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Member Since 10 Sep 2017
Offline Last Active Jul 18 2018 04:18 PM

#1568994 Best varieties for your location -- suggestions please!

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 18 July 2018 - 05:02 AM

I'd still consider myself a new grower, but when I started, I didn't really have a sense of which peppers worked best in my location. (I just assumed they all did...) I was more concerned with knowing how to grow, than knowing what to grow. 


I've since learned some general stuff, like that growing C. chinense / superhots typically requires a fairly long season and that C. pubescens as a perennial is an option for those in areas that don't experience significant frosts. But I suspect there's probably variation within all the main species such that some varieties work better in different locations for various reasons (e.g. pests, disease, climate, etc.) 


Granted, if you can grow peppers at all, then there's a good chance you can get any pepper to work, but still, I'm interested in collecting some information on what variety grows best in your location so that new growers can have the best chance of having a successful season, and so others in your location might have some ideas about what to grow next. 


If you'd like to help out, comments would be appreciated! 


What I'm interested in is:

  • Your location (city, country, and USDA plant hardiness zone) 
  • Varieties that have worked the best
  • Varieties that haven't worked well
  • Challenges of growing in your area/tips for someone in your location
  • How long you've been growing for

If there's enough interest in this, I'll put together all the results for future reference! 






#1568986 Plant stress and pepper heat -- recent research

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 18 July 2018 - 03:46 AM

It's well known that stressing pepper plants by reducing watering can result in hotter peppers, and that this comes at the cost of decreased yields. But what level of stress is optimal? And which varieties respond best?   


A fairly recent article in Food Science, looked into the influence of water stress in four varieties of C. chinense, by comparing the differences in yields and capascinoid concentrations in peppers watered daily or every 2, 3, or 4 days, to determine how to get the most capscacinoids out of a pepper plant. 


The varieties included Bhut Jolokia, Orange Habanero, BGH1719 (a smallish plant, with many small pods), and Akanee Pirote (the largest plant, with large pods around 350k)


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It was concluded that varieties that are hotter and have larger fruit are more sensitive to drought stresses and that mild stresses may have the potential to significantly increase capscacin in some varieties, but not others. The Akanee produced significantly more capascin in the milder 2-day stress group (from around 350k to 450k), whereas the Bhut Jolokia and Orange Habanero produced significantly more only in the 3-day stress group. Moreover, it appeared there were diminishing returns, with the 4-day group, capsacin levels were no higher (or even lower) than in the 3-day group, and plant yields continued to decline.


Looking at the specific capsacinoids, it appears that dihydrocapsacin (which is typically found in larger proportion in C. pubescens) might increase to a greater extent than capascin. So your stressed peppers might not only have a hotter burn, but a different burn.


So how might we use this information to inform our own growing practices?


Perhaps by aiming to achieve the same reduction in plant height and pod numbers, you can determine how much water stress is optimal for your climate. The data is there for Bhut Jolokias and Orange Habs, but it could potentially be generalised to other varieties. For example, the unstressed Bhut was around 1m (3ft) and yielded 32 pods, where the hotter one was ~65cm/2ft tall, with 20 pods (that's about a 1/3 reduction). A potential experiment to determine the water stress you need to apply might be to have two plants (at least), and apply stress to one, aiming for a 1/3 reduction in growth compared to the other. Then adjust in future seasons depending on how far off you were from that goal.


TL;DR: Stress your larger superhots for hotter peppers, but maybe don't bother with your small milder peppers, it might only just decrease your yields. Also, drought stress has diminishing returns, so don't torture your peppers too much!


References: Jeeatid N, Techawongstien S, Suriharn B, Chanthai. S, Bosland P. Influence of water stresses on capsaicinoid production in hot pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) cultivars with different pungency levels. Food Chemistry [serial online]. April 1, 2018;245:792-797. Available from: FSTA - Food Science and Technology Abstracts, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 18, 2018.





