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The 11th Annual Hot Pepper Awards - WINNERS ANNOUNCED!


Member Since 10 Sep 2017
Offline Last Active Jun 10 2018 04:50 AM

Topics I've Started

DIY Mini Greenhouse to ripen the last wave of pods

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. 


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Want to trade - from Melbourne, Australia

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. 
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What are these little critters? Pollinators or pests?

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. 


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Can you help explain this stem narrowing/constriction?

19 October 2017 - 09:45 PM

I was wondering if anyone has seen this before and could tell me what caused it and what the prognosis is for my little seedling. It's happened in more than one of my seedlings unfortunately. 


Here's the salient info: 

  • Narrowing occurred about 1cm (1/2 inch) above the soil line
  • The roots did look a bit like they might have started to rot 
  • There wasn't the best drainage in the container and the soil was pretty dense
  • I recently moved it outdoors, but was using a plastic tube to protect it from the wind. 
  • The plant itself looks very healthy, with no signs of yellowing, wilting, etc. 


The pepper itself is just a plain old cayenne, so not too worried if I lose it. 


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Doubled Haploids (Anther Culture) Introduction to concept/possible at Home?

12 October 2017 - 06:27 AM


  • Cross plants to make a hybrid
  • Grow the F1 plant from the seed
  • Use fancy techniques to grow a plant from pollen alone
  • More fancy footwork - now your seed is stable, do with it as you please. 

Result: a stable cross within just two generations (rather than the 6,7,8) and arguably a more targeted approach bringing your wildest crosses to fruition. 


WARNING: somewhat technical

Despite this is only my first year growing, I've been swept away by the beauty and diversity of the Capsicum genus and I've spent these past several months intensely researching some of the more technical details of the genetics of these plants. I'm so enthralled and can't wait to develop some crosses of my own. Though I don't have a background in botany or horticulture, I do in biomedical science, and so I've had a bit of a leg up in starting to get my head around things.


While I plan to cross by hand, admittedly there's a lot in the way of producing a new, stable cultivar. Following the initial dihybrid cross (selfing of the F1), there's a lot of variation in the F2. Say you're interested in 3 gene loci (Aa, Bb, Cc), then it follows that only 1/64 of your F2 will actually be homozygous recessive at the 3 loci (aa, bb, cc). In order to get your desired cross, you have to grow out a lot of seed, and to stabilise you need to repeat the process for a few generations, tolerating some subtle and not so subtle variation (obviously not for the fully recessive plant...but anyway) Don't get me wrong, there are probably a lot of happy accidents that come from this process, but surely there's a more targeted way of getting your desired cross (cue anther culture) 



Doubled Haploids/Anther culture... 


So I've been reading up on a technique used commercially, which involves the usual cross between the two parents, and growing out of the F1 seeds, but following this, the anthers are taken and cultured in such a way that what you get are immediately stable (homozygous) without any further crossing. To explain this genetically, take the AA;BB;CC x aa;bb;cc cross. Your F1 is just Aa;Bb;Cc and then there are 8 different F2 genotypes as a result of random assortment. So your pollen might have the following A;B;C / a;B;C / A; b; c / and so on. What the technique involves is then taking the pollen (or anthers) from your F1s and culturing them in such a what that you actually get a plant that germinates from this culture without having gone through sexual reproduction. The resultant plant is a hemizygote, or haploid, that has only 1 set of genes, instead of the usual 2 sets. With a chemical such as colchicine you can then initiate doubling of the genome into 2 sets (or more...) Ultimately, you get a plant that bares fruits with seeds that are all homozygous, depending on the genotype of the pollen (i.e. A;B;c becomes AA; BB; cc or a;B;C becomes aa;BB;CC, etc) 


Now for my question ... has anyone got experience with Anther culture or related techniques and has actually ever tried this at home? If so, what protocol did you follow? 


Though there are some specialised chemicals/materials involved, a cursory search has found that they are both not excessively costly or illegal to possess. 


If anyone is interested in the protocols I've come across I can include some references!