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NECM 2018 Topped & Not Topped Glog

Topping

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#1 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 12:00 PM

`

To top, or not to top, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler snipped and suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous growth,
Or to take arms against a sea of questions
And by leaving them. To dieto sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The quandary and not the thousand unnatural shock
That topping is heir to: 'tis a debate to settle


So I didn't have much of a plan for this season as I use mostly powder and my '15 harvest is still keeping my grinders full. After reading The Great "Evidence for Topping (or not)" Thread I was perusing the Bonnie pepper plants @ Home Depot and found two trays of Red Ghost Pepper and said to myself, "Self, it's a sign from The Pepper Gods!"...


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So let's get started... Of those two trays the one on the left had seven plants that were very similiar in size and vigor and six came home with me for this glog.

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So I topped three & of course left three.

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I rejuvinated six of my 5gal. pots by weeding, breaking the top six inches loose and adding new media - compost - perlite and mixing it in with that top six inches.

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Plant markers and plants - cut the peat pot back - put them in their home for the next four months.

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Topped in the tan pails and non-topped in green.

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More to follow! NECM

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


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#2 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 12:03 PM

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Amazing how quickly they yellowed, like a week & a half, because it rained & I never added nutes because of this...

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But obvious the difference between them.

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See the buds in 3rd pic?

And after a month the difference in growth pattern between the two very obvious.....

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I'm sure you can tell which are topped & the "not" topped in above... A little more difficult to see is the un-topped with flowers and the topped with new growth but no buds.

 
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More to follow! NECM


Edited by The_NorthEast_ChileMan, 14 July 2018 - 12:06 PM.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#3 Edmick

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 12:36 PM

Did those Bonnie ghosts have more then one plant inthe nursery pot? I bought a couple Bonnie ghosts and each had 4-5 in each.

#4 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:30 PM

Did those Bonnie ghosts have more then one plant inthe nursery pot? I bought a couple Bonnie ghosts and each had 4-5 in each.

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Nope, one each. I even took a pic of each one so here ya go!

 

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#5 luvmesump3pp3rz

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 09:35 PM

great thread. i will follow to see how it turns out. i asked this question about topping earlier this year and decided not to top and let nature take it`s course. i`m also in the northeast so i know what our grow season is like. i`m interested to see how many pods you get from the topped plants compared to un-topped. 



#6 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 07:50 AM

Here's this weeks update....

We had an unbelievable week long weather of bright sunshine with daytime temps in the mid 80's to low 90's and the plants loved it! Growth was phenomenal and the surprise was the topped plants are catching up to the untopped.

 

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The major difference is the topped are just starting to bud and the untopped have flowers transitioning to pods. I know it's tough to see it in these pix so you'll have to trust me until the difference becomes more obvious at a later date. You'll also note the topped plant has a very packed growth pattern at the crown with a few buds  compared to the more open growth pattern with a flower or two visible.

 

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`


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#7 Walchit

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 08:28 AM

Your grass is almost as tall as mine lol. I also have a patch of 8 foot tall weeds though lol

#8 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 07:18 AM

`
I forgot to mention I use Dyna-Gro Grow formula, I have had great success with this nute.

 

So here's the latest pix and you'll note I did comparison shots because the topped plants are now compatible with the non-topped. There appears to be a runt as one of the non-topped, last pic, is not as tall as the other two and shorter than all three of the topped.

 

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`


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#9 alkhall

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 07:29 AM

Look similar in height, but the ones in the green buckets look bushier.


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#10 Chilidude

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 07:36 AM

Topped ones for the win, i always top my chilis and will continue to do so every season. Topping might slow down the growing for a while, but they always come back with a vengeance.


Edited by Chilidude, 28 July 2018 - 07:38 AM.


#11 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 08:18 AM

Look similar in height, but the ones in the green buckets look bushier.


Topped in the tan pails and non-topped in green.


So isn't that a kick in the pants to the theory that topping pepper plants causes them to "bush out"? 
 

is topping recommended as a routine thing and beneficial to make them bush out? i have seen youtube videos recommending it but don`t want to do it unless i`m sure it will increase my harvest.

`

Everybody tops a little difference but one thing remains the same, it's hard to kill the plant and they only get that bushy look when it's done.


Of course this is one grow of one variety of one pepper species under one growing condition and one type of nutrient and the ultimate goal is the final comparison of peppers produced.
 

I presume the goal of the experiment is to determine which (topped vs. not) produces the most pods, or the biggest pods, or what?

 

yep

 
A quick edit.... I forgot to mention I am not doing anything else to these plants, meaning I'm not thinning side shoots as I've read of others that do. This is a "top the plant - or not" grow with Mother Nature & nutes doing everything else.

 

`


Edited by The_NorthEast_ChileMan, 29 July 2018 - 08:39 AM.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#12 CaneDog

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 01:56 PM

Each style looks bushy, but in a different way.  Perhaps most importantly, they look happy and healthy under either treatment.  Will be interesting to see how the production differs in timing and volume.  I've topped a lot of nagas - especially when they're going to spend much time under lights - and had great results.  Also had great results with the more outdoor ones I didn't top.  Never done a side-by-side though.  Think I'll stay tuned and see how this proves out.



#13 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:00 PM

Will be interesting to see how the production differs in timing and volume.  I've topped a lot of nagas - especially when they're going to spend much time under lights - and had great results.  Also had great results with the more outdoor ones I didn't top.  Never done a side-by-side though.  Think I'll stay tuned and see how this proves out.


