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The 11th Annual Hot Pepper Awards - WINNERS ANNOUNCED!


Member Since 24 Jul 2017
Offline Last Active May 21 2018 11:10 PM

#1553986 Beneficial microbes and fungi solutions

Posted by thefish on 18 May 2018 - 05:02 PM



this product is better than all the grow shop stuff you can buy and you can amplify it if you want. plus they actually have scientific study to back up their claims (weird I know).


I can personally attest to this product in eliminating bacterial and fungal disease in my garden.


The secret is that you can use the product as a seed to passage more compost tea:



5% un-sulfured molasses

5-10% inocucor 

1% kelp extract (my modification)


the recipe is in the video. you can use beer brewing equipment to do an anaerobic fermentation down to pH 3.5 and then its ready to be applied.


the one thing that this guy doesn't add is kelp extract which after talking with the distributor is the carbon source for the microbes that the company actually uses.


Buy this:




and add it 1:10 to your fermentation vessel along with unsulfured molasses from the grocery store according to the vid in the recipe and some good quality water and you basically have unlimited microbes. you can amplify the concentrate 10-20 times and then the working concentration is somewhere between 1:80 (label) and 1:40 that means that if you buy 1L you have enough product to make hundreds of gallons innoculant. the guy in the video recommends adding a bit of regular innocucor to your final blend.


the avocado farmer in the video reduced fertilizer use by 30% and increased yield by 20%. 


The nice thing about using the commercial product is that you know exactly what you're getting from your tea as long as you keep your conditions consistent. You dont have that control when you make your own tea. Compost tea making is complicated and if you dont understand it well you're probably making a tea that is only giving you marginal benefits or even worse amplifying pathogens.


most traditional teas are aerobic because of the chance of amplifying pathogens. using this product as I have described will produce something that is SAFE. i do not recommend following traditional tea brewing methods and doing anaerobic fermentation- there isnt a lot known about it and what is known about it seems to suggest that you can create a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.



edits: some of the numbers were off the top of my head at work- edited to add recipe and other info



#1553849 Miracle Gro or Dyna Gro 7-9-5?

Posted by thefish on 17 May 2018 - 11:51 PM


It's absolutely for container plants. 


My humble advice on that matter, though...  Cut the dose down to 1/3 strength, and apply it exactly twice as often, for container plants.  

I don't know what the actual dosage is.  Let's assume that it's 1 Tbsp/gal for in-ground plants, and then let's assume that it's applied once every 6 weeks.  By my previous advice, I'd dose it at 1 tsp (1/3 of a Tbsp) per gallon, and I'd water it in every 2 weeks.


1/2 or 1/3 tsp 2x or 3x a week is what i do for my containers on the balcony all summer long. plants love it

#1553382 High drainage grow mix

Posted by thefish on 15 May 2018 - 09:53 PM

A local composting place has a peat free mix. They call it SLC Grower's Mix in bags or Peat Free Mix if bought in bulk. They claim several local greenhouses and nurseries use it. Well, at $6 for a 2 cubic feet bag i had to grab a couple. If nothing else it will be a good soil amendment for the ground plot.



40% aged pine fines

40% compost

20% rice hulls

a little fertilizer and pH buffer (starter charge they call it)


I filled a 7gal fabric pot with it. Added about 2cups of worm castings and a small handful of Alaska 4-6-6 fish and kelp pellets. Another smaller hard pot i used about the same mix but it also has a transplanted Vietnamese coriander with a good sized "ball" of Pro-Mx Ultimate still attached to the roots. I watered the snot out of it and it sure does drain fast. I filled the small hard pot until the saucer was full of water. That plant loves to stay wet.


I haven't moved a plant into the fabric pot yet. I want to see how damp it remains by around 3pm today...Roughly 24hrs since i filled it. I have a bale of Pro-Mix all purpose just in case. Im pretty certain a saucer will be a must for this mix once the temps climb. Its supposed to be around 90F today so i guess i will get a good idea.




this looks like a take on the famous gardenweb 5-1-1 mix. this mix will allow your plant to dry out faster and reduce perched water at the expense of having to water more often. if you can keep up and fertigate regularly but at a lower concentration you can achieve faster and better growth than a mix that takes longer to dry out and has more perched water.

#1553377 a year or more LED light experience?

