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Member Since 11 Nov 2011
Offline Last Active Feb 18 2018 09:59 PM

#1527493 Sawyer '18 Back from the Void

Posted by Sawyer on 13 February 2018 - 12:09 PM

Hello everybody, old friends and new friends alike.  The last couple three years have been challenging for me, but come hell or high water, 2018 will be the year of the pepper.  I'll try to fill in some details going forward, but for now, I mostly just want to get this glog started.  The one in 2016 petered out before its time and I didn't even start one last year.  For any who would like to review better times, there are links to previous years' glogs part way down the first post in the 2016 glog:
For the most part, I'm using the same set up as described in those topics... a couple of multi-shelf PVC plant stands with 4' T8 fluorescent shop lights.  I have a lot of new stuff to try out this year, but I'll be starting with the old.
My seed stock has taken a huge hit in the interim.  I do have some old stock I'll be testing and adding to the list as germination tests verify viability, but for now, this is my grow list:
Variety - Source*
7 Pod, OS Red - 2
7 Pod White - 2
7 Pod, OS Yellow - 2
7 Pot Cinder Caramel - 5
Bahamian Goat - 5
Bhut Jolokia, Chocolate Brown - 2
Bhut Jolokia, OS Red - 1
B.O.C. - 5
Big Black Mama - 5
Brain Strain, Yellow - 5
Chocolate Bhutlah - 2
Carolina Reaper - 2
Moruga Scorpion, Red - 2
Papa Dreadie - 5
Pumpkin Bubblegum - 5
Reaper Bhut - 2
Scotchbrain - 5
New Mexico No. 6 - 4
Gochu - 5
Habanero - 4
Habanero, Orange - 3
Santa Fe Grande - 3
Shishito - 3
Jalapeño, Tam - 3
Jalapeño, Zapotec - 5
Thai, Large Orange - 5
Poblano - 3
Bellingrath Gardens - 3
California Wonder - 4
Palmyra - 2
Piquillo - 3
Sulu Adana - 2
Tekne Dolmasi - 2
Pluma - 2
Aji Largo - 5
Aji Oro - 5
Rocoto, Mini Red - 5
Rocoto, Guatemalan Red - 5
PDN-Bonda - 5
* Source key:
1 - Self
2 - PepperLover
3 - Trade Winds Fruit
4 - American Seed
5 - Devv
I do have a few other self-saved seeds, but the only one listed right now is Bhut Jolokia, Original Strain Red.  These seeds may be more than ten years old, but they've been refrigerated and last fall a germination test yielded around 70% germination.  
I also plan to start a topic in "Growing - Other" and one somewhere in one of the "Business" forums.
Thanks for looking in.  More soon.

#1322680 Sawyer '16 - Memorial Day update

Posted by Sawyer on 02 June 2016 - 07:36 AM

Great scenery. Glad everything is good. I post everything on my glog. LoL!

Sounds like you had a great time. I need to get out of the yard and into nature.

Thanks for sharing John

Hey, Chuck, thanks.  I don't get out for a hike nearly as often as I'd like, but any is better than none.  And, yeah, I wouldn't normally worry about posting non-pepper pics, but those are the only pictures in the thread so far.  The orange ghost has adapted to its new shoes and is starting to grow again, so I'll at least get a picture of it posted soon.


Glad to see you back in the swing John, we'd wondered how you were. Were those hiking pics taken in a karst area? the rock looked like limestone in the pics.  Looking forward to seeing more green from you as you find the time. :)

Thanks, Rick.  If it ain't one thing, it's another, right?  I had to look it up, but yes, there is a lot of karst topography around here.  The whole (or at least much of the) Ozark Plateau is an ancient seabed.  Everything is underlain with limestone around here.  I think that will provide some buffer here in NW AR when the New Madrid fault cuts loose again over in SE MO/NE AR.  It also makes for some cool fossil hunting.  I have several small slabs of limestone encrusted with small crinoid fossils and back in '03 the world's largest nautiloid fossil was discovered nearby:




It also produces some prime pepper-growing soils.

#1322050 Trident's Bonnets 2016

Posted by Sawyer on 31 May 2016 - 04:53 PM

John thanks for looking in ... NeBru7 is Trinidad Yellow SB x Yellow 7 pot Jonah. Named after Neil (Hippyseed Company) and his friend I believe from Western Australia Brian. One of my top three bonnets although a hybrid. Grows well and is quite a tall plant pods are about the size of a golf ball. I am sure with your heat and humidity you could better my efforts. Will put some seed aside should you wish

Your Arkansas Peach still continues to impress me and grows larger by the day

I just read up on it on their website, and yeah, the NeBru7 sounds like an awesome variety.  I'll definitely take you up on your offer of seed, if conditions still warrant when the time comes. 


