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MR2Jay's 2017 UK Heat Adventure


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#21 MR2Jay77

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 05:19 AM

Thanks Paul, fingers crossed it all goes to plan. Trying my best to do things right this year :)

Had my design head on this morning, developing a frame to hang some lighting above these plants when they decide to show their heads.

Decided to use 20mm PVC electrical trunking as the material to build this, ordering 6x1500mm lengths along with bends and tees. The beauty of this system is that despite being very lightweight, its extremely easy to put together and everything is slip joints.

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This is my design which is purposefully designed to fit on the chest of drawers I'm using as a growing bed. :)

I toyed with the idea of using a Sylvanna Gro-Lux tube that I have here but when I examined the colour temperature, it was far closer to the red spectrum than the blue. Now, while reds are brilliant for encouraging flowering and fruit, to encourage foliage, the blue spectrum is more suited. So I have now ordered a T8 LED tube with a colour temperature of 6400k. This brings is far closer to the blue end of the scale and should encourage bushyness in the plants :)

The tube will be supported by chains from the top cross members, secured by drilling through the reflector and pipe, passing the chain throuth the hole and pushing a small metal bar through the links. This will give me flexibility, allowing me to raise or lower the tube when needed.

In other news, I'm now on the waiting list for an allotment so I can take this up a notch. The one I have gone for has the shortest waiting list in the town, with a maximum wait of 12 months for the longest so I'm hopeful I'll be able to land a plot this year :)


Edited by MR2Jay77, 11 January 2017 - 05:20 AM.


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#22 Mitzi

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:11 AM

Good luck with your grow!



#23 NeedsWork

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:35 AM

Decided to use 20mm PVC electrical trunking as the material to build this, ordering 6x1500mm lengths along with bends and tees. The beauty of this system is that despite being very lightweight, its extremely easy to put together and everything is slip joints.

In other news, I'm now on the waiting list for an allotment so I can take this up a notch. The one I have gone for has the shortest waiting list in the town, with a maximum wait of 12 months for the longest so I'm hopeful I'll be able to land a plot this year :)

 

Cool setup!  Are you planning to run all of the cords through the inside of the trunking?  That would make for a really neat and clean setup.  

 

I just started reading about allotments this year.  I wondered what they were while taking a train out of Zürich.  I thought "those houses seem awfully small to live in"  ... now I realize they were sheds.  :D  It seems like a great program.  Once you get an allotment, is it easier to get the same plot next season?  



#24 MR2Jay77

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:28 AM

I'd love to run the cables in the conduit NeedsWork - Unfortunattely I won't be able to pass the T8 connectors through the conduit. I'll have to settle with cable ties I think to keep it all tidy :)

 

Allotments are a case of once you have one, you have it until you are either evicted for not looking after the land or you choose to vacate....So even if it's too late this year, next year I'll be ready to go :)



#25 MR2Jay77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 02:03 AM

I've been monitoring the temperature of the soil and I've not been 100% happy with the numbers. Like an idiot (considering my job) I assumed that the air temperature alone would be enough to raise the temperature of the soil to a good base level evenly in the room, with the heated propagator doing the rest of the work.

As a result, I've been watching the temperature bounce around all over the place in the soil, settling on an average of around 21°C. While technically this will be warm enough to germinate seeds, it's at the very bottom end of the scale.

So I've had a bit of a rethink. I have a very crude table I built last year as a platform for a steering wheel for my Playstation. Now, I've never been overly happy with it as it's not exactly fit for purpose but its a great platform to grow seeds on. I've now moved this in front of the radiator in the room, where the temperature probe is showing a constant ambient air temperature of 22°C as opposed to 17.5°C where it was located before. This should allow the heated propagator to bring the soil temp up to a constant 26°C or there abouts.

I've got the probe in the soil to monitor the temperature but this should bring a far more consistent soil temp.

I've also lifted the lids on each pod of the propagator. I was starting to get concerned about the moisture as the pellets too a load of water to expand. As much as they need water to grow, I'm not sure I want them in a sauna!

I'll check it tonight when I get back from work, hopefully I'll have all the conduit to build my light stand as well :)

#26 MR2Jay77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:42 AM

Ah Pants - This is addictive....