Posted by thefish on 15 May 2018 - 09:39 PM

Yeah now that I've got my peppers outside I realize one 3590 wasn't cutting it. The peppers never got leggy so I thought it was okay, but they're exploding with growth now that they're outside. Maybe 2 3590s would be better, I also had my light fairly far away. Lesson learned, still highly recommend the 3590 cob


i've been running 2 cxb3590 at around 75% of their 90w max had to lower the dimmer to 60% because the light was too bright. there is additive effects to having multiple light sources in an area as it increases light uniformity and adds new angles for light to reach the plants. i've got a plumeria growing and blooming like gangbusters under my fixture with the peppers off to the side waiting for plant out.

#1553376 Miracle Gro or Dyna Gro 7-9-5?

Posted by thefish on 15 May 2018 - 09:35 PM

I must have read this a while back because I "liked" it. But I don't remember. I ended up ordering the foliage pro and am gonna grow in ground. I hope that'll still be ok.

Sorry for the hijack.


foliage pro will most likely be fine unless your soil pH is really high. there are a few ways to mineralize phosphorus once it gets sequestered by soil: more acidic pH, microbes or by adding excess phosphorus to mitigate the rate of phosphorus sequestration. adding more phosphorus inhibits fungal growth and fungi trade plants mineralized phosphates in exchange for sugars so as long as your soil is healthy the foliage pro should be fine. adding a quality compost tea would increase nutrient mineralization and lower the pH of your soil over time. this is a good complementary hybrid approach that will yield great results and lower the amount of foliage pro you need to apply due to increases in nutrient uptake efficiency. 

#1548451 Miracle Gro or Dyna Gro 7-9-5?

Posted by thefish on 24 April 2018 - 04:29 PM

I have a question about Foliage Pro 9-3-6. From what I can find online, the directions read 1 tsp/gallon. Is that only for container plants or does that dilution work for in-ground plants, as well? I just don't want to buy it and find out that you have to use a lot more for a garden than advertised.


If you're growing in the ground you might want to use the Grow formula. Soils can sequester phosphates. You can get great results between 1/2 tsp per gal and 1 tsp per gallon in my experience.

#1547195 At what stage should I increase LED light intensity for seedlings?

Posted by thefish on 20 April 2018 - 08:25 PM

Thanks :)

As I've been slowly decreasing the light to plant distance at a few inches every two days, the cotyledon leaves have always pointed up towards the light. If the light is too intense will they give me a cowering away warning before burning?


they might burn but if you adjust quickly it will only effect old growth

#1546071 a year or more LED light experience?

Posted by thefish on 17 April 2018 - 12:22 PM

No peppers are not a money maker, but as a hobby, and for my interest in it and the toys involved 1500 bucks wont put me in the poor house. If my energy bill doesnt make my wife ask questions and I dont have to listen to 450 cfm of air being moved in my basement but I still get full size happy pods, then victory is mine. But! I do want to hear testimony from a few sources with experience before I pull the trigger on a fancy led. I cant believe i would be the first pepper guy to do this.


buy a quantum board. the 550 watt version ($900) has been shown to be equivalent to a 1000w hps in a 4x4 or 4x5 area depending on the optics. The 320w DIY kit on their website would go great in a 3x3 and is $409 and will last upwards of 10 years. Keep in mind these specs are aimed at a particular type of horticulture ;) and peppers probably dont need quite as much light as long as you aren't trying to push your pepper plants to the absolute max. light penetration as good as long as you aren't skimping on the light for your grow space. you can also buy a cob led kit on: rapidled.com, cobkits.com, timbergrowlights.com, chilledtech.com. they should be comparable to a quantum board specs (thought some a bit less efficient) if you want to use the general suggestions on horticultural lighting group's website for wattage and grow area that would be a good place to start.


I've been growing my pepper starts and a 2' tall dwarf plumeria under 200watt creecxb 3590 (3500k color temp) this winter; the peppers are growing like crazy and the plumeria is about to bud. this equates to a roughly 3'x1' area that is lit. i run the fixture at 75% power because any more has burnt the leaves of the plumeria. i keep the fixture around 3' from the plumeria 4' from the pepper starts and 6ft from a Dendrobium orchid. within 1 month of putting the orchid under the plumeria for a little shade the orchid bloomed on all of its canes. with the optics on my cob fixture even at a distance of 6ft was a little to much for the orchid (high light loving type) - so light penetration is not a problem with adequate lighting for your space. blooming a plumeria, orchid and great growth with my pepper starts has really opened my eyes to just how powerful these new white phosphor leds are. based on the specs a generic blurple light like a viparspectra or mars hydro is coming in at 30 lm/watt which isn't significantly different than a compact fluorescent, t5ho or a normal hps light. new white leds are >150 lm/w when run properly with some newer tech touching 200lm/watt in some cases. if you're going to invest in LED do your research and buy a quality professional fixture or DIY one so that you can swap out or add components as the technology improves. dont buy and outdated fixture made of the cheapest parts like 95% of the leds that are flooding the market right now.

