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Fcaruana Glog 2018

Hey everyone!
I have been reading and getting inspired by the glogs here for about a year and a half now and I love it, so I promised myself I would do a glog this year too. This is my 4th season growing peppers, and with the new raised beds that I built last year I have lots of room for extra peppers (8 beds that are 4 feet x 10 feet). Not all of them will go to peppers, but if I get my way I will be able to use quite a few of them. Anyways, better late than never, so here we go!
Quick story: I got into peppers 3 years ago when I picked up a single habanero plant on a whim - I was at a nursery/farm getting a gift for mother's day and saw a hab seedling for for $3 and said, "hey, habaneros are hot I think.. let me throw this in the ground and see what happens." Plant was amazing - completely won me over with it's beautiful colors and resilience (something ate all the leaves off and the plant completely grew back in a week and thrived)... and I made some tasty hot sauces with it. I was hooked. The next season I grew 33 plants, and last year I grew 74 plants.. I haven't counted yet how many I have this year but I'm sure its more than last year haha.
Grow list for this year:
Coyote Zan White
Red Savina
Carribean Red Hab
Bahamian Goat
BTR (Butch T Reaper)
Bhut jolokia
Peach Bhut
Jay's Peach Ghost Scorpion
Carolina Reaper
Bico Roxa
Habanero Limon
Genghis Khan's Brain
7-Pot Bubblegum Red
Yellow 7-Pot Brainstrain (growdown)
Long White Scorpion
Aribibi Gusano
Rocoto Red
Aji Mango
Peruvian White Hab
Yellow Dorset Naga
Currently trying to germinate (as of 2 days ago):
Biker Billy Jalapeno
Agriset Jalapeno
Zapotec Jalapeno
Thunder Mountain Longhorn
Numex Big Jim
Hangjiao #3 Solar Flare
Island Hellfire Cayenne
Big Black Mama
Fish Pepper
Purple UFO
Firecracker (my favorite)
Bolivian Rainbow
Chile De Arbol
Goats Weed
Rooster Spur
"Fang" pepper by Brendan Picante
Unfortunately this is going to be my last "big year" of growing tons of peppers at my house since I will be going to medical school at the end of the summer. My goal was to grow as many different varieties as I could before I'm off, but I'm still going to grow some plants under grow lights (hopefully some fun crosses!) while at school. Can never go without the spice haha
Hope you guys enjoy!
Here a (somewhat) brief bring-you-up-to-speed Glog:
Germinated the superhots first starting 1/10:

Transplanted them from the rapid rooters to a seed tray 1/22:


Repotted some of those to 3" pots and put them under my NEW LED LIGHT :onfire:  around 2/6

I got the MaxBloom X4 COB LED light off Amazon and have had amazing results so far. Plants grow better/faster under here than my T5s. It apparently has UV and IR light in it as well. Overall would definitely recommend.
I started the habanero-level hots around 1/25. This was taken on 2/6:

The Bico Roxa is one in particular I'm super excited about. Dark purple stems and purple leaves. The chiles are black and turn red. Hoping to make some fun crosses with this one!

Shot about 1 week later 2/12:

Moved around and potted up:


These are the transplanted superhots that I got from the original rapid rooter tray, doing quite well under the T5s.
And here's something fun that happened.. I had left some untransplanted superhots under the LED in the seed tray (didn't have the heart to snip them) and they went out of control... Here they are in the tray on 2/15:


I was wondering how they had grown so quickly, to the point where they were beating out the peppers that had been transplanted into their own pots with way more soil. Then I checked and saw what had happened:

They created this CRAZY root system underneath along the capillary bed that went laterally all the way down into the nutrient solution. I was pretty impressed. And aside from some slight nutrient problems I could see from the leaves, they looked very good:


So I decided I couldn't kill them despite already having at least 3-4 plants of each already set aside in solo cups (I was too impressed from this incident); I ripped them up out of there and put them in the cups. I also got a calamondin orange tree for Valentines Day, so that is living under the light next to my survivors:

