• Blog your pepper progress. The first image in your first post will be used to represent your Glog.
  • 🌶Enter a pic of your GNARLIEST POD HERE to WIN AN EXTREME Membership!

Captain's Glog Stardate 1/14/15: 5 months later = HUGE update and lots of pics! Bowers, OW'ing, and

Hello fellow pepperheads!   :welcome:  to my glog for the 2014 season.
Last year was my first time growing peppers and the results were fantastic!  What started as tiny seedlings from Lowe's became large and extremely productive pepper factories (check out my 2013 glog for details).  As the end of the season approached I did some research and was able to create a nice indoor setup resulting in the (so far) successful overwintering of all four plants.  This year I knew I wanted to take the next step and try my hand at growing peppers from seeds as opposed to buying seedlings.  Thanks to the generosity of THP member Cone9 I was able to procure seeds for a variety of peppers, thus beginning my 2014 season!  I check this site almost religiously and will try to update my glog frequently thorughout the season.  
Grow list for 2014 (from seeds):
7 Pot Yellow
Aji Lemon
Aji Pineapple
Scotch Bonnet TFM
Wild Brazil
Yellow Fatalii
All of my seeds were started sometime in mid February in Miracle Gro Seed Starting Mix with some Vermiculite added in a 1:4 ratio.  I used a 72 cell seed starting tray, I think ProHex was the name - each cell was hexagonally-shaped as opposed to square or round, it was supposed to create a stronger root system.  Each cell was given 2-3 seeds because I honestly didn't expect to have the high germination rate I ended up having; I don't have an exact figure but it's roughly 90-95%.  About a month later in March any seedlings that were eligible received new homes.  I decided to experiment a little bit here: some seedlings were moved into 3" round jiffy pots, others into 3" square pots of a similar material, some went into solo cups or other plastic cups, and finally I had to move 8 Scotch Bonnets into a Ziploc container because I ran out of pots!  These are there current homes until they will receive their final potting up.  Some will go into 2 gal. containers while others will have the luxury of a 3.8 gal container.  Also, some plants were given more of the Seed Starter/Vermiculite mix and some were given straight Miracle Gro Potting Soil when I was finally able to get some.  When the seedlings first sprouted they were under 3 cfl lights but now they are under a 250w MH bulb and just 1 cfl.

Seedlings as of 3/22

Seedlings as of 4/6
As you can see I also have some Cilantro started as well and some catnip plants (VERY potent based on my cats' reactions lol  :high: )   I can't wait for the weather to finally break so I can move everyone outside, which probably won't happen until early May.  I have begun a very minor fertilizer schedule since it appears the plants have drained the soil of their nutes.
Plants OW'd from last year:
I didn't expect all of my plants from last season to survive when I brought them in for the winter but it appears all 4 will make it outside once more!  I thought I had taken more pictures of the OW process but apparently only one picture has survived.  The Cayenne and Habanero plants will be going in the ground this year in a bed I have yet to recondition (I'm almost positive the soil is of poor quality, I bought a soil test just to be sure but haven't got around to using it yet.)

Cayenne just before being moved inside

Future home for the Cayenne and Habanero (complete with snow!)  
As I mentioned earlier I will try to keep my glog updated regularly, I imagine the next update will be in a few weeks when I finally get to move everything outside.  
Good luck and happy growing, everyone!
Everything is looking real good. Like the new raised bed too.
When I read the title of your glog, I half expected to see the word 'star-date' just before 2014.
Jeff H said:
Everything is looking real good. Like the new raised bed too.
When I read the title of your glog, I half expected to see the word 'star-date' just before 2014.
Thanks! The soil in the bed is going to get a complete overhaul but it should work quite nicely.
Oh and as a side note...generally when I post updates I include the 'star-date' haha live long and pepper!
First update of the year: Improving my raised bed
Hello again fellow pepperheads!
Today I finally had enough free time and good weather after I got off work so I decided it was time to get my raised bed ready for the the Cayenne and Habanero plants I OW'd from last year (hopefully they will be in their new homes by the first weekend in May!).  One of the great things about working at Lowe's is being able to get all my supplies as soon as my shift is over (and the discount doesn't hurt either lol).  I decided to go with 2 bags of soil conditioner, which appeared to be some type of compost, 2 bags of manure/compost, and a 4lb. bag of Bio Tone Starter Fertilizer with Mycorrhizae (I don't remember exactly what it does but I remember seeing multiple people preaching of its importance on various forums here so I decided to go for it).

The ingredients
I began by getting rid of the first few inches of top soil that was already in the bed to make room for the new soil mix.  As I did this I dug out the area next to the ramp to install some chicken wire to prevent unwanted critters and I also decided to make a door stop so the door of my shed wouldn't swing open and damage the plants.  Once these were in placed I buried the base of it with a little bit of topsoil and then began prepping my mix and filling the bed.  I purchased a severely discounted Black and Decker cordless cultivator (another perk of working at Lowe's) which definitely helped with the mixing and loosening of the soil.  The first mix was one bag of compost and one bag of manure.  After spreading this out I added a layer of Bio Tone and the worms I had collected as I was digging (there were A LOT more than I had ever expected!).  Once the Bio Tone was spread out I finished everything with the other bag of compost and a few dozen eggs worth of eggshells I had been saving up.  After I was finished I was soooo tempted to put the plants in their new homes but the fear (and sadly realistic enough possibility) of one final frost was enough to keep the plants indoors...for now.

Digging up the old topsoil

Chicken wire and doorstop.
Soil mix (1 bag of compost, 1 bag of manure)

The secret ingredient: Worms!  I easily found triple this amount by the time I was finished digging!

Final product (minus eggshells)

Eggshells galore for the finishing touch, should I leave them on top like this or mix them into the soil?  Does it matter?
I'm really looking forward to getting the Cayenne and Habanero into their new home and seeing how big these guys can grow when they're not confined to a 3.8gal container.  If everything goes according to plan my next update should be around the last week of April/ first week of May when I can move the seedlings into larger containers and finally bring everything outside.
Seedling update
The seedlings seem to be doing better now that I have given them a dose of fish emulsion to make up for the lack of nutrients since it appears they have pretty much drained the mix they are currently in, I might try giving them a small dose of a more well-rounded fertilizer to replenish the rest of what they need (the fish emulsion is only 5-1-1).  It looks like they about as anxious as I am to get them outside and in their new homes!
Hope everyone else is having a good start to their season!
Update 5/4: Potting up and hardening off
Hello once again fellow pepperheads!
It's that wonderful time of year again: time to pot up the plants and get them ready for outside.  Overall everything went pretty smoothly with the exception of running out of potting soil and having to wait until I could pick up more at work the next day.  By the time I finished I had 21 pots (quite a jump considering I only had 4 last year!).  I was also able to spread the pepper love and give away 10-12 plants to some friends and coworkers.  Without further ado I give you pictures!

Potting up day 1: for some reason I thought I had enough potting mix (I had two 32-quart bags in the shed as well)

Trying to find room for all the containers when I was finished was quite a challenge!

Getting ready on day 2

Definitely not running out this time, 128 quarts should do the job.

Row 1: Aji Lemon Drop
Row 2: Aji Pineapple
Row 3: 7 Pot Yellow
Row 4: Yellow Fatalii
Row 5: Scotch Bonnet
Row 6: Wild Brazil
Row 7: Jalapeno, Habanero, Cayenne, Serrano (all OWs from last year)

Speaking of Scotch Bonnets, I present to you the Bucket O'Bonnet (patent pending)
When I put my seedlings under lights I had to use other, smaller lights on my Jalapeno and Serrano that were under it at the time.  Over time I'm not sure exactly what happened (I'm chalking it up to a lack of light and slightly colder temps) but the foliage growth suffered to the point that I figured I would just trim off all the old leaves and start anew.  

Looks really cool, but I'm sure it's terrible for the Jalapeno!

Another Jalapeno leaf, this one looks and feels almost like sandpaper.

The Jalapeno in all its naked glory!

Serrano had some healthy looking growth so I kept that and got rid of everything else
This week I have to harden everything off so they can finally stay out in the sun for the summer.  Since I don't have the ability to bring them in and put them out every single day I will be leaving them outside on my roofed deck so they are still in the shade/not full sun for the majority of the day and they can still get a nice breeze.  Temps are a little low the next 2 days (41F tonight is the coldest for the week), but I imagine they can survive the week with this setup.  Looks like my next update will be Sunday when I get to put my Cayenne and Habanero in the raised bed and put two more seedlings into their old containers.
Thanks for looking!  Hope everyone is having a good start to the season!
cone9 said:
Nice Glog - glad I happened upon it.
Great pics and the peppers are lookin' fine!
Thanks! And thank you once more for providing me with seeds, as you can see they had a fantastic germination rate!  :dance:
Stay tuned, I'll have even more recent pictures posted within the next few days!
Hello everyone!  Time for my first ever video glog update!  I decided to try something new and hopefully it all turns out alright.  I apologize in advance for the very amateur quality.  Can't believe it's been almost 2 months since my last update.
Also, as the title states, I promised cake.  For my graduation party my awesome girlfriend made me a cake I would like to share with you all. 