#1544585 Miracle Gro or Dyna Gro 7-9-5?

Posted by thefish on 11 April 2018 - 03:23 PM

I was wondering about how many PPMs thefish was talking about in their recommendation, just because I've seen other charts that put fertilizer concentrations in terms other than ml per gallon. In case anyone else was wondering, here's what I did.


1.5 mL (of anything close to water) = 1.5 grams (g)


1 Gallon (G) = 3.8 L


1.5 g / 3.8 L = .395 g / L


.395 g / L * 1000 mg / g = 395 mg / L


1mg / L = 1 ppm 


so thefish is adding 395 ppm of nutrient. Since it's dynagro foliage pro which is 9% Nitrogen, this means:


395 ppm * .09 = 35.55 ppm of N


This is super useful to me, because now I can take nutrients from different brands and sources with different % of nutrients and use different amounts (g, mg, ml) to reach a good, non-harmful nutrient concentration. 


Although since I'm new there are probably other things I could do to grow better before messing with perfect nutrient concentrations lol


Thanks for the info anyway thefish!


keep in mind you want to figure out your watering schedule before you determine your PPM at watering. if you were watering 2 x per week you would want to double it and if you're only able to water once per week then you just keep it to the once a week labeling. the more you can water without drowning the roots the more you'll be able to fertigate and the faster the growth the extreme end of this methodology would be hydroponics. I also don't have to use as much ppm N as well because I use a microbial innoculant called inocucor which reduces the amount of fertilizer you need by increasing nutrient uptake efficiency, using this product has been shown to increase yield by 20-30% and decreases fertilizer requirements by about that much as well. 



#1544380 Miracle Gro or Dyna Gro 7-9-5?

Posted by thefish on 10 April 2018 - 04:41 PM


Forgive me as I am very new to this hobby but, when is the "right stage" to apply bloom? My plants are about 7-8" tall now and have not flowered yet. They are getting some sun now outside and are in some fabric 5 gallon pots.


Bloom boosters are a waste of money- a balanced ratio of 9-3-6 or 7-9-5 should do you right. IMO grow is too high in phosphorus which has deleterious effects on beneficial fungi and adds needless salt build up. If you are growing in soil the high P could be useful in cases where the soil composition sequesters phosphorus and makes it unavailable to plants. in commercial hydroponic production of tomatoes bloom boosters are used briefly to assist in production uniformity. if you are growing in a soil less mixture like pro-mix, coco or 5-1-1 a lower P would be beneficial because you get less buildup of salts in the media. there will never be a case in a plants life where if being given a balanced ratio of nutrients the plant will be taking up more phosphorus than N or K- they just don't need that much.


During fruiting tomatoes and peppers require more K and in some instances if nitrogen is being supplied in gross excess flower drop can occur. I recommend taking dyna-gro foliage pro or grow and following the instructions for production (5mL/gal/week). If you suspect you are losing buds to high N and its not due to high/low temps, overwatering or pests simply use 3-4mL/gal/week. Another approach to using complete nutrients is using even less but fertilizing at every watering so if you watered 3x a week you would use (~1.5mL/gal/watering) this is much preferred by the plants and is my personal preference. Getting back to fruit production- increasing the ratio of K will help with overall yield. Dyna-gro makes a product called protekt which is 0-0-3 I use 1.5mL foliage pro and protekt at every watering. I increase the protekt a little further during fruit set to get the nutrient ratio somewhere like 9-3-12. The other advantage of dyna-gro products is that they are nicely pH balanced as well. If your tap pH is around 7 adding protekt and dyna-gro fertilizers end up around the ideal pH for plant uptake. protekt also contains silica which makes your plants more resilient to abiotic stress and physically makes stems stronger. 


THAT being said. You can also just use grow or foliage pro throughout the entire growth cycle and have excellent results and that will be aligned with the K.I.S.S. approach (keep it simple stupid).

