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Growyourown 2022: TURNING IT WAY UP

Welcome, my esteemed peers, to my 2nd annual glog. This will be my best attempt by far. No way it could be worse than my pitiful entry from last year, not even going to include a link to that stinky p.o.s.

#1 – WIN BEFORE YOU BEGIN: i did what i said i was gonna do, which is get my own setup to grow from seeds. Flexing my new LED light, heat mats, and seed trays. Also awesome is that they are sitting on a card table that was just passed down to us at Christmas (just a cheap metal folding-leg table with vinyl-covered sponge top, but it belonged to my wife’s grandmother, and my mother-in-law had been using it up until now to grow out her own seeds on every year, so it is a very lovely gift from a sentimental standpoint).


#2 – MAKE IT YOUR OWN: now that i have all the means to fully and truly grow my own, i wanted to amp things up this year. So i bought 9 types of superhot seeds, one of those was no charge as promo for spending $40, plus got two bonus packets included as free gifts.

Definitive grow list:

(planted 6x each variety on 10 Jan)
2-2.4M -c22 “moruga pheno”
2-2.4M -7pot oracle
1.8-2M -7pot dragons breath x brain strain
1.7-2M -carolina reaper red
1.5-2M -carolina reaper purple [free gift]
1.5-1.8M -apocalypse chocolate scorpion
1.5M -7pot lava choc x bubblegum gp*
1.4M -7pot borg 9 yellow
1.2M -jay’s peach ghost x bhut jolokia white
1.2M -bombay morich orange**

*ambiguous as to what “gp” means, methinks either “gnarly pheno” or “ghost pepper”. On the one hand, pictures of the pods on the website had bumpy skin and had the word “gnarly” included at the end of the variety name superimposed on the images. But since the pods shown look longer and more ghost-like than the usual rounded or squat-pointy shape i imagine when i hear “7-pot”, plus the text description mentions “lack of bleeding calyx that bbg is well-known for”, suggests to my mind that “bubblegum gp” may be a 7bbg+ghost hybrid where the ghost genes were dominant. Anyone know anything on this?

**not familiar with this variety, but the website touted it as one of their fastest, earliest, most prolific producers; so much so that they said all these things explicitly in the write-up, where most of their blurbs state always the same cliches “grows to 2 metres, yields lots of great hot pods, excellent for powder.” Is this a name any of you guys know/grow? See more below.

Potential grow list:

(won’t be able to resist, and each year they seem to have something different)
???k -depends what they offer

(the goats and hjhc yielded the best out of these)
1.4M -chocolate bhutlah
700k-1M -fatalii peach
500-750k -bahamian goat
300k -habanero jamaican hot choc

100-450k -habanero (generic/unknown type, possibly some caribbean red, seeds mixed together)
3-8k -jalapeno (generic/unknown type)

50-100k -dwarf chili tepin

Whether i start any of these seeds will depend upon how many of the already-started super ones i get, and whether i get the wherewithal to figure out how to house and keep 50+ juvenile plants in a small, poorly-insulated room, or decide do i just buy 30 seedlings again of habs, jalapeno, and whatever other exciting thing they have at the greenhouses nearby?

#3 – NOT INFALLIBLE: as it is my first time starting seeds, i was bound to make some mistakes and have done so already. Call them clerical errors. So i soaked my seeds (4:1 water/peroxide) in an ice cube tray prior to planting, and i stirred them occasionally to see if they’d sink as i heard some say this indicates viability/readiness (none of my seeds ever sank at all after 2 days). At some point i either stirred too vigorously or i bumped the table; at any rate, a couple seeds jumped into the next cell over, so my reaper red and d.b. x b.s. are mysteries which went in which cell of their tray. Then when planting, i may have not planted one (and therefore two) in the right place on the jpg x bjw and bombay morich tray, as it was getting late into the night. More on that later; now on to the grow! (after this legend of my seed layout in the trays)