Meanwhile, everything else has been growing well, this was taken about 1 week ago. I'm in the process of transplanting everything to 4.5" square pots that I got by accident from Greenhouse Megastore (I was meant to get a bunch of 2" pots, but they sent me those instead, which was a nice mistake!) Here they are on 2/16:



And now we're all caught up - today it was in the mid-70s (somehow here in NY in February.. extremely unusual), so naturally I took them on a trip out to the greenhouse where I set out a bunch of peppers to germinate for my nursery sales (when Spring actually starts) 2/21:



Will keep this updated now that I'm up and running on THP and over half of the peppers for this season are on their way to the big outdoors. Hope you guys enjoyed, and thanks for following along! More to come!
fcaruana said:
Thanks Devv! It's gonna be a good one, it's already been warming up sooner than usual in NY so I'm optimistic.

When do you think you'll be ready to plant outside?

I'm trying to get my plants producing by late May/early June that way I can enjoy my pods throughout July before I have to leave in mid August for school (August-October is our typical harvest season)... we'll see how it goes!

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The soil is a lot warmer than I thought while planting tomatoes yesterday. So pretty soon!
I'll be flying into Islip towards the end of March for a family gathering. I'm hoping for not freezing weather ;) 
Devv said:
The soil is a lot warmer than I thought while planting tomatoes yesterday. So pretty soon!
I'll be flying into Islip towards the end of March for a family gathering. I'm hoping for not freezing weather ;) 
Great to hear! I'll be watching (..or I guess reading) haha
Nice, usually it's not too bad, and so far it's been very Spring-like despite it only being the end of February a day ago. More than likely you'll be fine, but we do have some crazy cold snaps randomly. Last year was really frustrating... It was cold cold cold all the way through May 15-16th, then all of a sudden it went up into the 80s. I sunburnt some of my plants pretty bad despite having conditioned them over the course of the week cause I couldn't stand waiting longer to plant them out.
Genetikx said:
Plants are super healthy, good goin
Time for a plant update finally. Did some good work today - I potted up 30 of my best-looking anuum sprouts and finally got around to watering everything again, they've been drinking tons of liquids lately. Some of my solo cup plants are sucking the dirt dry after only a day or two, it's nuts.
Another update is that I have several sprouts going at the greenhouse at the farm nearby. I started a few huge seed trays there. So far there's aji amarillo, aji pineapple, yellow scotch bonnet, a single reaper sprout, and a few habaneros coming up which is exciting, it's only been a week.
Peppers for the nursery are growing nicely. I need to make a trip in to fertilize them soon, the leaves are starting to pale up a bit.


Potting up the anuums earlier today:



All done:

Here's some progress pics of my trays. I recently moved around my whole lighting setup - moved the LED to a corner and set up my hanging T8 fixture.



Some of my superhots, started in January. These were previously under the T5 shelf but it got too crammed in there and they were getting a little leggy. They're doing much better under the LED! The other really cool thing I've noticed is that the LED light causes the growth to be much tighter, and the stems are thicker. This was actually advertised on the light.. "strong stem growth.." because they have certain wavelengths of light in there. I thought it was a bunch of baloney but I'm happily surprised to say they're definitely right about that! Plants I've moved from the T5s to the LED have already become stockier and have thicker stems. Anyways... Somewhere in here is my growdown plant.

And here's some general shots of the plants. They seem very happy. Once those roots fill the pot the upward/leafy growth is just out of control. On top of that, it's about 85 degrees in my basement where I'm growing these, so they seem to be maxing out their growth rates. Even for soil they're moving very quickly. Pretty soon will be topping time!






Here's the ol' growdown plant (Yellow 7-Pot Brain Strain). Growing really stalky stem, tight nodes, and looks to be really healthy.. I'm proud of this one. This is one of the plants that I had to tear out of the capillary mat due to the crazy root systems. It appears to have made a recovery!