I'm glad the AR Peach is doing well for you; I just hope the one you have actually produces peach pods.  I'm not sure of the F number of that one, but it's definitely not high enough to be considered stable.

#1321940 Devv's 2015 - 16, Life is good!

Posted by Sawyer on 31 May 2016 - 12:11 PM

Almost ripe pods already; that just blows my mind.  Really great work, Scott, especially given all the critter issues you've had.


I've never grown hardneck garlic.  How does it compare to softneck, in your experience?  I have more elephant garlic than anything this season.  Some softneck in ground.  Shallots and potato onions are in pots on the front stoop, trying to rebuild stock after the disaster a couple of winters ago.  (Who knew critters would eat alliums?)  And surprisingly, I lost most of the walking onions this past winter, I think because I let the patch get too weedy.  Plenty to rebuild from, but still a disappointment.


Will those pineapples ripen this season?

#1321898 Trident's Bonnets 2016

Posted by Sawyer on 31 May 2016 - 09:35 AM

Looking good.  I look forward to seeing the range of variation among the bonnets.  BTW, what is the NeBru7?

#1321896 Pulpiteer 2016 Grow Log - better late than never.

Posted by Sawyer on 31 May 2016 - 09:23 AM

Hey Andy, looks like you've got things rolling along.  I love the tires and chickens.  I'd like to get some chickens, too, but have a lot of prep work to do first.  What did you use to cut the rims on the tires?  I have access to a bunch of old tires and am thinking of building a low retaining wall with some.  I want to drill or cut the bottom rim to prevent them from holding water, but am not sure how best to do it.

#1321827 Sawyer '16 - Memorial Day update

Posted by Sawyer on 30 May 2016 - 10:37 PM

Get better man!

+1 on your health ..... looking forward to your pics when your up to it

 Thanks, Chris, John.  I think I'm pretty much over it, whatever "it" was.  It's just going to take some time to get my wind back.

No worries on the pics. I was just seeing how you were doing.

Glad your on the rebound.

Sorry to here about the plants.

Take care

 Thanks, Chuck.  Yeah, it's always a shame to lose plants, but I over do it so much on seed starting, the losses pale in comparison to what's left.  Out of over 200 varieties I started, I only lost a handful.  I'm going to inventory what's what soon and update the OP to reflect how many plants of each variety I have at this point.

Wow! John!
I can certainly understand where you're coming from after my health issues last spring. I sure hope these badass bugs that have come around lately are not a continuing problem for us all.
Take your time and get well!

Hey, Scott, yeah, I've thought about your troubles last year a few times over the last few weeks.  I never went to the doctor, so I don't know for sure what this was, but "walking pneumonia" came up in more than one conversation.  I guess that's a fairly non-specific term though.  It does seem like forum members have been having more than a fair share of bugs lately.  For myself, I should just learn to say "no" to the annual DC trip.  It comes at the wrong time of year and two of the last three years I've brought back a bug.  Still, I like what I do there and it helps me feel like I'm doing my part, so I'll probably keep going as long as they keep asking.


Okay, these aren't pepper pics, but maybe the boss will let me slide on this.  I'm going to start another thread in the "growing other" sub-forum for this sort of thing, other natives, tomatoes (around 70 varieties), hops, and other non-pepper gardening shots.  But for now, this thread is in sore need of some color.  In my last post I mentioned going hiking recently.  There's a place I've known of for years and years, decades really, where I've wanted to hike.  It's along the base of a bluff, maybe 3/4 mile in length (mile and a half round trip), running parallel to the lake shore, but back far enough that it's mostly not visible from the lake.  I can drive to about the mid-point along the ridge above the bluff, park, then just wander along the ridge, eventually dropping down more or less gradually to lake level on a point jutting out into the main body of the lake.  From there I turned back along the base of the bluff and it didn't take long to realize it was going to be a challenge.  No path or trails except for a very faint deer trail I could pick up now and then.  I kept as close to the base of the bluff as possible because the ground is relatively level there.  It quickly drops off to the left to a steep descent down to the lake.  For much of the way, sticking close to the base of the bluff worked, but a couple of times I found myself on a dead-end ledge above ground level and had to back track.  In one place, a tree has fallen away from the bluff leaving behind a very unstable slope.  I think I caused a small landslide scrambling across that.  And for much of the way, I was walking on unstable rubble fallen from the bluff itself.  In a couple of places, the slope comes right up to the bluff and my feet could get no purchase.  There I proceeded on hands and knees, pulling myself up and along by roots and rocks.  But it was worth it to find scenes like the following.  (If you don't look too close you won't notice the photos are all a little blurry.  At this point I was shaking, whether from exertion, worry, fright, or still being sick, I'm not sure.)

