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Northeast Grow - 2014 - Help a n00b out

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#1 Northeast

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

Hi!

 

I've been mostly lurking this site for the past year trying to absorb the collective THP knowledge.  This year I will be attempting to put it all to use as I start my first grow from seed. 

 

I decided to start this glog in order to track my progress so that I can adjust for next year.  The goal is to raise seed until plant out in containers (Zone 6b). I would also love any input and feedback that you have to offer, unlike my plants I am very green.

 

 

Grow List:  All seeds were scraped from pods except for PepperJoe seeds.

 

PepperLover

Bhut Jolokia

Charleston - Got this as part of a freebie portion from an SFRB from PepperLover.  This one of my favorites for mincing fresh.  If you like cayenne flavor this is a good pepper to try. 

Devil's Tongue -  Wish I also kept some seed for Fatallii too.  I found Devil's Tongue was so similar, why grow both. In retrospect I would have liked to see if there was any difference while raising them.

 

PepperJoe

Atomic Starfish

Carribean Blend 

Early Jalapeno

Jamacian Red - I had a carribean red habenero pod that I loved (and wish I'd kept the seeds for).  It didn't have that "hab" flavor.  PepperJoe's seed naming isn't very consistant.  I'm hoping this is similar if not the same exact thing. 

Lemon Drop - A favorite of THP.  I have never had it so I thought I'd try it.  I have tried an ajii pineapple.  It was OK, but I did get the "soapy" taste.  I'm hoping this doesn't happen with the lemon drops.

Mulato Isleno-  Free seed from PepperJoe

Paper Lantern 

Scotch Bonnet

Prik Chi Faa (Thai) - Free seed from PepperJoe

 

Home Depot

Fresno

 

Nursery

Poblano

 

All seeds were soaked on 12/29/13 - I waited to make this glog until I knew I had more than just warm dirt pictures.  I know I started plants like Jalapenos and Fresnos extremely early.  They are test subjects.  I have more seed I might start later.  These will probably be ejected from the tent and into the cold window later and topped.

 

IMG_20131229_135810.jpg

 

 

My setup - Got a 4ft 4 bulb T5HO Vivagrow off of ebay for $80 shipped thanks to a link here on THP.  My original budget for a light was $160.  Since I had a lot left in my budget, I also picked up a grow tent I picked up for $80.  I'm glad I did.  It works much better for my space in the house.

 

This is set up in a "dining" room that I do not own furniture for.  This room stays between 50F and 60F during the winter.  Many people are battling heat in their tents, the tent should hopefully help me gain temperature I actually need. 

 

Light raised for photo purposes only. 

 

IMG_20140104_113231.jpg

 

 

I placed the dome on, placed a heat mat under the tray, and wrapped the seed tray in a blanket to get the temperature up.  I have a thermostat probe in the dirt to help monitor the temp.  Without the blanket I could not get it above 75F.  With the blanket I pushed the temp up to 85F.

 

 

Seed Tray up close (1/4/14)  - Less than 7 days since I started soaking I already have some peaking their heads out!

 

IMG_20140104_111843.jpg

 

 

Even closer on the Scotch Bonnet and the Paper Lanterns

 

IMG_20140104_111855.jpg

 

 

My Seed Tray Layout - Yellow means germination as of 1/4/14

 

Pepper%20Germination%202014-01-04%20at%2

 

 

Over Winter - Brought one plant in this year to save it from the peril of the frost.  It the first pepper plant I ever bought, an orange habanero from Home Depot.  I could not find any hot peppers (but I did grow a lot of less hot peppers) from any local nurseries.  Even Home Depot had only this ONE plant.  It is a rescue plant.  The only reason it was left behind was because it was in terrible condition.  It was snapped and left behind to die.  Out of desperation I purchased it anyway.  I nursed it back to health, but it did not ripen before the season ended.  I did finish off the pods inside with great success by just placing it next to a window.

 

IMG_20140104_113251.jpg

 

I did not care for the taste of the pods.  But since it is my first plant and I love hab hot sauces I'll give it another go. 

 

Since I do not care much for the plant, I'm ok if it dies during mistreatment.  Due to conventional THP wisdom, since I don't care about it, it will probably grow to be a monster. 

 

It has always been growing in a container on an outside porch.  Since I do not care for the plant, I went against the grain and did not trim leaves or stems and instead up-potted the plant for the winter.  I stripped the ripe pods only on Xmas. 

 

It is in the same 50F to 60F dining room.  It is only getting light from the window.  Two months with no bugs and all of a sudden I was battling fungus knats and aphids.  I think it got unusually warm a week here when I watered from the top and that spurred them on. Watering only with bulb and allowing the top to dry out has severly but a damper on that.  I've also misted the plant with water and dish washing detergent which I believe really helped with the aphids.