Here's one of my ghost peppers. I'm so excited to finally have them this year. I've been trying to grow them for the past 2 years and was never able to. The first time was because Pepper Joe sent me seeds labeled ghost that were actually moruga scorpions (this is my best guess due to flavor and shape), and when I emailed them regarding it they sent me a new pack that I stupidly trusted... So last year I spent all that time thinking Pepper Joe wouldn't send me the same WRONG seeds twice... but he did. This time I got seeds from Puckerbutt and from the Chile Pepper Institute, so I'm pretty positive I'll have some real ghost peppers this year. 


Alright, that's it for today! Here's a shot of the setup in my basement. A bit crammed, but that's cause I'm always growing way more plants than I can handle in that space lol


Thanks for checking in!


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bpiela said:
Looking great!  Love the setup.  Your growdown plants is looking phenomenal.
Thanks! Yours are looking great too, and we're not too far from each other - Glen Rock is within 1-2 hours from me. Hopefully this'll be a good year.. been warmer than usual so far. Also it looks like you have the same 4" square pots as me. Did you get those from greenhouse megastore? How do you like them?
It's my first time using square pots, I usually go with solo cups since they're so much cheaper but this year I'm trying these out.
fcaruana said:
Thanks! Yours are looking great too, and we're not too far from each other - Glen Rock is within 1-2 hours from me. Hopefully this'll be a good year.. been warmer than usual so far. Also it looks like you have the same 4" square pots as me. Did you get those from greenhouse megastore? How do you like them?
It's my first time using square pots, I usually go with solo cups since they're so much cheaper but this year I'm trying these out.

My pots are 3" square.  I used to buy from growerssolution.com but I found the same thing this year on Amazon and shipping was way cheaper.  I will have to check out the Greenhouse Megastore.
I'm impressed with your work!
Keep it green buddy!
And yes last summer was a cool one; when we were in LI. last August it was a good 20° below normal.
Hey everyone! Time for another update! Sorry it’s been so long... Plants are simply huge... I’m trying to keep everything under control for another few weeks before plant out but it’s a jungle in my basement. It sits at about 85° down there in the boiler room so I suspect that is why the plants grow so ridiculously fast.

Anyways, everything that was small/medium sized in the last update are now in 4.5 inch square pots, and my biggest plants are all in 1 gallon pots. My superhots that I started in January are simply MASSIVE.. about 1.5-2 feet tall, big and bushy, tons of shoots out of the bottom (and I didn’t even really top anything this year!!) and tons of flowers, one or two peppers. I figured if I let some of them set a few fruits indoors I’ll slow down the ridiculous vertical growth I’ve been seeing until I get them in the dirt. I’m all out of space! Haha

Here’s the anuums, which were just little seedlings when last everyone saw. They’ve come a long way in a month to say the least.


Moved some of my February chinenses to the other shelf to free up room on the t5 table.

Budding like crazy despite being in such small pots... I can’t even imagine the root-boundedness these are going through, but hey that’s what I get for starting so early!

Here are my two rhomboideums [emoji4] so excited for these little guys. I’ll separate them in the next few days... I’m just afraid to damage them so I’ve been putting it off.

Now for some side-shoot porn. I haven’t really topped anything this year yet the plants are bushing up like crazy, I love it! Maybe it’s something about the nutrients or the soil this year that are promoting side growth? If anyone knows more please chime in!

Ghost pepper:


Look at these monstrosities

And here’s a shot of some habanero Limons coming in already:

Anyways that’s all for now! I’ll try to be better about updates in the future. Thanks for stopping by! Someone send some warmer weather to NY please.. thank you.