Ferns grow in the fissures of the bluff:



Columbine, too:



The ferns go on and on:



I found this patch of Jack-in-the-Pulpit after a particularly strenuous stretch:



Biggest patch I've ever seen.  In an area maybe 8' x 12' I counted 35 blooms.  I plan to go back when the time is right to get pictures of the seed heads.


All told I found hundreds and hundreds of plants, if not thousands, but most were not blooming.


This is a view in front of me:



And a look back:


Here, I'm only about half way to where I need to be, so I put the camera away and got back to my vehicle right at dusk.


Pepper plant pics pending, promise.

#1321584 Sawyer '16 - Memorial Day update

Posted by Sawyer on 30 May 2016 - 01:52 PM

Hey, guys and gals.  I've been dropping the ball on keeping this glog up to date.  I know pics are why you're here and sorry to disappoint; I'll work on getting some pics posted this week.  I had a relapse of whatever bug I had back in April.  Well, not really a relapse, just a much slower recovery than I expected.  Although the fever never returned, it's taken a long time for the lungs to clear out.  Been sleeping a lot and stamina has suffered.  It probably didn't help any that two or three weeks ago I went hiking somewhere I hadn't hiked before.  It was only about a mile long but there was no trail, just bushwhacking.  It took almost 4 hours to complete and was easily the most difficult and stressful hike I've done in Arkansas.  Only a couple of my Wyoming treks have been more extreme.  More about that later, though; I did get some good pics I'll post.


In spite of all that, I have made some small progress with the grow.  Most of the plants are still in flats, but I have been potting up some, a few to give away.  Once potted, the plants remain outside and it's only been in the last week or so that nighttime temperatures have been consistently staying above 50ºF.  Even with warmer daytime temps, the plants just don't seem to want to grow much when it's that cool at night.  I think those days are finished for the season, finally. 


The very first plants I potted were four P. Dreadie Select SB (along with enough others to fill a flat w/ 18 3.5" sq. pots.)  Gary (windchicken) sent me 4 seeds back in January.  All four germinated and grew well.  However, the very first night after I potted them, something chewed most of one of them and it subsequently died.  I've seen it before and think it was some sort of worm descending from the silver maple above on a silk thread, ninja jewel-thief style.  (The plants were on a table, not the ground.)  There's been no further loss and the three remaining PDS SB plants have finally started growing.  I've got a total of 72 plants in 3.5" pots that are ready to go into bigger pots or in ground whenever. 


Nothing in-ground, yet; the garden is still mostly covered in naturalized cover crop (sounds better than weeds, right?) and very wet.  I have a couple of rows almost ready to accept plants, but with the cool nights and especially the recent excessive rain, I can't feel too bad about the situation.  The first plants to hit dirt last year never did as well as those planted later, and spring conditions are similar this year.  I'm thinking of tilling up a section of the front yard, or maybe digging holes, and putting some plants there.  Even if I don't do that, that's were many potted plants will go.  Same goes for the (west) side yard.  I'm hoping to have about equal numbers of potted and in-ground plants.


I managed to successfully OW a few plants this past winter, in germination flats, 3.5" sq. pots and bigger pots.  The biggest success there is a now-three-year-old orange ghost.  It was in a #3 nursery pot last year and got potted up to a #5 a couple of days ago.  It could use a much bigger pot, but needs to remain easily moveable.  It goes to a friend in a few days; I'll snap and post a pic of it before then. 


After my success in keeping everything alive when I was traveling for four or five days back in mid-April, I suppose it might qualify as ironic that I've lost some plants more recently.  I had to go out of town unexpectedly for just a couple of days.  I didn't have time to prepare the plants properly and forgot to turn off the heater mats.  Came back to a bunch of shriveled plants.  I haven't taken inventory, but for at least a few varieties, I lost every start I had.  I may or may not have extra seed and may or may not restart them.  It's getting pretty late for starting seeds, though I do have some annuums I plan to start.  And a chef friend of mine recently gave me seeds from some yellow habs he got in a shipment of regular orange habs.  I'll start those, too.


Stay tuned for pics.  Hope everyone has a happy, thoughtful, and safe Memorial Day.

