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overwintering growing fatali peppers over the winter in connecticut

i have grown all types of vegetables from seed for 20 years but never peppers preferring to just buy sweet pepper plants at local greenhouses. but this summer i decided to start growing peppers for 2 reasons. first, i can't find the varieties of sweet peppers i used to grow when the local greenhouses don't have them year after year. second, after being bitten by the hot pepper bug and when 2 of the 3 hot pepper varieties i bought in the spring were incorrect i decided i needed to rely on me rather than "them".

the fatali plant i bought was a fatali so i saved seeds. when i started to read about starting hot peppers from seed it sounded like a really hard thing to do vs all the other vegetables i have grown. so i decided to start some seeds in late september to test for germination vs waiting until late january and being under the gun timewise if things went bad. i assume sweet peppers are as difficult as hot peppers but that's an assumption. much to my surprise the fatalis germinated and grew pretty easily so i kept it going to see what kind of results i'd get. now i can't bring myself to toss them so i decided to grow them over the winter.
  • 9/25/2011 started 10 fatali seeds in 1 cell of a 6 pack using promix lightly moistened. they were placed in a south window. i would water just enough to keep the promix damp not wet.
  • 10/5 4 hooks appeared
  • 10/6 2 more hooks
  • 10/7 2 more hooks
  • 10/13 1st true leaves appear
  • 10/17 transplanted 6 seedlings, 1 plant per cell into a 6 pack. watered to keep the promix damp not wet.
  • 10/24 2nd set of leaves appear
  • 11/1 3rd set of leaves appear
  • 11/5 all 6 plants have 3 sets of leaves
  • 11/9 largest plant has 4th set of leaves. 2 plants are the largest and the same size, 3 are a tiny bit smaller, 1 is 1/2 the size of the largest.
  • 11/14 transplanted the 4 largest into 4" X 4" X 4 1/2" (deep) pots with promix and put them under a 4' shop light, 2 cool T8 tubes. set the timer for 16 hours on 8 off. the lights are 2" - 1 1/2" from the top of the shortest plant to the tallest 3 plants respectively, i watered lightly. none of these plants have been fertilized to date.
  • 11/22/2011 today i see that all 4 plants have their 5th set of leaves and these probably emerged a few days ago as some are 1/4" long. also the plants have grown and are now just 1/2" - 3/8" below the lights. i moved the light up 1/2 link, now they are 1" - 3/4" below the lights.
  • 11/25/2011 all 4 plants have their 6th set of leaves. since the plants are producing new leaves quickly now i don't see any reason to keep reporting it since it is not unusual to see new leaves.
  • 11/26/2011 the plants are arranged with the shortest on the left and the tallest on the right. there is very little difference in height but on saturday i noticed the far right plant's leaves were starting to touch the tubes. i raised the right side 1 link.
  • 11/29/2011 i'm surprised at how fast these plants are growing. i had to raise the shop light so it is 1 1/2" above the plants, it was < 1/2". also the plants are getting wide enough that i have to leave space between the pots vs butting them all together since their leaves are touching.
  • 12/25/2011 over the past 9-10 days i have noticed the leaves on all 4 plants have been losing their deep green color and getting yellowish. today only the top 3 sets of leaves are really green, the rest are more yellow than green. they are very dry not having gotten any water since 12/18. this may be the end unless the fertilizer pulls them thru. i have no choice but to fertilize them as they are in promix and never have had any nutrients other than what they have gotten from the promix and have made via their leaves. each plant got 2/3 of a cup of water with a small amount of neptune's harvest fish and seaweed emulsion and i drizzled some on the leaves.
  • 12/29/2011 apparently fertilizing the plants has made quite a difference! it was very apparent they needed nutrients even tho i was trying to not fertilize them and in just 4 days it's made quite noticeable. the top 3 leaf sets are dark green again and the rest of the leaves are much greener losing that yellowish cast. all the plants have tiny new leaves forming at the top and they have grown from being about 1 1/2" from the lights to now being just 1/2".
  • 1/25/2012 it's been almost a month since my last update. on all 4 plants all of the leaves from the bottom to 3/4 of the way to the top of each plant are very yellow. even the top 1" of the plants those upper sets of leaves that grew after the fertilizing are losing their green color and i suspect i'm going to need to give them another dose of fertilizer. i've moved the lights up a few times during the past month. i have had them under the shop light and have not put them in the window/sun since early december. as the sun gets stronger i will shift them to the window sill on sunny days starting around mid february. if anyone is reading this please post and tell me otherwise i'll assume no one cares and this will be the last update.
 
if the containers fit on a south window sill i'll put them in the window on full sun days.

i can't plant these out into the garden until memorial day at the earliest... that's 6 1/2 months!

at this point i need to ask - should i ever fertilize these plants since i do not want to pot these plants up into a larger pot until may 1st at the earliest? i use neptune's harvest fish and seaweed emulsion.

i'll update this by editing my original post and add a reply there's an update for anyone that is interested in following this experiment.

tom
 
well i can tell you my last year start up
i use 1L yogurt containers and used them for 3 months np, i transplanted a few at that time but also left a few in 1L when ready to go outside the original plants still in 1L were fine and full of roots healthy maybe a bit root bound but they grew np,
the ones in larger container were way over kill i will not do again next year

total time was about 4.5 months in small containers under 15 hour of florescent light

as for watering , very little was used and i added fert only in last month, picked tons of flowers off though
i have decided to start earlier this year to about 5.5 months for super hots

6.5 months i think you will sure have a nice head start
good luck
 
I'll be doing the same thing to get a jump start on my super-hots this winter... I havent umm started yet as seeds are in the mail; hope it works out for you (and for me as well). Hopefully I can start them at new years so they will be ready for memorial day.

for what its worth I'll be growing them west of Hartford.
 
Wow after reading all these posts I'm starting to get anxious,... :onfire: ... but my foots still on the brakes...I can't plant out til mid May... ......:(

But when I do......... :woohoo:

Greg
 
I'll be doing the same thing to get a jump start on my super-hots this winter... I havent umm started yet as seeds are in the mail; hope it works out for you (and for me as well). Hopefully I can start them at new years so they will be ready for memorial day.

for what its worth I'll be growing them west of Hartford.

your location is brooklyn ny so how's it that you are planting west of hartford? i'm west of hartford....


Wow after reading all these posts I'm starting to get anxious,... :onfire: ... but my foots still on the brakes...I can't plant out til mid May... ......:(

But when I do......... :woohoo:

Greg

i can't plant out until memorial day but i'm still keeping these guys going. i plan to start other hot peppers in late january.
 
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