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Devv said:
Looking good in NY Frankie!
Side shoots just indicate healthy plants reaching a level of maturity.
So good work buddy!
Thank you! I’ll post some new developments tomorrow. Things are looking good and green here and my one gallon container plants are filling out dramatically. I have to water much more frequently now - certain plants need water every day! Plant-out can’t come soon enough as there really isn’t any space left haha [emoji27]

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Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!!
It's been really busy up here; got most of the plants in the dirt about 2 weeks ago - 43 plants in/48 planned in the raised beds, and about 25 others in pots ranging from 3 gallons to 30 gallons. My capsicum rhomboideums are hardened off and need to hit the dirt either tomorrow or Monday, but I forgot to snap a pic of them before I left for the weekend, so I'll include photos of them soon.
Just fertilized with some fish on Thursday and the plants look overjoyed (as much as a plant can).
I also don't have any space left to upload more photos... So I apologize in advance for the messiness, but I'll post the imgur links to the photos.
Here's an overall shot of the garden: https://imgur.com/9tgUVBW
I have those back 4 beds and a big line of pots at the bottom of the garden. Lots of container peppers this year! More tomatoes this year too. I took my brother and mother on a little road trip a few weeks ago to Kutztown, PA to go to Meadow View Farm. It's about a 2.5 hour drive. James Weaver is the owner of the farm, he grows amazing peppers and is famous for keeping all these heirloom tomato varieties alive. He has some really amazing stories about the heirloom tomatos he grows and sells. He even got my brother into gardening because of the story behind his "Vito's Plum Tomatos." Great to have my brother excited about gardening now, he was never into it until Mr. Weaver started talking to him about the plants and their stories. Anyways, he is the guy behind Jay's Peach Ghost Scorpion - his son made that cross! Really cool, and the farm was beautiful. I think we took a few photos, I'll post some of those as well.
Here are some tomatoes from his farm.
Great White: https://imgur.com/rDHo5J6
Mr. Stripey: https://imgur.com/cseC6x2
Druzba (cute story behind this one): https://imgur.com/Ls01EUs
And now for some PEPPERS.
Poblano: https://imgur.com/3X4tLmN
Padron: https://imgur.com/3mRNeyg
Shishito with lots of flowers: https://imgur.com/iF9k2nH
Hungarian Hot Wax with PODS: https://imgur.com/ExuKbmw
Thunder Mountain Longhorn: https://imgur.com/mJNXMQz
It's really thin-branched.. concerning me a little. Hoping this plant turns around soon.
Chilhuacle Negro: https://imgur.com/nwhPFVn
Apparently this is a famous pepper in Oaxaca, Mexico for making mole sauce. It's a brown chile with a smokey flavor. Learned about it in Peppers of the Americas (best pepper book ever).
Byadgi: https://imgur.com/MPeodGp
This is a cayenne-type from India. Got the recommendation from Brendan Draves (I think he's a member here - he has a Youtube channel as well)
The jalapenos are coming along nicely... No pods yet.
Agriset: https://imgur.com/sx8C5z6
Zapotec: https://imgur.com/0Pq2Z48
Numex Big JIm: https://imgur.com/nyJimwN
Ghost in the dirt: https://imgur.com/HAjO5Em
Long White Scorpion WITH A POD: https://imgur.com/tKDtJRv
Really excited about this one. I really like the shape of the pods on it so far.
Firecracker: https://imgur.com/FA9xJul
My favorite. Tiny little upward-facing needles at about 50,000 SHU. Best damn flakes on Earth.
Fatalii in the dirt: https://imgur.com/1lf6epf
Island Hellfire Cayenne: https://imgur.com/d0Zr5EV
Genghis Khan's Brain: https://imgur.com/LVaaxLy
