AHayastani's ГЛΟГ

I have an urban "garden" on the roof of a house in tropical Chiapas, Mexico. It's the first year that I'm growing plants - mostly Capsicum - in this location. I lived in a temperate region of Europe before, and the adaptation to different growing conditions is not without setbacks. Another issue is that not all material that I would like to use is commonly available here, so at times I have to be more creative than I actually want to be. That being said, it is also unbelievable (for me, at least) to see how some plants manage to grow in this climate even in adverse conditions (despite my bad treatment, that is).
 
I have obtained seeds from various sources (abbreviations in parentheses will be used in this glog): White Hot Peppers (WHP), Towns-End (town), Jayrseyshore Peppers [FB] (jay), Vertiloom (vtl), Badskin (bad), Juan GA [FB] (jga), Semillas La Palma (SLP), Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds).
 
I arrived at this house in january and started my first sowings in february. This glog, however, begins in early June and I will just treat this as "the beginning".
 
 
I re-sowed a few cultivars end May since most or all of my plants of that specific cultivar had perished... My 3 plants of Jay's Peach Ghost Scorpion seem to have succumbed to a virus infection, which might have been seed-born. I will soon find out... My Brazilian Mango and Aji Mango Long plants looked depressing, so I sowed the backup seeds. Serrano... I had forgotten to sow them  :confused:  Trinidad Beans Chocolate, because two out of three plants seem to be reluctant to grow and enter adulthood... Takanotsume is old seed I purchased on ebay, and I'm surprised that anything gets up. Pimenta Moranga and Monster Gum Multicolor (jga) are two cultivars that I was going to sow on March 20, but I somehow lost the seeds... but they recently resurfaced :) Germination is still OK, even though the seeds were "stored" outside  :rolleyes:
 
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I sourced some pequin/chiltepin from the local market, one fruit per tray:
 
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A box of failures... The seed is already old though and has not been properly stored. Cumari Pollux (SLP) is an exception though, and I will await its germination to officially declare the rest as "lost".
 
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Sowed today: Capsicum galapagoense Long (SLP).
 
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I had some fun with tomato suckers as well... I put two suckers in water to make them grow roots (cultivar Madagascar) and gave them a baggie of dirt today and placed them with the rest.
 
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I removed some more suckers and put them in water. Hopefully they will make it to tomato plant :) Three are Midnight Tiger and another Madagascar. The three shoots in perlite below are Aji Tapachula.
 
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ahayastani

Extreme Member
The last harvest before my trip. The first image is from Sunday, the second from this morning. In the evening, they will be pickles (except for the Piment d'Espelette) :)
 
 
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  1. aji jobito
  2. TAM jalapeño
  3. KS White Thai (but pheno off)
  4. piment d'Espelette
  5. aji guyana
  6. Santa Fe (the first wave of this variety has yielded very small peppers)
  7. criolla de cocina
  8. Hangjiao 3 "Solar Flare"
  9. Sweet Moruga
  10. Craig's Grande jalapeño
  11. Fushimi
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ahayastani

Extreme Member
Datil said:
Looking great, you will be soon in perpetual harvest mode

 
 
We all want to be in that mode, no?  :D
 
I nibbled from all peppers in the images :whistle: (but not piment d'Espelette). I found aji guyana and hangjiao 3 tasted the best, red TAM jalapeño was delightfully sweet; I didn't spot the "sweet" in Sweet Moruga, but it didn't have hotness, as described. I prefered aji jobito as non-hot chinense though. Criolla de cocina and fushimi scored well, nice sweetness. Criollo de cocina also had a nice acid note. All chiles were crunchy and juicy :thumbsup:
 
This is my subjective opinion for the raw peppers of this harvest.
 
Great job, things are looking good. I personally think both the Aji Guyana and Criolla de Cocina's are fabulous peppers. Definitely two of my favorites. You've sparked my intrest in the solar flare. What's the spice level on that pepper?
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
PepperFish said:
Great job, things are looking good. I personally think both the Aji Guyana and Criolla de Cocina's are fabulous peppers. Definitely two of my favorites. You've sparked my intrest in the solar flare. What's the spice level on that pepper?
 
I absolutely agree :) Last year, my solar flare crop was comparable to jalapeño in terms of hotness. This year (other seed source, more reliable phenotype) it seems to be a bit higher, like serrano.
 
 
 
PaulG said:
Hope your pending trip is a good
one. Safe travels, friend!
 