Isn't it the coolest?  but wait, there's more...she also gave me...

An entire jar of red habs that were left over from the cake!  She's a keeper, folks!
Let me know if the link to the video doesn't work: I have no idea how to post a video on here so hopefully I did it right.
thanks for watching!  Hope everyone is having a good summer and grow season!
Hi Steve.  I like the video update.  Everything looks great.  The only one of those I'm growing is the Aji Lemon Drop.  The Wild Brazil almost made the cut but I opted for Charapita instead.  I'll be interested to see what differences you find between the Aji Lemon Drop and the Aji Pineapple.  I grew the Lemon Drop last year but got to taste the Pineapple through a couple different SFRB.  I could taste no difference, but many feel the can!
Greetings and salutations, fellow pepperheads!  Today I come to you with another video update! Plenty of pods out there and the waiting process is killing me! Also had to deal with a possible broad mite infestation/herbicide drift problem on two of my overwintered plants in the raised bed.  Lastly please after watching my update vote for either pod A or pod B to determine which lucky 7 Pot Yellow pod will be eaten in my first ever hot pepper video review!  I've never eaten anything hotter than an orange habanero, so jumping up to a 7 Pot should be quite a show!  As always feel free to leave comments/questions/concerns below.
Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152546029349099&l=7858834034640284463
Thanks for watching!
Great video, Steve.  Your plants are really loaded up nicely.  You'll have some sweet pulls once everything colors up.  
Wild Brazil peppers are so good - fine flavor and nice amount of heat.  They will dry nicely as well.
Good luck with the 7 Pot Yellow review - you'll not see me doing that!
I'll vote for pod A - that's a nice shaped pod.
It's August already? What happened to my summer?! Anyways it's time for another update, no video update this time, this here update is just a quickie (with a bit of pod porn mixed in for good measure  :party: )
First things first, just over 2 weeks ago my Cayenne that I OW'd from last year was hit with either herbicide drift or a broad mite infestation.  Regardless of the cause I treated it as best as I could and I have to say, I'm very pleased with the results.  Take a look:

The left and center pics were taken on 7/24 when I discovered the possible infestation and removed the affected growth.  The pic on the right was taken today (8/10), what a great recovery!  Unfortunately the Habanero that was also affected is not recovering as fast, so we'll see how it survives the season.

It even has some pods!

One of the longer pods on the cayenne.
While we're doing time-lapse-esque pictures, another plant in my raised bed is exploding with growth as well.  It was a leftover seedling I figured I had room for so I stuck it in the raised bed and figured we'd see what happened.  Still no pods yet, but I think it's a fatalii.

Left: Seedling on 5/28
Right: Same plant on 8/10
What else is new...oh yeah!  I also made pepper powder for the first time!  I had 4, quart-sized mason jars full of Yellow 7 Pots and figured it was time to try my hand at making powder.  Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures early in the process...

Here they are after they finished dehydrating, 3/4 trays were packed with 7 Pots!

My powder making laboratory.  Making it outside was a terrible decision; the wind picked up as I opened the processor and a tiny fleck went up my nose.  After the burning and massive sneezing fit went away, somehow some flakes made their way into my eye!  :fireball: damn that was painful!  Next time I'll do the smar tthing and make it inside.

The finished product.  Not as fine as I had wanted it to be but after the assault on my face I decided that was good enough.
Last but not least, some pod porn for the ladies (and the gentlemen, if they're so inclined ;) )  This first picture is from my harvest today.

Left to right: Aji Pineapple, Wild Brazil, Aji Lemon, Scotch Bonnet TFM, Yellow Fatalii, 7 Pot Yellow.

Check out the tail on this Scotch Bonnet!

Two of the meaner looking 7 Pots picked today
Hope everyone is having a good season, hard to believe in 2 months I'll be selecting and prepping my OW's and making my final harvests of the year...so sad..but in the meantime, hope everyone else is having an awesome season!  As always, feel free to leave comments/questions/concerns below!
EDIT:  I almost forgot! Either tonight or tomorrow I will be editing and uploading the 7 Pot Review Video I promised oh so long ago!  In a bit of a twist, this review will be a group review (meaning two of my friends decided to join me, and hilarity ensues!)  Stay tuned!
WOW! It's been 5 months since my last update!  So sorry everyone, work and grad school devoured what little free time I had and then other odds and ends have had me distracted as well.  Time for tons of pics and updates!  
Guess I'll go chronologically...
SEPTEMBER: Bowers Chile Fest and pod reviews!
I had an awesome time at Bowers with my girlfriend!  Tried all kinds of amazing foods and sauces and powders and even jalapeno wine! (Of course I bought a bottle)  Even met a few fellow THP members (shout out to DEFCON and GeminiCrow!)  My favorite part hands-down was going out to the massive field to pick peppers.  Even though a lot of the plants had been scavenged pretty well my girlfriend and I still had quite a haul!  Some of the peppers I picked were featured in pod review videos I decided to do with Jim (you may remember him as “guy who almost drowned under a kitchen faucet” in my 7 Pot Yellow group review). 

