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The 10th Annual Hot Pepper Awards Winners Announced!


Member Since 12 Sep 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 07:48 PM

#1460535 Extreme Biz Profiles: JoynersHotPeppers

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on Today, 01:58 PM

     Damn! Nice coupon!

#1460479 Earthworms ???

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on Today, 10:55 AM

Lets think about why earthworms help the soil

1) Loosen soil and allow air near roots

2) Loosen soil and allow water to flow through

3) Eat organic matter and convert to nutrient rich "castings"


Earthworms will benefit your pots for 1 and 2. whether you will get a benefit for #3 depends on your soil composition, but I imagine you didn't use many leaves when you were making your potting mix.


I'm not going to be buying worms for my pots, but like Joyners said, its worth tossing them in if you see one.


     Worms also "eat" soil. They ingest dirt and digest the microbes living therein.

#1460260 =[ Vagabond FLOG GM ]=

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on Yesterday, 05:57 PM

gm just shed a tear


     ...or something. :D

#1460078 Is too much foliage at the base of a plant a problem?

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on Yesterday, 10:22 AM

     I usually pinch off all branches growing within 4-8" of the soil. As you mentioned, air flow is important for keeping pepper plants free of foliar disease. Also, low branches tend to be the ones that droop down to the soil and allow slugs an easy route to the canopy.

     Along with pinching off the lowest branches, I also remove side branches when they appear too crowded. I've found that crowded branches on an overly bushy plant only end up competing with eachother and just produce foliage on the inside of the plant's canopy - further restricting airflow and producing little fruit.



Here are some pics of plants I grew last season. All of these had their lowest branches removed. And I only kept maybe 4-6 branches below the "Y". The branches I chose to keep were well spaced and loaded with fruit.






















#1459679 chicken eggshell as container. what do you think?

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 24 May 2017 - 10:10 AM

     You're planning to doom a pepper plant to a life in an eggshell and you're concerned about proper root development? :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

#1459636 Grrrrr.... Complete Rip-Off!

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 24 May 2017 - 08:28 AM

     I agree that it looks like a joke, but it's really hard to tell these days. ;)

#1459632 Double shredded hardwood mulch?

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 24 May 2017 - 08:19 AM


For some reason, in Return to Eden method it is opposite. Not sure why


Fungi break down hardwood and I don't believe nitrogen is required to break this down. Plants in acidic soils generally favor ammonium and the bacteria who are often blamed for removing the nitrogen from the soil to break down wood chips utilize nitrates / nitrites which are commonly found in alkaline soils (the bacteria don't reproduce in soils with a pH below 7)


I suppose you have to entertain the idea of the hardwood absorbing some of the ammonium in the soil but there should be plenty of soil ammonium to go around and I doubt that the wood would absorb a significant enough amount


     In complex biological systems such as soil (about as complex as it can get) it's important to not look at components as being discrete, isolated pieces. That's like saying that red squirrels prefer conifer trees, so planting one in your yard will bring in a red squirrel population. There's way more to it than that.

     Sure, a glut of cellulose provided by wood chip application removes soil ammonium, but that's not the end of the story. One of the hallmarks of (living) soil is its capacity to buffer drastic chemical swings. Chemical components (ammonium in this case) that are significantly depleted by one process (sequestration by a plant or other organism) can lead to replacement from another source (nitrate gets converted to ammonium).

     And the machinery responsible for this buffering capacity is dependent on many factors. Parent material, climate, organic matter concentration and composition, resident populations of microbes and plants and animals... And all of these factors are interrelated as well. It's really hard to say with any certainty that soil will respond in a certain way because of one or two generalized rules or gudelines presented in a book.     

     I'm not knocking Loewenfels, by the way. These generalizations are the context in which all complex biological systems are taught, from 400 level molecular biology to a (really good) OTC book. But they are intended to be used as such. Separate, easy-to-digest models that, when looked at from a distance, will help form a picture that closely resembles what is really happening. Not hard and fast laws that must not be breached.

#1459617 The Next Throwdown is...

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 24 May 2017 - 07:03 AM

Tomato? I did a search and can't find no Tomato... what's the username?


     t0mato (the first"o" is a "0").





edit: We would have also accepted p1ckle.

#1459449 Compost Help

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 23 May 2017 - 03:50 PM


I might just add to that, that bigger is better.  For hot compost piles, a minimum size of 1 cubic meter is recommended.  Not that it won't work if it's smaller - it just hots up faster that way.  So heap it back up, and keep it as big as you can.


