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The 10th Annual Hot Pepper Awards Winners Announced!


Member Since 09 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 06:44 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Why prune for over wintering?

Today, 06:44 AM

I've taken three approaches when overwintering:


1) Bring the plants indoors with no pruning at all and treat like a houseplant - don't let them go dormant.

2) Bring the plants indoors after pruning just the smallest branches off.

3) Bring the plants indoors after pruning down to a stump (both branches and most roots), ensuring at least 6 growth nodes remained.


With both methods 2 and 3, the desire was to make the plants go dormant over the winter. Dormant plants don't require much care. Feed and water less often, and provide less light. In the springtime they came  out of dormancy and I gave them more light, water and food. They did create more branches. Since chiles only put out pods at the growth nodes, as lek said, more branches typically means higher yield.  The big thing here is that the plants require less work when dormant. Depending upon how many plants you grow and the amount of effort you put into the plants over the growing season, having a period of dormancy gives you a nice break.


I didn't care for the plant shape after method 3, so I won't be doing that again, though it did also save the most space. I would definitely do method 2 again. Method 1 is fine, but "oops" can happen more readily than in method 2, as if you have them in a room you don't frequent and forget to water. Oops, they're dead.


I kept one plant going 4 or 5 years, using method 2. It was fine through the third year, but then production backed down so it wasn't worth keeping it going to me. The continued production year-over-year depends upon the variety. Pubescens tend to be more prolific bearers beyond the first couple of years. But then, a lot of it has to do with the grow environment over the winter, too.  Another consideration is pests. Every year I overwintered, aphids came out in abundance in the spring. I bought ladybugs to get them, sometimes more successfully than others. That's more something you just have to be on the lookout for and be ready to deal with when it happens.

In Topic: The Next Throwdown is...

28 April 2017 - 08:08 PM

But let's shift to tacos please! Okay okay, egg taco talk is welcome (LOL!) :sick:


Dude, you've never had huevos rancheros? I don't believe that for a sec. Nope. An egg taco done right could be a tasty treat.


And yes, I am doing blue food. :cool:

In Topic: The Next Throwdown is...

27 April 2017 - 08:19 PM

I am posting this here only because I seem to recall that this was where the discussion started, months ago. The topic: hard-boiled eggs.


I have become completely spoiled where hard-boiled eggs are concerned, ever since learning how to cook them the right way so they turn out tender. I went to a salad bar for lunch and they had egg halves as an option. Ok, sure. I put 4 or 5 on my plate. Bad move. While they didn't have the green/grey cast around the yolk, they were completely rubbery. I wanted to go into the kitchen and slap the cooks. The only redeeming thing was that they had jalapeño rings on the bar, too. I can semi-forgive rubbery hard-boiled eggs if I can at least put jalapeño rings on them. Chiles make almost everything better!

In Topic: can having a fan on too long actually hurt a plant?

26 April 2017 - 07:08 PM

Putting a fan on your plants while they are indoors serves a couple key purposes.


- First is that it helps dry the surface of the soil. Dry surface soil helps reduce the chances that the fungus that causes damping off can take hold. Damping off can kill your seedlings. So if you don't mind risking loosing all the hard work you put into starting those babies, don't bother with a fan!


- It helps strengthen the stems. When you start to take your babies outdoors, part of the hardening off process is not just being careful with the amount of sunlight they get, but also the amount of wind they experience. Even if you start bringing them outdoors in complete shade, if they aren't ready to handle the wind, they can also be goners. So keeping a fan on them helps reduce the hardening off process time - bonus for you as well as them.


As already said above, when outdoors they will potentially get wind 100% of the time. You can run the fan all day and night and not worry about it. Plants start outdoors in the wild all the time, so as long as you start them with a fan, they will be fine. Similar thing with sunlight - start your seeds in full sun and the plants don't care. It's only when they've been protected from sun and wind that they need a hardening off process.

In Topic: The Next Throwdown is...

26 April 2017 - 03:43 PM

A somewhat small but heavy box arrived in the mail today. :cool: