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Member Since 28 Jul 2016
Online Last Active Today, 09:08 PM

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Itīs gonna be a low of 48F tonight...Can i leave my līil chile plants outside??

Today, 06:30 PM

B/c i don´t wanna bring them in. Just a buncha little plants in solo cups, hardening off on my deck.  I was hoping to leave them out overnight and throughout the morning, and bring them in tomorrow around noon.  That would be my plan if the overnight temps stayed at 50F or above.


What´s the smart move here?  If I bring them in tonight, i won´t have time to bring them back out tomorrow until after noon....

Bike808 2018 GLOG

09 February 2018 - 09:37 PM

I am starting this GLOG now to kinda give myself a kick in the azz and make sure I document my grow this season. This will be my second real grow; I learned a whole lot last year, but I'm realizing that I still have much to learn and I still feel a bit of of my element.

The plan, this year, is to continue growing in beds at the Community Garden, and build up some beds in my yard as well. Last year, I grew on some bags at home, and two beds at the Community Garden. This year, in hoping to take over three needs at the Garden, and really expand on my garden infrastructure in my tiny yard. My wife has sort of caught the gardening bug, too, so I'll regrettably have to share space with her and her tomatoes and zucchinis and what not. Other than that, though, I think it's going to be a good year.

Some key differences I am planning this year, a compared to last year:
-starting earlier. Last year, I started my seeds on, like, frigging March. This year, is promised myself that I'd start in January, and I got pretty close, having started all of my chinense on February 7. I intend to start the annuums in a few weeks, once I have the chinense moved along.
-last year, I grew to much hot shit, which made it hard to share with friends and family, and for to be a little bit fierce for me, too. This year, I promised to not grow too many Super Hot varieties, and instead concentrate on Hab level and below chiles. Based on what I started so far, I've succeeded in growing more Hab and under chiles. But, I've still elected to grow way too many Supers and Hab plus stuff. Just can't help myself, I guess.
-last year, I feel like if wasted a lot of time and effort messing with jiffy pots and such. This year, I plan on going right from the paper towels to solo cups. I'm not there yet so, of that's a stupid idea, someone PLEASE tell me asap. FWIW, I experimented with a dead end sacrificial seedling in like August, and it seemed to work really well...
-last year, I didn't give my plants nearly enough room. I overloaded my needs, and used 5 gal fabric root pouches. As a result, the plants in the beds were a big jungle, completing with escorted for sunlight and making harvests difficult. My plants in the bags, I think, suffered from not having enough root space. And also from shitty soil (more on that later...) This year, I'm still likely to overcrowd the plants as compared to what is conventionally accepted as good spacing for chinense, but I'll be planting out at less than half the density as compared to last year. I'll also be moving up to 7gal pouches for all the excess plants that I don't have actual room for LOL.
-soil is giving me a headache. I'll be building a lot of new beds, plus a lot of fabric bags, so I'll need a good mix to get things going the proper way. I realise I'll need to decide a slightly different mix for the bags as compared to the beds. I'll be starting a separate thread, seeking advice on that, but of course if anyone wants to offer insights here, that'd be appreciated, too. I've been reading a lot on the subject but instead of getting clarity and confidence from the research. I'm just feeling more overwhelmed.
-Hardening off. Last year, with train and aphids and general overprotective parental instincts, I took far too long to harden these plants of, which really set my grow back significantly. So, I am resolving to get these things hardened of ASAFP this year.
-Last year, I had a run-in with aphids. Ultimately, i&i survived, and arguably triumphed, but I'm still feeling a bit gun-shy about those little vampiric pricks. I week like the hardening of process ended up saving me, as it introduced predators to who they azzes, but I suspect all that Neem oil helped too. But, basically, I reel bullied by aphids and I'm hoping to get some moral support about that as soon as possible.

I guess that's it for now. Sorry if that's all boring content. But, the main point of this initial post was to make some public resolutions so I can hopefully hold myself accountable and get things closer to "right" this time. Once i get home to my computer, I can link to my GLOG from last year, post up some pics, cut and paste my gross list, give shout outs to THP members who shared or traded seeds, etc. On just stick at work, and figured I'd set this thing of now, to get the GLOGball rolling.

Thanks for reading...

Orange Thai--- help me steer this thing

03 January 2018 - 10:40 PM

Do i wanna grow the large one or the small one??  I don´t care about the size of the pods at all; i´m just concerned about the flavor. Which one is the good one?


Muchas gracias.


Saving seed from dried pods

15 August 2017 - 05:23 PM

So, I´d read on the interwebs (not on THP, i don´t think, but on other forums/messageboards) that the seeds in dried pods tend to be destroyed by the drying process, which i fully believed without any skepticism, b/c in those days, I knew very little about chiles, and assumed that everyone else knew EVERYthing about´m.  Then, I happened upon this thread by Peter Stanley, who is apparently one of these guys who DOES know almost everything about chiles:



Well, that got me to thinking, which of course led to me experimenting, which in my experience is the quickest way to learn new shit. One of my jobs is at a cafe, where I go through buttloads of these cheap little dry red pods i get at the Pakistani-style market; I cannot tell if they´re Tien Tsins or Japones, I´m guessing the latter but who knows? Tien Tsin is the cooler name, and while I think i could easily tell one from the other if i had one of each, I really have no basis for comparison. The label just says ¨Chilli(sic) Whole¨... So, I been calling them Tien Tsin.... They´re red peppers, dried up and very cheap, and they have very little heat and arguably even less flavour.  I use them to make my Chile, Basil & Garlic Bagels (aka CBGBs) and the white women really like them.  