 

Its not vibrant, but its not dead.  I would like to keep it in a dormant state until plant out.

 

 

 

My patio today (1/4/14) where I hope these plants will eventually end up.  I have a raised bed (see background of picture on left) where I'll buy nursery plants.  I llike the idea of the plants on the patio because I enjoy watching them grow.  They were too removed in the back of the yard last year. 

 

It is currently -7F here and I'm trying to raise tropical plants.

 

IMG_20140104_113938.jpg

 

 

Thanks for your help and for stopping in!


Edited by Northeast, 04 January 2014 - 04:17 PM.


#2 JJJessee

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:46 PM

Welcome and Congrats on taking the plunge and the new pops!

 

Critical thing now: keep their heads about 2" from the light. don't over water, and enjoy the trip.


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#3 CAPCOM

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

Deer may be a problem come time to move them outside. but good luck with your start.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#4 Northeast

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

Deer may be a problem come time to move them outside. but good luck with your start.

 

 

I have a lot of deer.  The raised bed has a cage around it and kept all crittters out last year. At least one of each type will go in there.

 

I had a few pepper plants on the patio last year, nothing got to them either.  But, I have a row of arborvitaes that is apparently an all-you-can-eat buffet for them directly to the right of the patio.  The deer don't touch the arborvitaes during the summer, but during the winter the arborvitaes are gonners.  Maybe they are too full from the arborvitaes to snack on anything else?

 

Anybody else have a problem with deer touching their peppers?

 

 

Edit for pic of cage I built out of PVC

teqsCC7.jpg


Edited by Northeast, 04 January 2014 - 03:29 PM.


#5 CAPCOM

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:47 PM

 

 

I have a lot of deer.  The raised bed has a cage around it and kept all crittters out last year. At least one of each type will go in there.

 

I had a few pepper plants on the patio last year, nothing got to them either.  But, I have a row of arborvitaes that is apparently an all-you-can-eat buffet for them directly to the right of the patio.  The deer don't touch the arborvitaes during the summer, but during the winter the arborvitaes are gonners.  Maybe they are too full from the arborvitaes to snack on anything else?

 

Anybody else have a problem with deer touching their peppers?

Good planning.   NO, no deer problems, the deer wouldn't dare :twisted: ,  Ask the squirrels

 

Biggest problem here is squirrels. They like to dig into the potted plants disrupting root systems, tipping them over and tearing off branches.

 

My biggest pending problem right now is aphids. They came in with OW and have exploded to epidemic proportions, and no ladybugs.


Rev 22:17..............CHILI-CON / CHILE-CON is IMMINENT

 


#6 stickman

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

Hi GL, and welcome from the Connecticut River valley up near the Vermont border. It looks like you've got some good experience under your belt if you were able to get a broken, neglected Orange Hab back to the shape you pictured. Everything you've shown looks good to me, I'd say keep on like you're doing for the most part. You found out about bottom watering with the Fungus Gnat issue, and about thoroughly cleaning the plants you bring inside to over-winter in the absence of friendly insects to groom them. If you want to nuke the little bastiges the first time I'd recommend pyrethrin, which you can get in a pump-spray bottle at any garden supply shop for around $8. It's an organic contact poison derived from a variety of Daisy. It oxidizes into harmless components overnight, and if you thoroughly cover all of your OW plants, including underneath the leaves, it should take care of the problem before it becomes a major headache. Deer have never been an issue for me... maybe there's not enough cover for them where I have my garden? Good luck in 2014!


Edited by stickman, 04 January 2014 - 05:17 PM.

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#7 Northeast

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:08 PM

HP22BH:

 

Oddly I have never seen a squirrel in my yard yet (been here for 2 years).  There are definately squirrels all over this area, but very very odd I've never seen one on my property yet.  Of course I say this now and this year will then become the year of the squirrel

 

 

stickman:

 

Hello from the SE of MA near the RI border.  Thanks for the tip.  I will definately take a look at that if my aphid problem rises up again.  The washing severly took them down.   2 Days ago I found a lady bug hanging out in my TV room.  I moved him over to the plant.  He has stuck around and I think he is even happier than the deer are with my arborvitaes right now.

 



#8 Devv

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:15 PM

Looking good from my house Northeast!

 

Good luck this season


It's all about the pods....


#9 stickman

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:20 PM

stickman:

 

Hello from the SE of MA near the RI border.  Thanks for the tip.  I will definately take a look at that if my aphid problem rises up again.  The washing severly took them down.   2 Days ago I found a lady bug hanging out in my TV room.  I moved him over to the plant.  He has stuck around and I think he is even happier than the deer are with my arborvitaes right now.

 

Well shoot... if you've got friendlies on the perimeter, you're golden. :)  Carry on...