This weeks update. An addendum to my growing in 6a, with an average first frost date of Lawrence/Lowell being late Sept. - mid Oct., I start pinching flowers/buds mid-September as these will never reach maturity.

OK so these group pix are in the same order as last post but with details in 2 X 2 posting. In other words, 1st pic is of the pair, next 2 pix are of not topped & 2nd pair pix of topped. You'll note the consistency of 1st two pix having pods, not topped, & the 2nd two pix, topped, just flowers. My observation at this point is the non topped plants have further along fruit but less buds than non topped. No I did not count either, the count will be ripe fruit at seasons end.

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`So what I tried to capture in the four pix that follow the plant pix is the 1st two have pods, non topped plant, & the 2nd two, topped plant, have a lot more flowers but no pods yet.....

 

`

 

 


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#14 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:29 AM

`
So did anybody notice the difference in the July 28th comparison pix with the Aug. 5th?
 

So here's the latest pix and you'll note I did comparison shots because the topped plants are now compatible with the non-topped. There appears to be a runt as one of the non-topped, last pic, is not as tall as the other two and shorter than all three of the topped.

`

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That's right, the topped plants clearly taller than not topped (In the bottom pic the not topped was shorter in July 28.)

 

`
 


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#15 Chilidude

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:43 AM

But the non topped one have pods and the topped plant doesnt have pods, right?



#16 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:26 PM

But the non topped one have pods and the topped plant doesnt have pods, right?

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That is correct, and the topped still don't have pods.... 

 

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`


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#17 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 11:40 AM

`
A few things have changed since the update on the 10th....
 
#1 is New England weather, as Mark Twain reported our ever changing weather patterns has made watering with nutes difficult as the media has remained saturated because of a few heavy downpours every few days. My usual watering schedule is to wait for the pail to feel "light" then saturate it with 1/4 to 1/3 recommended fert dosage. I read here recently someone posted they wet the media 1st then add fert infused water, was starting to consider this option.
 
#2 is all plants starting to yellow a bit because of this but weather is suppose to be relatively hot & dry this week so they'll get their nutes by weeks end. I don't have an issue with this as I know they'll improve once they get them but I will look into a different slow release fert going forward as the one I used (Osmocote) in 2015 not performing as I'd like.

#3 is production, 7 - 10 fruit on the three non-topped & 3 - 5 on the topped. So the topped starting to show some life in pod production but still behind the non-topped as they should considering how much later the topped starting putting out flowers. 

#4 is growth pattern, both horizontal and vertical, seems to have ended. Never having grown this species before I am not familiar with it's growth patterns but assume this is max/normal. Will try to check height with yardstick for the remainder of season but no promises.
 
Having posted above, here's the pix!
 
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Oh, and the first ripening pod.... On a non-topped plant of course!

 

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Edited by The_NorthEast_ChileMan, 26 August 2018 - 08:34 AM.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 


#18 timegoat

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 03:30 PM

Osmocote has only barely worked for me in past years as well. At best it's merely better than nothing. I can't say I planned it, but this year a ~1/2" top dressing of homemade compost has done wonders with our rain. Seems to be acting like a good slow release fertilizer. Our 'recipe' is 1 part kitchen waste (mostly coffee grounds, egg shells, random leaves from cabbage, carrot and potato peels, the usual, etc..), 2 parts shredded leaves, and a Yimby Forest City tumbler. I know it's too late for this season, and the rains have finally seemed to let up, but it's been working for me very well this year. Since we northerners never know what to expect rain wise I plan on making it my standard operating procedure.

 

Your plants seem to have handled the deluge very well, and that's nice to see.


Edited by timegoat, 25 August 2018 - 03:31 PM.

Note to self: Don't panic till August.


#19 CaneDog

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 07:45 PM

Great to see color coming in on your non-topped pods.  Mine just started turning recently as well and Nagas are a good looking pepper through the ripening process.  Hopefully you have plenty of season left for the topped plants to come through too. 

 

Did you notice a difference in flower production between topped and non-topped?  I get that the non-topped are out ahead in set pods and on the ripening timeline, but I'm curious if you're seeing the potential for greater production levels in the topped given more time.



#20 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 01:16 PM

`

Osmocote has only barely worked for me in past years as well. At best it's merely better than nothing. I can't say I planned it, but this year a ~1/2" top dressing of homemade compost has done wonders with our rain. Seems to be acting like a good slow release fertilizer. Our 'recipe' is 1 part kitchen waste (mostly coffee grounds, egg shells, random leaves from cabbage, carrot and potato peels, the usual, etc..), 2 parts shredded leaves, and a Yimby Forest City tumbler. I know it's too late for this season, and the rains have finally seemed to let up, but it's been working for me very well this year. Since we northerners never know what to expect rain wise I plan on making it my standard operating procedure.
 
Your plants seem to have handled the deluge very well, and that's nice to see.


We'll talk about the Osmocote vs homemade compost at another time. As for the almost constant deluges last week I noticed plants yellowing and extreme flower drop.
`

Great to see color coming in on your non-topped pods.  Mine just started turning recently as well and Nagas are a good looking pepper through the ripening process.  Hopefully you have plenty of season left for the topped plants to come through too. 
 
Did you notice a difference in flower production between topped and non-topped?  I get that the non-topped are out ahead in set pods and on the ripening timeline, but I'm curious if you're seeing the potential for greater production levels in the topped given more time.

`
Lots of red in this weeks update, non-topped & topped.... See pix below... As far as flower production I thought the topped plants were way ahead in this regard but the deluge mentioned above seems to have croaked almost all of them on both topped and non-topped.

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein 






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