#4 – QUANTITATIVELY PLEASED: after planting the 60 seeds on January 10, i was quite pleased to see two plants were sprouting after only three days: an apoc-choc-scorp, and a red reaper sporting a helmet-head. Next day i gingerly removed the seed casing with no apparent damage. A few more have emerged each day, and as of the 22nd i now have 31/60 up overall. Following the cell formula in the legend above, these are which cells have plants:

6/6* -carolina reaper red
1/6* -7pot dragons breath x brain strain
4/6 -c22 “moruga pheno”
5/6 -carolina reaper purple
1/6 -7pot borg 9 yellow
4/6 -7pot oracle
5/6 -apocalypse chocolate scorpion
5/6 -7pot lava choc x bubblegum gp
0/6 -jay’s peach ghost x bhut jolokia white
0/6 -bombay morich orange

Less than ideal results, however, with six varieties a great success, two singletons, and two complete no-shows. It sucks that my only two ghost-types are both nowhere to be seen, and after they called the bombay their greatest producer, I’m a little disappointed none have arrived for me. I would much rather have seen 3/6 of every type come up, versus the lopsided results experienced to date.

#5 – THE WAY FORWARD: Debating on dropping a couple more seeds of the weak- and zero-performers just into the same cells i already planted in, and considering trying the paper-towel germination process. Has anyone tried using the Instant Pot method?

Just in case all of those 4 types continue to flop, probably also going to do up a tray with 3 seeds each saved from my pods from last year of the chocolate bhutlah, fatalii peach, bahamian goat, and habanero jamaican hot choc, for some more variety. I enjoyed all of these last year, and starting out this much earlier gives me a better chance of getting decent yields of ripened pods this time around.

Most importantly, I’m having a lot of fun with this hobby. Now that i invested some money into equipment, I feel like I’m really having a proper go at it. Here’s hoping i can wind up with a massive surplus this season and use it as a way to get more into sauce making.

Here are pics of the first two to pop, current wide shot of the girls (nasty empty tray in the middle), and one of the same one from the first one, but today (now, with leaves!):

IMG_20220115_200115.jpg IMG_20220115_200133.jpg IMG_20220122_232610.jpg IMG_20220122_232619.jpg

Thanks for your interest, let's see if i actually follow through on doing regular updates!


Extreme Member
#5 – THE WAY FORWARD: Debating on dropping a couple more seeds of the weak- and zero-performers just into the same cells i already planted in, and considering trying the paper-towel germination process. Has anyone tried using the Instant Pot method?

Looks like a HOT growing season for you! 😁

I misread that at first... I thought you were saying "instant Pod method"... that would be something new 😁. Anyway, my seeds go directly in the germination pots also without soaking, paper towel or anything else. And I added a couple of extra seeds in the pots with a bad germination rate. No success so far but I only did this a couple of days ago so not time to start worrying yet...
The chinense peppers have a reputation for being slow to germinate. For some varieties, 14 days might be the median.

You need to give the no-shows at least 3 weeks before writing them off.

At the same time, there's nothing to stop you from playing around with the "Instant Pot" method.

I have a knock-off Instant Pot that doesn't have a yogurt setting, so I can't try it myself, but I'm curious to see if other people have success.
once again i have done what i said i was going to do. last sunday the 23rd i started soaking some more seeds. i rationed them so that i still retained 6 original seeds for next year of each of the varieties i was sowing more of. (all the seeds came in "10-packs" but included 14-16 actual seeds - according to them, that's so you get a near-certain chance of getting 10 plants from your purchase.)

so i put in to soak an additional 2x DBxBS, 3x borg 9 yellow, 3x JPG x BJW, and 4x bombay morich. i also put 3 seeds each from my last year's grow of: fatalii peach, choc bhutlah, bahamian goat, and hab jamaican hot choc - these were just for fun, not really expecting or hoping for any of these, but if i was going to do some planting, i wanted to make it worthwhile.