Pictured: Heaven.
Shameless self-promotion time!
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER: Final harvest, moved plants inside, made all the things!
Due to unusually warm temperatures my plants were able to stay outside until the last week of October.  Out of the 2 dozen plants I had I decided to keep only four: the Jalapeno, Cayenne, Fatalii, and a strange hybrid I had no idea I was growing (but more on that later).  Everything else was harvested and then the rest was donated to a few of my neighbor's compost bins.  Overall I had two 5 gallon buckets filled with pods: one bucket of ripe peppers and one filled to the brim with unripe pods.  Eventually a lot of the pods in the unripe bucket ripened, and I got to work making all sorts of pepper things!  I made several sauces not really following any recipes, just kinda eyeballing it as I went.  
Make all the things!
-       a really good sweet-heat sauce out of some Scotch Bonnets
-       a fatalii/aji puree following AlabamaJack's instructions
-       several different powders
-       jalapeno poppers
-       jalapeno popper dip
-       and plenty of jars of dehydrated pods of all sorts  

Fatalii puree (using AlabamaJack's recipe)

Fatalii/Aji/Wild Brazil powder on the left, Scotch Bonnet sauce on the right.

Grilled jalapeno poppers and sausages mmmmm...
The peppers that have yet to be used are all in the freezer in the basement waiting for me to figure out what to do with them...

I made a few upgrades to my setup this year, the most notable being a change from a 250w HPS bulb to a 600w, what a difference!
I also added a thermometer.  Temps seem to stay just under 80 degrees.
DECEMBER - JANUARY: Neglect and infestation!
As I previously stated, unfortunately for a few weeks I was unable to give much attention to the plants as I was doing grad work and working and went on vacation for awhile and such.  Right around Christmas I noticed the beginnings of what looked like an aphid infestation.  I finally assessed the situation and dealt with it all tonight (3 weeks later)...definitely should NOT have let things go on for that long!  What a pain!  Today I decided to devote a few hours of my day to combating the biggest pest problem I've ever dealt with (aside from my brother, maybe).  Each plant was covered in clusters of aphids and I'm pretty sure some soil fungus gnats as well.  I decided from the get-go to remove the fatalii from the equation altogether; I loved them when I grew them this past season, but the setup was kinda crowded with four plants in 4 gallon containers and it just didn't make the cut.  For the remaining three I trimmed off the heavily affected areas of the plant, then cleaned the outside of each container.  Each plant was then first washed with a wet paper towel then every single inch of the plant that is above soil was wiped down with a pyrethrin-based insecticide/fungicide/miticide.  The frame of the setup was then wiped down and I vacuumed up all the debris that was on the floor.  Everything looks a lot better now and, although the blow I dealt to the aphids was quite serious, I will continue to monitor the situation until every last aphid is gone!  Oh and I also hung a fresh flypaper strip to catch any remaining fliers.

Cleaning and treating the Cayenne

Nice and clean and mostly insect free!

Found this guy hiding by the electronics...turns out its a boxelder bug (i.e. not a friend)  He gone.
(Hybrid?) mystery: Any idea what this might be?
As I was doing my final harvest and preparing to bring some plants in back in October, I noticed one of the plants that I assumed was a fatalii had finally produced a pod.  The plant was a leftover seedling I planted in a small container a few weeks after I brought everything outside for the summer, so it had a delayed start.  Originally, I had assumed it was a fatalii, however the fatalii seeds I was given (thanks again, Cone9!) were for yellow fataliis, and this pod was a nice red color.  It is also a lot smaller (1-1.5") than the yellow fataliis, however some of the flavor and heat profile of this new pepper was fatalii-ish.  I harvested quite a few but s far I have no idea what this could be.  I'll be posting in the pepper ID section shortly.


So that's all for now folks!  I think this time last year I was starting seeds in my dorm room but this year I'm definitely waiting a bit as I realized I started way too early last year.  Once I start prepping for seeds I'll take some more pictures and post another update.  Roughly 4 more months til plant out!