#1568716 DIY Mini Greenhouse to ripen the last wave of pods

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 17 July 2018 - 08:21 AM

Success! Mid winter outdoor ripening!



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#1567199 Limited heat mat real estate -- cardboard dividers for cups?

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 11 July 2018 - 10:31 AM

Maybe use the 72 cell inserts for the 1020 trays? They work great for fitting lots of seedlings into a small space.


Obvious alternative that I overlooked... I also forgot I ordered a 7x7 plug trainer by Agralan, it arrived today. Fits 49 seedlings in about 8" x 8". 


Don't use paper or cardboard... The roots will grow into it and it will probably be more difficult than if you just had soil in there. 


I was thinking that laminated cardboard (such as you'd find with a cereal box) might be okay. But you've got a point there, could make things harder

#1567123 DIY Mini Greenhouse to ripen the last wave of pods

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 10 July 2018 - 10:47 PM

Some pictures. Interestingly I have a Hab that currently has two double pods! 

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Double Pod #2.JPG


Some plants are doing better than others (Butch T not doing as well, but Aji Pineapple looking healthy) 

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2018 Greenhouse Aji Pineapple - Pods .jpeg



Quite a few Trinidad Scorpion pods, hoping they reach maturity. 

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#1567111 Limited heat mat real estate -- cardboard dividers for cups?

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 10 July 2018 - 10:08 PM

Hey there, hope the harvests are going well in the northern hemi! 


I've been starting seeds and I'm venturing into familiar territory... limited space indoors. I was wondering whether placing a cardboard separator to divide a cup into two is worth doing. I've done a few plants per cup in the past, but when it got to transplanting the roots had become intertwined and it was a bit of work to get them untangled. Of course, there was some inevitable root damage in the process.


Is it worth placing a separator in to prevent root systems becoming entangled, or are peppers robust enough to sustain a bit of root damage on transplanting? 


I aim to transplant out in 6 weeks, or even longer, so the root system could still be fairly nascent. 


Sure, planting less is an option, but the likelihood of that is ... very low. 



#1561887 DIY Mini Greenhouse to ripen the last wave of pods

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 21 June 2018 - 09:25 PM

Yeah I think you're right, I'll just be happy to get anything, but more importantly, to keep the plants alive. Fortunately, they've survived a 2C night (36F), so I'm hopeful it'll see me through the winter. 


I have a trinidad scorprion, Butch T, chocolate fatalii, aji pineapple, red habanero and red mushroom cap crammed into this little 1.2m x 0.7m space! It's a squeeze, but not too crowded. 



#1559025 DIY Mini Greenhouse to ripen the last wave of pods

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 10 June 2018 - 12:39 AM

It's winter here in Melbourne, Australia, and the temperature is around 4 - 15C (~40-60F) at the moment, with lows expected to get to below 4C (or <40F) in July. A few of my late bloomers have set dozens of pods, and in the last several weeks they've been very slow to grow and ripen. So in an effort to extend the season, I built this mini greenhouse! 

I'll be experimenting with a how to keep it from getting below 4C (40F) overnight, perhaps with a few hot water bottles or a heat mat if need be. Because we seldom get frost, I'm hoping this set up will see my chillies through the winter months and into spring unscathed. Fingers crossed. 








Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 22 May 2018 - 10:21 AM

Hey mate, I'd be keen to hop on board. Hope I haven't missed the boat, er... train. I've got a few I'd like to share! I'm in Northcote, VIC. 

#1554822 Want to trade - from Melbourne, Australia

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 22 May 2018 - 10:09 AM

I'm wanting to expand my modest collection of seeds with some local folks. If there's anything on my list you'd like, I'd be keen to hear from you! I'm particularly looking for Baccatums and ornamentals, but really anything I don't have listed below is great. 