Serrano: https://imgur.com/rXt7IcL
Two reapers, one from my own seed stock (back), one from Ed Currie (front): https://imgur.com/BxAbhbo
Jay's Peach Ghost Scorpion (seeds from Puckerbutt): https://imgur.com/9WAg8Ni
Got LOTS of pods on this one!! https://imgur.com/JF7lhj6
7-Pot Bubblegum (Red): https://imgur.com/EzbP58G
Still appears to be getting adjusted.
Peach Ghost pepper: https://imgur.com/6WtD7k9
Gorgeous plant, so many side shoots. Didn't top any of these plants.
So that's all (or most) of the peppers in the dirt, here's my line of pots at the base of the garden: https://imgur.com/cx1DKty
Bahamian Goat: https://imgur.com/OCwYUzp
Ghost Pepper (seeds from Puckerbutt): https://imgur.com/j2Gg9DS
Ripening pod on this guy! https://imgur.com/uKdNyuz
Fatalii in a 10 gallon pot.. Hoping for great things from this guy: https://imgur.com/eiUgMUN
Fataliis are one of my favorites too. Grew these last year and absolutely loved them. Wickedly hot.
Hangjiao Solar Flare with lots of pods! https://imgur.com/mONX8TV
Goat's Weed: https://imgur.com/7pYIns3
Topped this guy about 1 week ago, already bushing out nicely.
Aji Mango: https://imgur.com/RVxrTph
Genghis Khan's Brain in a 2-gallon pot: https://imgur.com/oP6s7DV
Bico Roxa https://imgur.com/6BCMXsU
Canopy is beautiful - I really like this one so far. https://imgur.com/9Cx1axM
Here's my growdown plant (Yellow 7-Pot Brain Strain) in a 15 gallon container: https://imgur.com/pb3QQ4h
Got a few tiny pods on it!
Another shot: https://imgur.com/gelx900
Here's my big one for the year.. Ghost pepper (seeds from chile pepper institute): https://imgur.com/GcJRsjs
I counted 31 pods yesterday! All small still but I'm getting really excited. https://imgur.com/7ZeAxmS
My cross (the only one that survived the rotting seeds adventure: https://imgur.com/uU5kCZa
And finally my Rocoto in a 5 gallon bucket: https://imgur.com/JQNl9yK
So many little guys on these: https://imgur.com/8OfdkrX
Well that's all for now! When I get home I'll post some photos (and by post I mean link to.. got no space left) from Meadow View Farm and of my rhomboideums. There's a few other peppers in the other garden but this is the main operation.
Hope y'all have a great weekend!
Devv said:
looking good Frankie!
A very nice garden that should do really well ;)
Thanks Scott! Grabbed some shots of the rhomboideums, and everything is done planting finally! Feels good to have it all out there (the peppers I mean  ;)).
I've been frying up some tiny shishitos as they come in and boy are they delicious... Had some today. Can't wait til the plant is really large (and the padron as well). I think that's one of those dishes that you just can't get tired of! Hopefully you get to try your padrons soon!
As promised... Just a few more pics of the plants - everything is in the ground now!!!
All the pots in a row:
The whole garden: https://i.imgur.com/nzOOoCS.jpg
Big Black Mama: https://i.imgur.com/0PNqPsl.jpg
Absolutely floored with this plant.. It's a monster!
Capsicum Rhomboideum: https://i.imgur.com/eNUJqMp.jpg
This is such a beautiful plant. I can't wait to see how it grows for the rest of the season, apparently it will branch out like crazy and can get up to 2.5 meters high!
Capsicum Praetermissum: https://i.imgur.com/rfHU0xc.jpg
Another shot: https://i.imgur.com/WAXOXjZ.jpg
Ghost Pepper ripened: https://i.imgur.com/vl6KEzp.jpg
It sure was hot!
And last but not least a shot of all my raised beds (minus one in the other garden) with peppers:
Updates will follow! Lots of ghost peppers, Jay's Peach ghosts, and shishitos are already coming in! Waiting for all the others to really set pods. Most of them are a pretty decent size, so I'm letting about 70% of them set pods right now. Others are still too small and I'm still picking flowers.