Well the least said about the 2013-2014 season from my point of view the better. Broad Mites took a heavy toll and things just never got a start or a roll on .... I was at fault in some part by trying to grow too many plants in too small pots (a lesson I was yet to heed after 2-3 seasons), I tried to cheap on amendments just using a commercial potting mix ... never again ... and I didn't love them enough ... (I don't think I ever do although my wife disagrees )
I had some great varieties started but most I never got a single pod from, due to being in a constant flux of recovery and attack from Broad mites ... I will be holding onto a select few plants and putting them on my other balcony where I had success transplanting some other plants midway through last season ... less direct light and more weather and terracotta pots and a slightly different soil mix all added up to some semblance of harvest and my best ever harvest from my Pimenta De Neyde (confirming my thoughts that it (my particular plant) does not like the heat and full sun I had been affording it in the past 2 seasons.
However my main balcony will be wiped clean from this season (including being cleaned down to get rid of the pain in the ass mites and aphids) all pots removed and existing trays cleaned with bleach in the bathroom.
No more plastic pots will be used ... I have already purchased 10 x 10 gallon (37.85 litre) Fabric pots (got them for less then I could make them in the end) brand new with handles for shifting a little if needed although sounds like back trouble if I do it too much
This will give the root zones an additional 27.85 litres of space compared with last season and keep the roots cooler and give the benefit of air pruning ... an all round win!!
I will also be using a 25% Mushroom Compost, 25% Perlite, 25% Coir, and 15% Organic Potting mix and 5-7% Sheep Manure/Worm Castings/Rock Dust/ and the remainder a mulch yet to be determined (possibly pine bark or hardwood chips) ... But please post comments on what you think might be a good soil mix if you see some glaring omissions from my recipe.
I will also be companion planting with a couple of basil plants per plant along with a petunia or geranium added to the mix to hopefully boost some beneficial's in the garden and give the chillis some respite from the pest hordes.
I already have some plants started/stunted from late last season that I have been trying to hold off from going out to get infested before I can get rid of the mites and also have a bunch of varieties that I have in the heated propagator germinating at the moment (have been down 8 days and have 2 varieties hooked , Chocolate Habanero and Yellow Bhut x Primo f3 (seeds saved from my sole pod last season from Jungle Rains Yellow Bhut x Primo f2 seed)
I will disclose a full list of 10 plants I will be growing in the fabric pots (seriously no more) and the few that will go to the other balcony either because I need them for seed saving or because they are plants I would like to grow again but don't want to commit to starting again.
I also have a bunch of seeds started with the view to gifting them to a couple of people.
I am looking forward to the steep challenge this season ... I just want some kick ass plants and pods ... I can't promise that but I will try ...
Just read over my 2013-2014 glog and the first few pages started much the same as this one ... grandiose Ideas ... new starts... changes ... blah blah blah ... talk is cheap it would seem ... but the difference is this season I already have part of the set up purchased and a disaster behind me to spur me to change everything .... haha ... check out post #370 on last seasons glog ... this year is the year ...
Edited by Trippa, 09 July 2014 - 08:15 AM.