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#10 Northeast

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:32 PM

Question for anybody out there:  What is the optimal temperature for inside the grow tent? 

 

Despite being about 55F in the room, the soil temp probe is at 90F in the soil and about 88F ambient air temp on the floor of the tent.  The heat mat does not even turn on.  I am wondering if I should vent a little more to keep the top cooler and allow the heat come more from the heat mat bottom.



#11 Penny

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:34 PM

Great set up you have there, and Welcome too. :dance:



#12 stickman

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:48 PM

Question for anybody out there:  What is the optimal temperature for inside the grow tent? 

 

Despite being about 55F in the room, the soil temp probe is at 90F in the soil and about 88F ambient air temp on the floor of the tent.  The heat mat does not even turn on.  I am wondering if I should vent a little more to keep the top cooler and allow the heat come more from the heat mat bottom.

You might want to introduce a fan into your grow tent at this point. It doesn't have to run constantly, but it'll keep the incidence of mold down and together with the strong light will strengthen the seedlings by keeping the internodal distance short and give them a more compact habit. It'll also cool the inside of the tent down somewhat... one more factor to juggle... ;)


Edited by stickman, 04 January 2014 - 06:48 PM.

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#13 Northeast

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:07 PM

You might want to introduce a fan into your grow tent at this point. It doesn't have to run constantly, but it'll keep the incidence of mold down and together with the strong light will strengthen the seedlings by keeping the internodal distance short and give them a more compact habit. It'll also cool the inside of the tent down somewhat... one more factor to juggle... ;)

 

I've got a clip fan on a separate timer that just hasn't been set up yet.  How long a day do you recommend to run a fan?



#14 stickman

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:11 PM

I'm not sure how much air your fan pushes, but I have a little 3-inch muffin fan that I run on alternating days.


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#15 Northeast

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:25 PM

I'm not sure how much air your fan pushes, but I have a little 3-inch muffin fan that I run on alternating days.

 

 

6 inch fan.  I wish I actually had a smaller one for now.  It will run fine on low.  But, it is a little big to fit under the light right now without some adjusting to the setup. 



#16 Devv

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:33 PM

I guess I'm brave, I run a box fan on low 3.5' from the grow station, 24x7. It just moves them some. Now like today in the wind 20% are leaning North...

 

I like 80°

 

Trade ya squirrels for deer, I want to make some sausage ;)


It's all about the pods....


#17 stickman

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:19 AM

Trade ya squirrels for deer, I want to make some sausage ;)

 

We've got plenty of squirrels too Scott... So many people are against hunting up here, especially in the heavily developed areas, that the Deer population is too crowded and Tick infestation is a real problem. Bow hunting is the least intrusive to nearby landowners and doesn't require a firearms ID card to own and shoot so it's the most popular, but even in the places where the population density would allow for it, rifles aren't allowed unless they're muzzle-loaders. If you were to come up here during the season I have no doubt you'd fill your tags most rikki tik!


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#18 Northeast

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 03:00 PM

Its been a long time since I've been back to this thread.  I've been following thehotpepper during the whole grow season.  I've been without a computer for a bit (so posting wasn't easy), but I browse on my phone. 

 

I want to thank the community for helping me out through my first grow from seed.  I've learned a lot this season.

 

Below is my adventure in trying to grow peppers on a patio in fabric containers.

 

 

I thought I'd give an update to where I am now.  I don't have any pictures for the spring indoor growing.  I was plagued by aphids for a good month and a half.  I thought my grow season was done for.  The plants were not growing and were starting not to thrive.  Almost all leaves were gone on all of the plants.  As a last attempt to battle the aphids (or at least one last F U to them), I unleashed a swarm of mail order lady bugs.  They were INCREDIBLE!.  The infestation was completely wiped out in a few days.  The plants did a 180 and started to grow.....rapidly. 

 

That takes me to here.  Link to album of outside grow ---->  http://imgur.com/a/j2IYO

 

I've learned a lot of lessons from this year.  I moved outside plants at different times, used different fertilization and water methods, and pruned differently on plants to see what worked best.  Since there was an aphid problem that suspended a growing the growing period but timing still worked out. Next year I am going to start later in February and get them into larger pots much much quicker.  The plants I kept in a 4 inch pots for just a few extra weeks stayed healthy, but did not come close to the sizes of the pepper plants that were potted up sooner. 

 

And one last problem to tackle:

 

7FfXXXk.png

 

 

Any suggestions on how to best to support plants in 5 gallon fabric pots?



#19 Devv

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 04:34 PM

I use old arrows...LOL but bamboo will suit your needs. Needing to support the limbs is a good problem!


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#20 stickman

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 05:45 PM

Welcome back! It looks like you did pretty well for a first year of growing hots. :)  I've got drippers going in my air-pruning pots as well... it really made all the difference this summer. Cheers!


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