things (hopefully) start popping.

My setup is a basic home-made 2-tier 1" PVC plant stand. Each tier can accommodate 4 standard 1020 nursery flats and has three 2-bulb T-12 4' 40W fluorescent shop lights suspended above. The bulbs are a mix of Daylight, Wide Spectrum, and Power Twist. (I can't give you a K rating on these off the top of my head.) I use heater mats to try to keep the flats in the comfort zone for germination. They are wired to a dimmer switch so I can adjust the current. Even with the dimmer switch, in the past I've had trouble keeping uniform temperature, so this year I've put a layer of aluminum foil on top of the mats to spread out the heat and a layer of kraft paper on top of that. The flats go directly on the kraft paper. If anyone has any tips or tricks for controlling the temperature of heater mats (without purchasing an expensive thermostat), I'd love to hear about it.

I use standard 1020 nursery trays with 1206 (72-cell) inserts. I filled the inserts to planting depth with Sushine Mix #1 and planted anywhere from 2 (new) to 4 (old) seeds per cell. I then topped off the trays with some peat-based germination mix. I intended to use Fafard 3b germination mix, but didn't want to open a new bag for only four flats. I had a small bag of Miracle Grow and one of Ferry Morse left over from days past so I used one of those, I forget which.

The germination stand is in a back room in the warmest part of the house. As plants geminate and become established they'll be moved, either in whole flats, or potted out separately, to a 3-tier, 5 flat/tier stand in front of a bright picture window on the south side of the house. No lights on that yet and may not need them since the window gets direct sun for several hours per day. I'll be starting a lot of other seeds besides hot peppers, so I can't just leave them on the heater mats 'til plant out.

I started four flats today, one whole flat of self-propagated, pure-strain red Bhut Jolokia and up to 12 cells each of the following (note - I prefer the term 7 Pot to 7pod, but am keeping the 7pod nomenclature here out of deference to the vendor):

(First parenthesis is # of plants from first planting on 2/11, second is # plants/# soaked on 3/4)

Red Bhut Jolokia (my own isolated) (75)
Yellow Bhut Jolokia (PL) (0)
Brown Bhut Jolokia (PL) (1)
White Bhut Jolokia (PL) (8), (15/20)
Yellow Fatalii (RFC) (11), (6/10)
Giant White Habanero (RFC) (7)
Trinidad Scorpion Moruga/Moruga Blend (PL) (10), (28/35)
Trinidad Scorpion Moruga/Moruga Blend (RFC) (14)
T. Scorpion Moruga/Moruga Blend Yellow (PL) (6), (19/25)
T. 7pod Congo SR Gigantic (PL) (9), (2/7)
T. 7pod Large Red (PL) (4)
T. 7pod Large Yellow (PL) (1)
T. 7pod Brain Strain (PL) (10), (2/9)
T. 7pod Brain Strain Yellow (PL) (4), (11/12)
T. 7pod Brown (PL) (17)
T. 7pod Burgundy (PL) (8)
T. Douglah (PL) (5), (4/20)
T. Scorpion Butch T. (PL) (7)
T. Scorpion Yellow (PL) (18)
T. Scorpion Original Strain (PL) (1)
T. Seasoning (PL) (4)

New strains/sources started on 3/4:
Red Bhut Jolokia (PL) (45/50)
Scotch Bonnet Brown (PL) (22/34)
'12 7 Pot Yellow (RFC) (0/11)
'12 Bhut Jolokia Chocolate (PL) (0/14)
Datil (PL) (7/22)
Bhut Jolokia Orange (PL) (15/20)
T. Scorpion CARDI (PL) (7/20)
Tobago Treasure (PL) (8/20)

Started on 3/6:
Red Bhut Jolokia (own isolated) (>50)
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (CPI) (13)
NuMex Pinata (CPI) (40)
White Bullet Hab (PL) (13)

Unrecorded plant date:
Orange Hab (PL) (2)
TS Cardi (PL) (7)
Dorset Naga (PL) (5)

Started on 3/25:
Yellow Bhut Jolokia (PL) - 8/?
Long Choco Habanero (AjiJoe) - 17/42
Pimenta da Neyde (PL) - 14/30
Giant Mexican Rocoto (PL) - 0/40
CAP 1144 (PL) - 0/21
(old) Yellow Habanero (Trade Winds) - 0/24
(old) Jamaican Red Mushroom (RFC) - 0/18
Trinidad Congo Red (PL) - 10/12
Datil (PL) - 9/22 (4 hh)
7 Pot Primo (PL) - 5/18
Early Jalapeno (PL) - 19/36
Cracked Jalapeno (PL) - 33/36
Large Hot Cherry (PL) - 33/36
Surprise Hot Mix (AjiJoe) - 97/144

Edit 4/3: add sources PL=pepperlover, RFC=Refining Fire Chiles, CPI=Chile Pepper Institute
Edit 4/3: (in blue)
Edit 4/29: Edit title (again)


Edited by Sawyer, 02 January 2014 - 03:31 PM.