Just bought more seeds

Aji Limon
Chocolate Habanero
Santa Fe Grande
Ring Of Fire
Thai Hot

All bought from South Devon Chilli farm (Used them before for seeds)

Time to have a bit of a think about how I'm going to grow this lot


Edited by MR2Jay77, 12 January 2017 - 09:43 AM.


#27 karoo

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 10:03 AM

Good luck!

The allotment waitinglist sounds interesting, how does that work and what do you get?


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#28 MR2Jay77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 10:08 AM

OK, with an allotment (in the case of where I am), you are effectively renting a plot of land off the council to grow your own fruit and vegetables. You are responsible for that patch of land, from the maintenance and upkeep right through to what you grow on there.

Land is rented by the pole (which I have no idea what means) but a standard 10 pole plot is roughly 240sq metres. That costs £32.00 for the entire year.(530 Rand)

As you can imagine, demand is high for these plots of land but once you are in, you then have it for as long as you want it



#29 PaulG

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 02:34 PM

Like your light stand design, should work great.

 

Have you thought of using T5HO bulbs rather than T8?

I switched to the T5HO a couple of years ago, and have 

glad - they really put out the lumens!


Every Pod a Victory!  2017 germination summary


#30 MR2Jay77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 03:01 PM

Had considered it but a lot of it is down to cost. I have the reflector and the very expensive controller for T8 here already so I'll stick with that for now. Beauty of the stand design is that it can easily be adapted to suit whatever lighting I want :)

 

Speaking of design, it's no longer just a design. I had all the materials arrive to build the stand today so cracked on and got it built. I didn't put dimensions on my design on purpose as I am building it to suit the stand itself.

 

First stage was to lay down the corners and measure the length of the first pipes

 

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I then cut and secured the bottom edge pieces, along with the 2 ends to make the bottom frame

 

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Now I purposefully made it slightly bigger so I could maximise the space underneat the lamp. I have some other plants I am bringing on so want the maximum benefit from the artificial light

 

Next stage was the side risers. Now, I have made these quite tall as I want to be able to hang the lamp on chains and give maximum scope to raise or lower the lamp as I see fit

 

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Once both risers were in place, I measured and cut the remaining connectors.

 

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Its a little off true but that doesn't actually matter that much. It's there and stable and will easily hold the weight of a single T8 tube

 

Final job was a little bit of toddler proofing. I drilled and screwed the corners, securing the frame to the grow  table :)

 

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Hopefully the chain and new tube should arrive tomorrow and it's all ready to rock and roll before I have any little peepers showing :)



#31 PaulG

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 04:21 PM

Well done, James!

 

Can't wait to see it in action   :clap:


Every Pod a Victory!  2017 germination summary


#32 MR2Jay77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 04:55 PM

Thanks Paul :)

 

Far happier with the temperatures now. Reading a steady 25.3 degrees C :) That is much more like it



#33 MR2Jay77

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:08 AM

OK, thinking outside the box here for a minute, thinking ahead to the next stage, potting on and bringing on the plants. Bear with me, I'm almost thinking out loud here ;)

Now, the propagator isn't big enough to carry all of these plants through the next stage, it's designed to germinate the seeds and get the process underway. That said, it's also very possible to fit a LOT more on that table.

Trays come in standard sizes so that's no good... However, I need something I can retain water in to stop the inevitable leaking on to the floor, into the wood etc.

How about getting a cheap pond liner, cutting it to size and laying it over the edge of the light rail? I could then secure it back to the table, almost forming a 10mm deep pond for the want of a better phrase. I could then lay capillary matting down on top of this and hey presto, I have a self contained seedling raising bed....

Any thoughts?

#34 MR2Jay77

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:47 PM

It's all coming together nicely  :dance:

Took an old reflector and modified it to suit a 600mm tube rather than the 750mm it is design for. Unfortunately the LED "System" I bought is a pile of poop and not suitable for the transformer I have here. Luckily, I suspected it may be the case so ordered a Phillips 6500k tube just in case. That should arrive early next week.