     Yup. You have to reach critical mass. There needs to be a certain amount of bulk microbological activity to create heat, and there also needs to be enough material in one tall heap to insulate all that heat so it can start to accumulate and begin that positive feedback loop that the thermophiles are associated with. :flamethrower: :fire:


     Compost resulting from a hot pile is better in so many ways: It is done and ready to use way faster. Less plant pathogens. Fewer nutrients in water soluble form. More nutrients absconded into microbial mass that will be used to feed roots later on. And more microbial mass means a greater amount of bacterial mucuses and gells and crap - stuff that holds soil particles together and create soil structure.

     I know there are more benefits, but I need to get back to packing and cleaning the basement. :clap:




I use just grass and leaves in this pile but I use scraps, coffee grounds and newspaper along with grass and leaves in my tumbler.

I just let it go, I was told by an "old timer" if you see it "steam" in the morning you are doing it right. Lol. I was told 2/1 ratio grass to leaves but not sure if it is right.




      Sounds like a good mix. Probably better than mine. And at that ratio (it sounds like you know what you're doing) It should heat up pretty soon.

     One way I've found to quickly check the core temp is to shove a potato fork or shovel deep in it and let it sit for maybe 30 seconds. If the tines are approaching too hot to hold when you pull it out (~150-165F), you're rocking.

     What time did you put it together last fall? I got caught with my pants down one fall and didn't get my heap put together until after the weather cooled down. It just sat there at ambient temp (30s) for weeks until I was able to spread it all out on a sunny day in the mid 60s. That jump started it and it was over 100F in two days.

     It might also be that it got up to temp last fall and just exhausted itself. Does the compost have a nice homogenous forest duff kind of smell, or can you still smell the individual components?

     My guess is that your piles might not have been big enough last fall and your compost isn't done yet. Hopefully we'll find out in coming days. Are you making efforts to shed rain off it if you're getting lots like just about everybody is this spring?

#1459304 The Next Throwdown is...

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 23 May 2017 - 06:51 AM

     Gaaaa. Even the way you say it takes the fun out of it! :rofl: ;)

#1459270 Supplements

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 23 May 2017 - 12:50 AM

When I plant I put a 1/2 cup of Espoma Tomato Tone Organic fertilizer pellets in hole along with a 1/2 cup of a mixture of Garden Lime and Gypsum which is basically Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. 




     Similar to what I use. TomatoTone, bone meal and a metric shit-ton of compost.


     TomatoTone is good stuff.

#1459266 The Next Throwdown is...

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 23 May 2017 - 12:35 AM

     Of all the TDs to miss... This one's gonna hurt. We're moving that weekend.  :tear:



     All my cast iron is going to be in a box on a truck and my canning stove will be in storage.

#1459185 Compost Help

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 22 May 2017 - 08:44 PM

I mixed it up today and hope it starts going again. I'm new to the compost thing and still trying to figure out the correct green/brown ratio so it"cooks" better


     What did you use to make yours? I use all of our kitchen scraps for a year and roughly equal parts dry leaves and aged grass clippings. I'll also throw in a few pounds of blood meal if it "looks" like it might need more N.

     Do you have a compost thermometer or do you just play it by ear?

#1459178 Compost Help

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 22 May 2017 - 08:21 PM

     It sounds like your compost might not have had a chance to go thermophilic and get up to a temp suitable for killing off plant pathogens. If that's the case, mix it up to aerate it and let it go a while longer. Check its temp in a week or so to make sure it's getting hot. Once it gets good and hot, mix it again to make sure all of it has a chance to "cook". Then it should be good to go.

     But mine sometimes ends up looking like that despite being made of a good ratio of browns and greens, getting up to >150F for a few weeks, and sitting all winter. It's coarse texture makes it more suitable for a (killer) mulch that my plants love. I find that if I incorporate coarse compost like that into soil, it finishes decomposing during the growing season. And when all that carbon mass is used up, it can lead to big, deep cracks forming in my soil (not good for plants).

     One thing I've found that helps jump-starting a compost heap is to spread the material out on a wam sunny day so it can absorb lots of heat. Once it's warm in the afternoon, heap it back up and it usually gets up to temp a lot quicker.

#1459165 Tabasco Pepper Dropping Leaves

Posted by Hybrid_Mode_01 on 22 May 2017 - 07:52 PM

If I top off won't most of the leaves be gone and it will die because it can't photosynthesis?



     You're absolutely right. If a person has a broken leg, question the doctor who prescribes breaking the other. ;)