Anyway, I had kicked another plastic sack full of these ¨Tien Tsin¨ pods and was about to crack open another, and I noticed that the empty bag had a buttload of seeds that look just as good as the ones i buy from seed vendors.  So, I took´m home, wet up a paper towel, bagged´m up in a ziploc, and tossed it on top of the fridge. Result: 90%+ germ rate. I was enthused.


I made some bullshit beef chorizo out of some Guajillos a few weeks back. I´m calling it ¨bullshit¨ b/c i didn´t like use any casing and i didn´t hard-cure it or anything; I just whipped it up quick as a special for the cafe and for me to eat at home with eggs or on homemade pizza, but whatever.... it tasted delicious and i only let it cure for 24 hours.  The recipe called for Guajillos, which I love and they´re cheap and easily obtained, so I bought a sack of those at the mercado and had at it.  The recipe also suggested de-seeding the pods, which I did and of course i set a few aside and tried to germ them.  I got a pretty good germ-rate out of those, too.  Probably 80%?


Blurry photo of Guajillo sprouts... note that there are a few duds, but most sprouted


So, the other day, a THP member named arrgh posted bout Pasillas and I brought up Puyas and I realized that I like Puyas and I wanna make beef chorizo out of those, and see if those seeds were viable, too.  This time, for the sake of discussion, i figured I´d document it in a post, with some low-quality pictures and such.


My thoughts on this are kinda like, I can buy a pound of dry pods for $4 and get hundreds of seeds for ¨free.¨ And, while I have no way of knowing this, I suspect that these peppers come from commercial farms, where vast fields of a single variety are grown.... I´m thinking that the likelihood of unintended cross-pollination in the midst of a massive Puya plot is pretty small?  And, even if i´m wrong, we are talking about free seeds that come in a big, cheap bag of pods.


Big sac of Puyas.... 1 pound, hundreds of seeds.


Basically, Puyas can be described as turbo-Guajillos... same basic idea, but with more heat. At least, that´s how they tend to be regarded on the internet, but as i recall, there´s more to it than that.  Guajillos make me think of tobacco, whereas Puyas have a bit of a licorice vibe to them.  Other differences include size, color (to an extent, but both are pretty variable.  The Puyas tend more to dry brown with some reddishness, whereas the Guajillos dry to more red with some brownishness.)  


Guajillo on the left; Puya on the right.


The first thing I noticed while examining the Puyas was, the seeds looked shittier than the Guajillos' did.  I´ve worked with a lot of dried pods; of course Chipotle seeds are beyond destroyed, and I´ve found that Anchos, Mulatos, and Pasilla Negras tend to have some pretty roached-lookin´ seeds in them.  The Puyas in this particular bag had some seeds that looked a little skanky. 


Roachy Puya seeds on the left; viable Guajillo seeds in the blue dish on the right.


So, I dug around the bag a bit to find some more vibrant-looking Puya seeds.  I found a bunch, selected 10 of them, and gave´m the paper towel treatment to see how it goes.  I figure that, with ten, it´ll be really easy to calculate the germ rate, right?


Ten test-monkeys, ready to germinate..?


So, for the hand full of ppl who might have actually read this far, do you have any experiences, thoughts, or theories to starting seed from dry pods bought at the market?  Would you try it? I realize that none of these varieties i´m looking at are ¨rare¨ or ¨special,¨ but they can be hard to come by in fresh form, and you rarely see them offered on seed vendors´ lists.


I´ll be back to report on how these seeds did, in terms of germination.


Thanks for reading!

Harlequin Bugs and Community Garden etiquette.

28 July 2017 - 10:35 PM

So, I´m growing some plants at the local Community Garden and I was mortified by something I saw when I was checking my plot earlier today.  A lady is growing Kale in a bed right next to mine, and her kale plants were looking pretty grim, with all sorts of zombie symptoms, such as grey discoloration and wilting.  We´ve all seen the TV programs, right?


So, upon closer inspection, i noticed these shitty tiger-striped bugs all over her kale.  There were probably about a dozen or more within clear view; who knows how many more were lurking among the foliage?  Most of the ones in plain sight were joined at the azz, and were clearly banging one another.  I immediately panicked, and checked my plants for any sign of a similar infestation.  Fortunately, i saw none on my chiles, nor on my wife´s tomatoes...


Now, wanting to be neighborly, i went back to the kale thinking i smash those little scumbags for the other gardener, and for the better good of the Community Garden.  My wife said i ought not to; her line of reasoning was that we shouldn´t muss with another grower´s plot, and we might do more harm than good.  I suspect she was more concerned that I was going to plaster myself with bug guts before getting back in her car and heading to the gym, but i acquiesced, vowing to do some more research on the critters and the level of threat they represent.


Turns out, the tiger striped bugs are Harlequin Bugs, Murgantia histrionica.  These are a kind of stink bug, and they can be pretty brutal.  Apparently, they prefer to eff with  cruciferous vegetables, which might explain why they were mobbing her kale but leaving our nightshades well enough alone, but my research suggests that they WILL move onto the tomatoes and even the peppers once they´ve exhausted the kale. I´m panicking quite a bit about these things, now.


Example pic below; warning:  NSFW.



So, what do y´all think?  Should I have crushed the bugs I saw?  Would that be a step across some sort of line; is it a violation of gardening manners?  Personally, I be grateful if someone squished pests on my plants; further, i be thankful of anyone who worked to keep the entire Community safe from these things.  Should i go back and stomp´m tomorrow?  Or should I let the other grower deal with them herself, and worry about my plants if/when they migrate to my beds?


Thanks in advance for any advice or perspective.