Yeah, I'm back :D I returned with a rich bounty of beer, books and chocolates :D And seeds as well :whistle: (SLP doesn't ship to MX, but they do to EU).
 
My kids did their work well (a surprise, I must add). A few plants have died do to overwatering, but nothing dramatic. A few others are suffering because of too much water, but they'll recuperate. Things have turned into a jungle though... Pictures will come once I've got things under control again.
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
CaneDog said:
Welcome back.  Always cool to notice how much things have grown after being away a bit.  Sounds like you brought good stuff home with you too.
 
I did my best to make the most of my trip :D Strawberries... which they have plenty in MX, but not good ones.
 
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I visited this one - I passed by on bike and didn't expect it to be opened, but didn't hesitate when I noticed the open gates.
 
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And I brought back tons of stuff... I went with clothes for three days and gifts for the family, but came back with three bags (22 kg, 23 kg, 30 kg) of goodies - from beers to even a once-used Le Creuset Dutch oven. Also some regional bean varieties - yes, bringing bean varieties into MX... - and a sweet potato they don't have here in MX that is forming shoots as I type :)
 
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Most of the garden is doing OK, though many plants had been turned into aphid farms by ants. Many plants were also affected by mealybugs. I decided to apply a pyrethroid, which in my case is especially effective against the ants and their aphid farms. I have been sitting with every plant individually and curbed the mealybug numbers by a rub-of-the-thumb, followed by an abundant application of neem oil. The mealybugs were still localized on specific plants but were preparing to move on to other plants. I believe I stepped in just in time. Yesterday I did the same: assess the situation for each plant individually, rub mealybug herds into a protein mass and apply neem oil. This will be repeated in a few days.
 
Most of my smaller plants and seedlings have been killed by overwatering. I had made watering schemes for my kids and they followed them diligently, but my wife couldn't believe that the smaller ones needed that little water, and... you can guess. Nothing dramatic, however. I'm preparing to sow a few varieties one of the following days.
 
One adult padrón plant released its soul into the immaterial world, but it wasn't looking too healthy when I left. Luckily, I have a second plant that is still doing fine.
 
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ahayastani

Extreme Member
The pepperoncino plant needed some special attention. It was heavily colonized by mealybugs and its major branches were reaching to the ground because of the weight of the peppers. I harvested everything and gave the mealybugs a free trip to the afterlife. The plant is still not completely mealybug-free, but the situation is under control. I cannot let my guard down, however. I have adapted the plant support so that the branches won't fall that low again. You can see in the image that the plant had already begun developing a new shoot in the center, so as to continue growing upward.
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Aji panca is doing well. Ants had turned the plant into an aphid farm. I harvested ripe peppers, though most peppers will need another week to ripen completely. The phenotype of the (current) second crop is similar to the first crop.
 
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ahayastani

Extreme Member
A few more impressions...
 
Benxi has not been very productive so far, although the few peppers the plants carry are quite big. They approach the size of a bell pepper.
 
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First ghost peppers are nearly ready. It's the first time I'm growing them. During my absence, the plant was heavily colonized by ants who turned it into an aphid farm. It's a strong plant, however, and it will recuperate.
 
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I still remember that the first KS Lemon Starrburst pepper I spotted was not of the hoped phenotype. At this moment, the plant is loaded with peppers, and I have the impression that the first pepper was also the only one of a "wrong" phenotype... The others seem to agree quite well.
 
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Piri piri "African Devil". Very appealing plant loaded with peppers. I haven't tasted them yet.
 
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Sweet Moruga carries a lot of peppers as well.
 
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Miscucho Colorado with a small pepper. I cut down some branches of this plant because it had become an unwieldy bush. Also this plant was turned into an aphid farm by ants during my absence. I'm not sure what to think about this plant/variety. A lot of plant, but little fruit... I'll give it some more chances though.
 
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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Some tasty harvests there! My KS White Thai have been starting white, then going red thru orange.. Look a lot like yours. The flavor on the ones I have, fully ripe, was a little insipid for my tastes.. How are yours?
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Hey, welcome back, D! Some pretty nice pods down south!
Glad the plants suffered only minimally in your absence.
 
Your envelope arrived safe and sound a few days ago!
Thanks a whole lot, but you really didn’t have to go to
Europe to mail them  :rofl:
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Is that your son’s artwork? Looks like a fierce aphid eater!
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
Datil said:
Welcome to the ghost fan club

F
 
You bet! I must admit it was truly a revelation... and I felt ashamed I hadn't grown it before... 
 