Plants are people, too.

#1A Guest

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#2 jedisushi06

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:27 PM

Nice grow list. Hope you have a good growing season.

#3 Sanarda

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:44 PM

Nice hot list. Can we see some pics please :dance:

#4 3/5King

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

Everything sounds good. You're not late to the party, Mid February is spot on. I too prefer 7pot.....get it right people.

and yeah, let's see some pics!

"Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.”

"What man can conceive and believe, man can achieve"

#5 Sawyer

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

Thanks for everyone's kind words. I'll try to get some images up soon. I can shoot the 3-tier stand quickly, because I just moved it into place from an outside location, so it's not too cluttered around it. The germination stand has a bunch of crap around it, but as soon as I clear off the lower tier for four more flats I'll take care of that.

Also, I don't have an image hosting account yet. Is there any particular host that seems to work better here than the others? I read Josh's sticky, but there doesn't seem to be any consensus there on a preferred host.
Plants are people, too.

#6 PIC 1

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

Sounds like you have a plan...nice list of superhots.
My grand parents lived in Hot Springs many years back...when we were young we traveled every year to visit them. Good memories.

Good luck with the grow...the superhots will appreciate the Ark Sun

#7 Sawyer

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

OK, let's try some pictures. I haven't posted images before, so this may not work.

Posted Image

This should be an image of one tier of the germination stand. (OK, it shows up in preview, so I'll keep going.) The pipe is 1" PVC. The plastic is from an aborted attempt to enclose the whole volume to prevent heat loss. There is a window just to left of this image and it got below freezing outside last night. I've maxed out the current to the heater mat and it is barely keeping the temperature in the sweet spot. I'll be adding a foamboard "box" around the flats later today and topping it with plastic.

Posted Image

This is where the seedlings will move to once they are up and going. This one is constructed of 1/2" PVC pipe. Notice the bracing. (I just noticed the one piece slipped out of the cross. Nothing is glued to make transport easier.) No heater mats and relatively cool being next to the big window, but plenty of light. The six pots of green sticks on the middle tier were six bhut jolokias I was wintering over. I had some leaf drop, but wasn't too worried as that was expected. Then one day, all the leaves were gone. At first, I thought I must have let the plants dry out, but the mix wasn't too dry and then I noticed there were no leaves on the floor under the plants. (This was before the stand was in place.) I looked more closely and discovered teeth marks on the stem ends. I've set traps and placed some naga morich peppers around. The traps have been tripped without catching anything and the peppers have disappeared. Apparently I have a live-in genius rodent with a taste for heat. Live trap is next. The sticks look like they are trying to put out some new leaves. Fingers crossed.

Posted Image

First germination! A yellow brain strain after only six days.

Posted Image

And not far behind, a red brain strain, also after only six days. I did not expect the brain strains to be the first to germinate.
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#8 FireEater101

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

Great looking pics you posted up!! Your setup looks good I like your PVC stand too...nice work! Your pepper list looks like a good one too I have T Scorp Original and 7 Pot Large Red growing as well. I hope you get lots of sprouts and have a great fiery hot pepper season!!

2014 Grow List: Red Ghost Peppers, Trinidad Scorpion Red, Red 7 Pod, Fatali, Tabasco, Early Jalapeno, Cayenne, Car Red Habs, Serrano Tampequino


#9 Sawyer

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:42 PM

Sounds like you have a plan...nice list of superhots.
My grand parents lived in Hot Springs many years back...when we were young we traveled every year to visit them. Good memories.


I really like that part of the state, horse-racing, Lakes Catherine, Hamilton, and Ouachita, and west/north west from there on up into the Ouachita Mtns. I'm in the NW corner of the state.

Good luck with the grow...the superhots will appreciate the Ark Sun


Actually, the last couple of years I've had to create shade (bamboo frame/bamboo layers the first year and PVC frame/Agribon fabric the next) to keep the superhots from burning up. That and keep pouring the water to them. I'm all for a little climate change, because now I can grow muscadines up here, but these last two summers have been ridiculous.