then, what should happen, of course, 2 more borg-9 and 4/6 of the as-yet-barren bombay morich came up before and/or the next day after planting all the extra seeds in (evening of jan 25th). so here is the updated grid as of 1st february, with the 2nd seeds listed in which cells they went into. the rearrangement compared to my previous post is because i cut some of the trays in half (worked very well with these trays), in order to place the types with mostly-all-up in the same tray together (so i could remove their humidity dome) and the ones with fewer-to-none up (at that time) together with domes staying on:



i've been rotating the positions of the trays every day or two, but i lined them up according to the grid for this shot.

looking good, right? in total, there are 48/ plants up now, out of /60 original cells (80%), or /72 seeds now occupying those 60 cells (67%), or /84 total sown (57%) if you insist on including the 6th tray with the 2021 peppers' seeds (of which none are up yet):

6/6* -carolina reaper red
6/6 -carolina reaper purple
4/6 -c22 “moruga pheno”
4/6 -7pot oracle
5/9 -7pot borg 9 yellow
3/8* -7pot dragons breath x brain strain
6/6 -apocalypse chocolate scorpion
6/6 -7pot lava choc x bubblegum gp
2/9 -jay’s peach ghost x bhut jolokia white
6/10 -bombay morich orange

a few of the ends of some plants' cotys burned/dried up a little on the first day after taking the domes off of the fullest trays (since i started worrying about leaving the dome on causing damping off if the majority of the seeds were sprouted in the tray). but since then, i have kept a closer eye on the cells looking dry on the open trays and watered accordingly and they look to be growing well. as of right now, trays #1, 2, and 4 have no dome on anymore, since i am not trying to get any more seeds to come up in those ones (4 types @ 100% germ, and happy enough with 4/6 success on mega-hots c22 and oracle that i didn't plant any more and am not holding out great hopes of the last few popping).

? on humidity domes: when would you take them off if 30-60% of your cells have sprouted before your risk of damping off outweighs the benefit of the heavy humidity assisting in sprouting the ones that are still to pop?

advice on watering?: not sure how much to water; i'm just trickling some from the duct-tape-restricted watering can until the dry-looking cell gets visibly wet, and not seeing any accumulation in the bottom piece of the trays, so for sure can't be too much. my well water is a bit alkaline also.

? on light schedule: i have the LED on from 5pm to 6am overnight, and off during the day when i'm at work, but they also get decent light in from windows all that time. is this too much light, do plants need an actual dark night-time period? is it better to run the LED during daylight so the plants get "double-dosed" with light during a "natural" day cycle, instead of natural all day then artificial all night?

now, check out a couple pics: (reaper purple exhibiting dark foliage, DBxBS (or possible reaper red) also looking darker, then the c22 one of the earliest and biggest specimens, and the same apoc-choc-scorp that was the very first to emerge (now not certain its variety, though, due to two seeds popping in this cell and the only unpopulated cell in the tray was adjacent and belonged to 7LCxBBG so it might be that instead)

IMG_20220201_131438.jpg IMG_20220201_131429.jpg IMG_20220201_131446.jpg IMG_20220201_131558.jpg

all in all, good update. i feel i am doing well. hoping i can still manage them once they outgrow their tiny cells into 50 separate cups.

'til next time, thanks for having a look.
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Those are looking nice, GYO.

On lights, I'm using a cheaper light, but I give mine about 16hrs. I cycle them closer to the sun so they get plenty of darkness. You might want want to bring the plants and lights closer together, but I'd clear that with someone familiar with that light. It prevents legginess.

What are you up-potting to? Some of the larger ones are about ready to graduate.
Good Work,


Extreme Member
@growyourown - Looking very good there. Nice, healthy seedlings.

Re: your domes, I take mine off after the first few sprouts are up
and cotys open. Damping off sucks big time since it's so sudden
and there is no remediation. The rockwool cubes are nice, beause
as they hook up, your can just take the germination cube out from
under the dome and leave the rest. Or, you can just transplant the
dirt sprouts as soon as the cotys are open for the same result, leav-
ing empty cells under the dome.

What is the pH of our well water? Anything from 5.5-6.5 is fine.

As for the lights, I think a lot of growers follow @JJJessee's advice
using a 16/8 on/off cycle. I'm using a 12/12 cycle right now so the
plants don't grow too fast.
... You might want want to bring the plants and lights closer together, but I'd clear that with someone familiar with that light. It prevents legginess.