So, with careful drilling I was able to change the mounting points on the reflector to suit. I then drilled 2 addition holes at each end to fix the chain

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Once I had secured the chain, I then looped it over the frame and locked it inot place with a bolt. The beauty of this is I can then gradually move the entire tube mount up and down as I need. I've got it at the lowest setting right now

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Turns out it isn't a moment too soon....I've had my first little seedlings pop up  :party:

3 of the 4 Carolina Reapers have popped up and a Satan's kiss is just starting to show itself

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So, as a temporary measure, I have fitting a really short, 10W lamp to the reflector to get some light onto these new arrivals ASAP

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#35 PaulG

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 03:06 PM

Coming together nicely, JJ!  Sprouts are up, season is underway!


Every Pod a Victory!  2017 germination summary


#36 MR2Jay77

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 07:43 AM

Erm...had to relocate it today, made space in front of the only other internal radiator though so all good..... It was in the guest bedroom and the dear missus reminded me we have guests soon....oops

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Went and did a bit of shopping this morning. Bought some John Innes No1 for the next batch (which happened to arrive today) as I'm not overly happy with these pellets for chillies. The soil seems to have compressed really easily. Also bought a thing of John Innes No2 along with some 7.5cm pots ready to transplant them across when they are ready.

The Satan's Kiss haven't decided to sprout - I mistook something in the soil as a plant ;) However, the White Habenero seem to have made an appearance. Again, 3 plants out of the 4 and really strangely, it's exactly the same locations as the Reaper?

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So that's 6 plant's now started, plenty more to go. Had the seeds from South West Chilli Farms today ready for the second round....All go here eh?  :dance:


Edited by MR2Jay77, 14 January 2017 - 03:21 PM.


#37 MR2Jay77

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:45 AM

Hey All, time for a bit of an update.

Been struggling with coming up with a perfect solution to keep the seedlings moist without soaking them now they are exposed under a lighting tube. It's proved to be trickier than I had imagined.

Final solution has been to upturn a lid from an old storage box. I've placed capillary matting on this lid, dipping the edges into the natural trough formed around the edge. This allows me to fill the trough, relying on the matting to draw the water towards the pots.

End result, damp and not wet soil, even under the lamp. :)

Had great germination from my first batch in the Super 7 propagator. My plant count (out of 4) is.

1. Carolina Reaper (3/4)
2. White Habenero (4/4)
3. Naga Morich (2/4)
4. Satan's Kiss (2/4)
5. Long Cayenne (1/4)
6. Striped Bell peppers (4/4)
7. House Of Chilli Random Seed Mix (1/4)

I've now put on my second batch of seeds.....

1. Aji Limon
2. Ring Of Fire
3. Chocolate Habenero
4. Santa Fe Grande
5. Thai Hot

I'm also hoping that my longer tube arrives today. At the moment, I have a very short tube in there (10W) which has a colour temperature of around 4000K. While not perfect, it's better than nothing at all but an 18W tube at 6400K is going to be far better to encourage growth.



#38 MR2Jay77

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 02:28 AM

The matting is working REALLY well. Far happier about it now and can see no real need to spritz them either....

The Cayenne was a bit of a surprise, I really thought that would have been up first. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they have, it was more of an expectation vs reality moment.

I thought that any light is better than no light, hence why I've put this one on right away. It'll be better once the right frequency tube arrives (and its longer so I won't have to squeeze them all under) but I didn't want to run the risk of really leggy seedlings. I have to say, all of them are looking pretty healthy, a good green on all of them now :)

In other news, I picked the 2 ripe Habenero peppers I had on the plant last weekend. Used them in a chilli along with the powder I made from the last of the Purple Cayenne peppers. Tasted fantastic :) since doing so, the vegetation on the Habenero has exploded. There is so much new growth on there its incredible. On top of that, the Purple Cayenne I cut right back to a stick is now pushing new growth out of a couple of nodes. I'll get a pic later but I'm now certain it's trying to make a come back and hopefully this will encourage it to bush out a bit. I'm feeding both these plants a high nitrogen food to encourage leaf growth at the moment, trying to develop the plants for year 2.

Edited by MR2Jay77, 18 January 2017 - 02:30 AM.


#39 MR2Jay77

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:32 AM

Definite new growth on the Purple Cayenne now :dance:

 

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#40 MR2Jay77

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:41 PM

Finally had the new tube turn up. It a whiter light than the fish tank one I have been using but more importantly, it now gives off much more light

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Thought I'd share a few shots of the seedlings while I'm at it....I'm practicing with my DSLR for playing about with settings ;)

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