#1306979 Devv's 2015 - 16, Life is good!

Posted by Sawyer on 02 May 2016 - 12:43 PM

Great trapping story, Rick.  I've heard a variation of it in relation to baboons.  I'd never heard of the DP traps before, but they appear to work on just that principle, reach in, get caught.  I use a box trap and drive a couple miles away across a river to release.  I should probably tag them someway to see if they're coming back.  Hopefully the river and multiple roadways discourage that.


Scott, you know a young racoon cooks up pretty tasty if done right, slow smoked and barbecued.  Yours will be peach-flavored, too.


   Looks great Scott.I will be making a major move in replenishing my seed supply for 2017.My germs were a big,BIG challenge this year.


Germination seemed to be a big problem for a lot of us this year.  In my case, I didn't get enough production last year to replenish my stock and didn't store the 2013 and 2014 seeds properly.  I'll be refrigerating all my seeds from now on.

#1305234 2016 - JoeFish Arkansas Grown

Posted by Sawyer on 28 April 2016 - 09:05 AM

How are things going over your way, Justin?  Got anything planted out, yet?

#1304092 Devv's 2015 - 16, Life is good!

Posted by Sawyer on 25 April 2016 - 09:46 AM

Looking good, Scott.  Great photos, as always.  No possum in the trap(s) yet?  I haven't baited my box trap yet, but there's a road kill carcass out by the mailbox.  I'm afraid I waited too long to bury it and it's turned stinky and juicy now.  Guess I'll let nature take its course.


What are you going to do with all the tomatoes those plants will produce?

#1303046 Sawyer '16 - Memorial Day update

Posted by Sawyer on 22 April 2016 - 10:36 AM

Well, now I'm doubting my self-diagnosis of flu.  My fever broke on Tuesday and by yesterday I felt more or less normal.  I don't think you can get over the flu in 5 days.  It all started with aspirating some water into my lungs, so who knows what opportunistic bug took advantage of the resulting irritation.  DC seems like a pretty dirty place and a melting pot for bugs from all over. 


I've got meetings today, but then I'm free to turn my attention to peppers and grounds work.  I actually have a handful of OWs that survived this year, including a 3 y.o. orange bhut that is leafing out.  Pics to follow.

#1301810 Sawyer '16 - Memorial Day update

Posted by Sawyer on 18 April 2016 - 08:16 PM

Never heard of sinus trauma; I'll have to look into it.  I'm pretty sure what I have is the real-deal flu.  Dry cough, achy all over, fatigue, headache, gastrointestinal distress, but absolutely no sinus or other head symptoms (at least not yet).  Fever has been consistently running 101ºF +/- a half degree.  Initially I alternated between shivering and sweating.  (Was worried I'd get escorted out of the airport at one point.)  The last time my body ached like this was when I wrecked a motorcycle at age 18.  Makes me think all the other times I thought I had the flu were just bad colds.  Hopefully this doesn't keep me down too long, because I've got lots of potting up to do.  Some of the girls are looking pretty flirty.  Need to get some pictures up.


Again, unrelated, but I saw an article the other day touting the potential benefit of ginger powder in alleviating symptoms of seasonal allergies.



#1301418 Sawyer '16 - Memorial Day update

Posted by Sawyer on 17 April 2016 - 02:51 PM

Wishing you a safe trip! And happy results when you return.

Happy trip! :D


Thanks, guys.  The trip itself was good, informative and productive.  But I managed to pick up some sort of bug there that really kicked in on the last leg of the flight home.  I got home in the early, early hours of Saturday morning and have pretty much just slept for the intervening 36 hours.  Still running a fever of ~101º F.  Just ate a little, a yogurt cup and a tangerine, the first food in about 48 hours.  (Maybe I'll lose some weight out of this.) 


On the plus side, my strategy for putting the plants in a holding pattern worked.  The plants look like they've grown hardly at all while I was away, but they are healthy-looking and at least they didn't die.  I've turned the heater mats back on and increased the light intensity.  I'll kick up the nutes and light duration as soon as I don't have to willfully drag my @$$ out of bed. 

#1301414 Devv's 2015 - 16, Life is good!

Posted by Sawyer on 17 April 2016 - 02:33 PM

I hesitated to "like" the possum post because that's a lot of loss, but hopefully your problems are solved.  Like Rick, this is something I didn't know about possums.  It could explain some things I've previously ascribed to deer or rabbits.  I don't have any dogs to do the treeing, but possums are pretty easy to live trap, so I should get started on that.  Canned cat food and, surprisingly, chocolate cupcakes make good bait.