#1540369 Top it ..and its too weak to bear the fruits - with pics

Posted by thefish on 26 March 2018 - 11:10 AM

there are a number of factors that potentially contributed to the results you got with this topped plant. topping is a well known agricultural production technique but there are circumstances where it does not achieve desired results. if you are having problems with weak stems I recommend using a silica additive- last year I used Pro-Tekt and when I went to cut the plants down for the winter had great difficulty due to the strength of the stems. 

#1538755 LED - Someone hold my hand

Posted by thefish on 18 March 2018 - 10:01 PM

I am old school metal halide / high pressure sodium.  Lost a ballast this past year and it is about time to replace bulbs all around.  So it would be a really good time for me to make the plunge into LEDs.  Problem being, there seems to be no standard in replacing lets say a 1000 watt HID light with LEDs.  Every LED manufacturer has its own way of rating and comparing.

Could folk dumb this down for me?  Tell me what you bought, how well it works, how much coverage it provides.  Even telling me what models you bought when you were disappointed with the results will help me figure this out.


as far as I've researched Horticulture Lighting Group has the most well tested 1000w HPS replacement LED (HLG 550). Keep in mind most of the information here is for growing cannabis. You probably wont be driving your peppers as hard as people do for cannabis. 



they are always running 20% off specials so you will end up paying around $800 


Chilled Grow Lights also has a 1000w HID replacement.



higher end but slightly more powerful, efficient and with more tech features





HLG 550 specs:

Power 250-510 Watts Voltage Range 90-277 VAC LED 1152 pcs Samsung 561C  Flowering Footprint 4.5'X4.5' or 4'X5' Veg Footprint 6'X6' System Efficiency 154 Lm/W System PPF Efficacy 2.3 μmol/joule Total output 1160 PPF Dimensions 26"X20"x3" Recommended Mounting Height 18-28 inches

There are many companies that claim 1000w HPS/MH replacement but as far as results go HLG 550s are the only things I've seen on par or better than 1000w HPS (in terms of growing cannabis). Chilled Grow lights is run by two veteran LED guys and I trust their product as well. Just remember there is a learning curve with switching to LEDs. They run significantly cooler so you may have to heat your grow space more as well as managing the humidity more because you are venting less heat. Most of the best information about LEDs and horticulture is coming from cannabis growers because its just a more hot market than growing peppers so if you want to get more information in terms of horticultural implementations you may have to get your information from cannabis forums and youtube.

#1535472 Budget LED fixture-Please help ASAP!

Posted by thefish on 06 March 2018 - 10:39 PM

Maybe. But everything I see suggests otherwise. On that point though I will say that I am designing NEW boards by using those as reference. Will have UV, Far Red, Photo Red, and Royal Blue and samsung S6 bin chips.  Sure what you are getting now are prototypes because that is my friend and I's company. There are about 5 designs I plan on releasing as well. heres one of em now! 



that is the bin but what are the chips in the folux board though? like, what is the specific samsung product # of the diodes in the board? no doubt the folux boards work- I just want to be sure I'm not paying 30 bucks less than a QB135 for a board with worse build quality and lower spec samsung chip. 

#1535323 Budget LED fixture-Please help ASAP!

Posted by thefish on 06 March 2018 - 04:28 PM

get one of these. it beats HPS/MH with a fraction of the heat. Phator has one, ask him :)




the only issue with folux boards is you are probably not getting top bin samsung chips: if you have no problems with the issues you may face buying cheap chinese knockoffs then go ahead. i own a few cheap chinese LEDs myself. horticulture lighting group has a business relationship with samsung as their horticultural partner. if you buy from HLG you can be sure that the board you are getting top bin (cream of the manufacturing "crop") samsung chips which further ensures you are getting the correct specs when you actually purchase the light. its likely that the reason why folux boards are cheaper is because they buy the lower bin samsung chips to complete their boards... this could mean the difference from a board that maintains spec for 2-3 years vs 7-10.

#1534051 Stem burying technique for chilis to improve overall grow/harvest in the end...

Posted by thefish on 02 March 2018 - 09:22 PM

Results in rootmass using 100% coco coir as a growing medium:


In the left side is a 9,5 litre Venti-pot vs in the right a 10 litre air-pot.



10 litre air-pot:



These pictures are from 2013 using just regular peat as a growing medium:







Using coco coir as a growing medium in those air-pots is far superior compared to the regular peat.


those coco roots are the definition of root porn. well done