CraftyFox said:
Some tasty harvests there! My KS White Thai have been starting white, then going red thru orange.. Look a lot like yours. The flavor on the ones I have, fully ripe, was a little insipid for my tastes.. How are yours?
 
I'm not convinced my KS White Thai is the correct phenotype. My peppers start green or purple and ripen to red. Taste is not bad, an upfront burn and some sweetness. But there definitely are better peppers around. I like the looks of the plant, however, and I placed it on a balcony near the street. I don't have any particular use for these peppers, I mostly use them as "fillers" in other preparations.
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
PaulG said:
Hey, welcome back, D! Some pretty nice pods down south!
Glad the plants suffered only minimally in your absence.
 
Your envelope arrived safe and sound a few days ago!
Thanks a whole lot, but you really didn’t have to go to
Europe to mail them  :rofl:
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35B6A0C5-96E3-480D-A414-B4C03F243A6C.jpeg
Is that your son’s artwork? Looks like a fierce aphid eater!
 
 
That's my son's artwork, yes :) He's Head of Design of the family business  :rolleyes:  That being said, I'm looking for ways to involve them in our mini-enterprise, and I try to do that by allowing them to do the things they do best. In the case of one son, it'll be everything that has to do with design and looks. The other one will take care of my PC and social media :D One should always have dreams to chase, no? 
 
That lettuce is one of my favourites. It grew well in my climate before, it should do well in yours - if you like lettuce, that is :) Vilmorin is a trusted brand, I'm not sure whether you're familiar with it in the US. In general, French tend to select varieties in the first place for taste, then for yield or size. I hope you like the peppers; I'll be adding Mazateco to my next sowing list (by the weekend, I hope).
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
ahayastani said:
 
 
That's my son's artwork, yes :) He's Head of Design of the family business  :rolleyes:  That being said, I'm looking for ways to involve them in our mini-enterprise, and I try to do that by allowing them to do the things they do best. In the case of one son, it'll be everything that has to do with design and looks. The other one will take care of my PC and social media :D One should always have dreams to chase, no? 
 
That lettuce is one of my favourites. It grew well in my climate before, it should do well in yours - if you like lettuce, that is :) Vilmorin is a trusted brand, I'm not sure whether you're familiar with it in the US. In general, French tend to select varieties in the first place for taste, then for yield or size. I hope you like the peppers; I'll be adding Mazateco to my next sowing list (by the weekend, I hope).
I am looking forward to trying those next season, D!
 
Sounds like you have a real production team getting
organized there! 
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
A lot of action is going on, but mostly reaping the rewards of earlier efforts.
 
Somewhere last week I made an attempt at making a hot sweet chili sauce. I like the combination of sweet and hot and commercial Thai spicy sweet sauces lack the hot I crave for. I had never made this type of sauce... Ingredients: garlic, piri piri "African Devil" (~75 g), sugar, vinegar and water. The African Devil is not as hot as the name might imply, but the taste is good and I enjoy very much its soft and prolonged burn. The end result was OK, definitely better than what I can find in the supermarket, but there also was a lot of room for improvement: the consistency was not solid enough, too much vinegar (though the vinegar taste slowly disappears after a few days), and an initially strong pepper taste (also mellows down after a few days). Every issue has a solution though, and I will work on it. I'll happily consume the sauce myself but would not dare to sell it :shocked: I have ordered a vacuum sealer and will make my first attempts at fermentation (à la Siv). Even if the fermentation trials fail, I can make good use of the vacuum sealer.
 
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I also had enough pepperonicini to fill a jar. I was going to open it but still haven't done so. I added a teaspoon of cardamom, see how it turns out.
 
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Piment d'Espelette has dried. Now find an application :D
 
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Sunday's harvest:
 
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  1. Aji guyana
  2. Aji jobito
  3. Hangjiao 3 "Solar Flare"
  4. KS White Thai (supposedly; I'm not convinced)
  5. Buena Mulata
  6. Bhut Jolokia
  7. Fushimi
  8. Sweet Moruga
  9. KS Lemon Starrburst
Monday's harvest: Aji panca and sweet peppers (Blot)
 
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The plant (aji panca) still carries a good deal of peppers. I believe that by next week they'll be ready to be picked. Some new flowers have already appeared so I hope the plant is preparing for a new round of peppers. After that I might put another pepper plant in its place. I have selected five pods for seeds that were substantially bigger then the rest. I went to check out some land last weekend and I hope that I can plant a few aji pancas there within a year or so. It's a big plant... The height of the plastic tube is ~1m.
 
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