What I've got: 


African Birdseye (Piri Piri) 

Aji Pineapple
Ball Chilli 
Banana Pepper (Sweet) 
Bullet Chilli (Large Asian Birdseye variety) 
Candy Stripe F1* (attached below) 
Cap Mushroom - Red
Chocolate Fatalii 
Chocolate Mini Cap
Corno Di Toro - Red
Habanero - Red
Mad Hatter F1*
Thai Birdseye
*Yes I know, F1s! Bit of a crap shoot, but it can be fun to grow out too. 
Also happy to buy seeds too, if nothing I have tickles your fancy. IMG_1648.jpg

#1554810 Hello from Melbourne

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 22 May 2018 - 09:06 AM

Hi there! Welcome :) This is my first season overwintering in Melbourne too. Planning on starting a bonsai, and grafting a few of my favourites.

The number one priority for me is ensuring I don't bring any aphids in, as I've had a few minor outbreaks outside -- washing and neem oil should do the trick.

Great to see another local on the forum, if you're keen on trading seeds drop me a line, I'm always looking to try new stuff. 

#1505775 What are these little critters? Pollinators or pests?

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 19 November 2017 - 12:02 AM

I've noticed them on a number of my outdoor plants, typically only within the interior the flowers. They've probably only be around for 2 weeks or so. They don't seem to be doing any damaged, but I'm wondering what they are and if they pose a threat to my peppers. Fortunately I think this little mantis might be chomping on a few of them. 




#1502813 5 years now! Want to get some advic

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 02 November 2017 - 09:54 AM

I tried googling "packing my dacks" and didn't find anything.  What does that even mean???


Dacks is a funny Australian slang for underwear/pants. So when you're "packing" them, you're figuratively shitting yourself. 


From Urban Dictionary:


v. Shitting ones pants. Australian slang. Commonly used to describe a state of immense terror, said terror either figuratively or literally leading one to involuntarily empty ones bowels directly into whatever trousers one may be currently wearing. Experienced by most persons at some unfortunate moment in life, this temporary affliction can be both hilarious and horrifying to onlookers.

#1501812 Can you have too much flower bud in a pepper plant ( white Bhut Jolokia )

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 29 October 2017 - 05:08 AM

So just a follow up. I went on to look at some varieties that naturally tend to form clusters of fruits and came across an NMSU article on the NuMex Mirasol. 


In the plant description they write: "As 'NuMex Mirasol' matures it becomes a multi-stemmed bush with a fasciculated, upright fruit habit (see Fig.2)" 



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No sure if this adequately describes what's happening, as there is a lot more growth -- and at the nodes -- not just terminal part of the stem. Anyway... just thought I'd give my two cents. 

#1501808 Can you have too much flower bud in a pepper plant ( white Bhut Jolokia )

Posted by TheTRPV1Agonist on 29 October 2017 - 04:45 AM

I'm not a botanist but I have been growing peppers since '95, have belonged to many forums and seen thousands of pix of pepper plants and while I've seen a few mutants with a lot of pods in one node I've never seen one that had almost 20 in one node. Add five double pods to the mix and you have a mutant IMO!

Again not a botanist but I believe it's just a one off mutant plant with unique genetics.

I believe this will be the telling tale and I also believe it will not resurface in the plants progeny from seed.

Start your preparation for the aphid infestation now as I believe it's not a matter of IF but WHEN. I hope I'm wrong but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Also not a botanist... but I recall reading something about an fa gene for fasciculation in Wang and Bosland (HortScience August 2006 41:1169-1187).  I can't access the original articles that described fasciculation and am unable to find a picture of a pepper with this mutation, so I can't say this is fasciculation or if it looks the same, but it sure sounds similar. Here's the description of the mutation: 


"Fasciculation in pepper is expressed as a shortening of internodes, resulting in compact, bushy plants and expressed as flowers and fruits borne on bunched, compounded nodes conferred by the recessive fa gene. Van de Beek and Ltifi observed the variation in fasciculation, inferring that minor genes could be involved in the expression of fasciculation, operating in the presence of the fa gene."