Great looking pics you posted up!! Your setup looks good I like your PVC stand too...nice work! Your pepper list looks like a good one too I have T Scorp Original and 7 Pot Large Red growing as well. I hope you get lots of sprouts and have a great fiery hot pepper season!!


Thanks, FireEater. I want to grow everything, but I'm limiting myself to (mostly) superhots because I need capsaicin for some non-culinary applications (in addition to powders, sauces, salsas, etc.) Good luck with your Scorp and 7 Pot!

Update: The leaves on the yellow BS pictured above have opened up and the red BS is straightening up. Also, one of the Moruga Blends is hooking.
Plants are people, too.

#10 PIC 1

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

Cool man,
Shade them if you have to. My sister gave me some frost cloth today (8 deg drop) that she got a deal on. I may not use that for the cold frames but instead, an isolation fabric for the plants.
Your indoor setup looks good, the overwinters should be popping soon with the bleeding sun light. Good luck with your seedlings

#11 Sawyer

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

Cool man,
Shade them if you have to. My sister gave me some frost cloth today (8 deg drop) that she got a deal on. I may not use that for the cold frames but instead, an isolation fabric for the plants.
Your indoor setup looks good, the overwinters should be popping soon with the bleeding sun light. Good luck with your seedlings


Yeah, I plan to use the Agribon for isolation, too. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to isolate whole rows, individual plants, or simply individual flowers/pods on selected plants.

Edit - spelling error

Edited by Sawyer, 19 February 2013 - 12:30 AM.

Plants are people, too.

#12 Sawyer

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

Update:

Today I added a low foam board radiant/thermal barrier around the flats. I had planned to cover this with a thin piece of plastic to keep the heat in, but the temperature is right where it needs to be. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Posted Image

I've got seeds-a-poppin', at least 25 more since yesterday's post. This image is of one of the densest areas:

Posted Image

I had been using only two of the three shop lights, but today I turned on the third (six bulbs total) and lowered all three by two chain links.

Edit: Yay! 100 posts!

Edited by Sawyer, 18 February 2013 - 07:33 PM.

Plants are people, too.

#13 3/5King

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:37 PM

Things are looking good Sawyer

"Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.”

"What man can conceive and believe, man can achieve"

#14 Sawyer

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

Things are looking good Sawyer


Thanks, David. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these sproutlings will go ahead and grow. It got below freezing outside last night and with the lights off, the growing area got down into the mid-70s, so I'm going to go ahead and put a lid on the enclosure today. I dropped the lights as low as they will go and though they are fluorescents, the temps are already back to the low 80s. Still had a few more pop during the night, though.

I think I'll post some pics of my pathetic OWs soon. Then if they die, no one will be surprised, but if they survive... I guess it will say something about the tenacity of pepper plants.

Edit - Just checked the flats and there are at least 55 seedlings showing life. I've got a few helmet heads I'll have to work on soon.

Edited by Sawyer, 19 February 2013 - 12:37 PM.

Plants are people, too.

#15 WalkGood

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

Supper plan and love dat PVC shelving, I’d wish you luck but seems you’re already ahead of the curve … oh what the hell, great luck in 2013 grow mon!
Nuff Respect & WalkGood, Ramon

#16 Sawyer

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

Supper plan and love dat PVC shelving, I’d wish you luck but seems you’re already ahead of the curve … oh what the hell, great luck in 2013 grow mon!


Thanks, WG.
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#17 Jamison

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

All sorts of sprouts there! Good job! And what a hot list you got there my friend!

#18 Sawyer

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

All sorts of sprouts there! Good job! And what a hot list you got there my friend!


Thanks, Jamison. I'll be adding to the list in a few days. Stay tuned.
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#19 Sawyer

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:18 PM

OK, I'm up to right around 100 seedlings now. Pretty much some of everything in the grow list, except maybe a couple of the strains with older seeds. Also, the one flat that is all red bhuts is off to a slow start. There are only about 8 or so germinating in it. It's at the least warm end of my setup (rightmost in the picture above) and the seeds are also the oldest at three or four years. They were refrigerated until last spring, but were left out on a table since then. I have a lot more still refrigerated, but thought I'd try these just to see what happens. I'll give it another week and then start filling in gaps with refrigerated seed.

After finishing off a jar of sweet pickled jalapeno rings and seeing stc3248's poppers, I decided I had to get some jalapeno seeds. Just fired off an order for those, datil, Tobago treasure and TS Cardi... more flavor to go with the already flavorful heat.

Edit for flavor.

Edited by Sawyer, 21 February 2013 - 07:12 PM.

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#20 Sanarda

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

That set up is awesome. Very ingenious and great germ on seedlings. keep up the good grow :dance:





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