What are you up-potting to? Some of the larger ones are about ready to graduate.
Good Work,
the light has a powerful fan and is quite cool so i definitely could move it closer. it is quite bright though, as i tried to find the highest PARS value for the price range.

i thought i read (maybe on the amazon ad for this or another light) to have it 24-30 inches away prior to germ, and 18 inches in the early stages of growth. by chance i had happened to hang the light 20 inches off the top of the table, minus the height of the trays i thought it was about right, but i have no doubt you would be correct that a closer light would encourage the plant not to gain extraneous height. will try adjusting this in the next day or two.

as far as potting up, hadn't even considered a plan yet. it makes sense not to wait too long though and i will contemplate doing so in the coming days, for the ones where the second set of true leaves is starting to appear. i have on hand about 30 of the 9oz clear solo-style cups i can use for the first ones to move, they worked okay for my seedlings last year.
I'd probably use a 9oz on tomatoes(which are quick and grow like weeds) or annums, but you've got a bunch of big boys poppin'. I'd think about going to a full 16oz solo. I use 3.5 square x 5 deep and by May they are maxed out on soil. If you only need them there for a month before final transplant, 9oz may be fine.
took two weeks to make it, but here's an update.

potted up to 4" pots i got off amazon after jjj's advice. they arrived on the 5th and i transplanted some 40 plants. with about ten still left to go, i ran out of dirt. amazon delivered some in two days and i did the rest, plus the less advanced sprouts from my 2021 seeds.

5 and 7 feb:
IMG_20220206_001202.jpg IMG_20220208_223801.jpg

i've been keeping a space heater on periodically in this room, as the temp can sometimes go down to 13-15c in their location at night. i guess it was noticeable in our electric bill last month, but i am trying to parlay this into investing in a tent, so instead of wasting heat on the whole room it's just the inside of the tent that needs warming.

things have been going along, plants are growing but nothing noticeable from day to day (this hobby really requires patience). the best few are working on their fourth leaves though, and there are many promising ones with 2-3 pairs looking strong. been trying to keep them all rotated relative to the light source, so today i decided to do family photos of each type while i shuffled up the locations of each pot:

reapers red and purple -
apoc-choc-scorp and 7lc-bbg -
oracle and c22 -
borg 9 y. and db-bs -
bombay and jpg-bjw -
and the bonus round, 2x b.goat 2x f.peach, 2x hjhc -

so all in all we have:

6/6* -carolina reaper red
6/6 -carolina reaper purple
4/6 -c22 “moruga pheno”
4/6 -7pot oracle
5/9 -7pot borg 9 yellow
3/8* -7pot dragons breath x brain strain
6/6 -apocalypse chocolate scorpion
6/6 -7pot lava choc x bubblegum gp
4/9 -jay’s peach ghost x bhut jolokia white
8/10 -bombay morich orange

(2/3 each - goat,f.peach,hjhc; didn't make it - 1x choc.bhutlah)

there were a couple casualties due to transplant shock and/or under-watering, but the live totals to date are 52 new plants out of 72 seeds (72%), or with the bonus 2021 starts it's 58/84 (69%). i don't think every one will make it though, as some of them are quite small and likely transplanted before they were ready to be.

and can anyone tell me if there is anything to be concerned about regarding the green algae(?) growth on roughly half a dozen of the pots, shown in several pictures but perhaps best in the smallest plant of the 7lc-bbg (lower half of second group picture)? is it due to light/temp/water?

still on a good track regardless, for a first-timer. here is the overview of how the table looks now:

and just for fun, meet this guy/guys (i think it's the same one but his shell is lightened from being under the lights over two weeks) that's been chillin with my plants:
IMG_20220217_222331.jpg IMG_20220220_215004.jpg

i feel like i'm looking alright, all things considered. always open to criticism though, since i'm strictly winging it on everything i do right now...
another 3 weeks later, guess it's time for an update. once all the plants are up and have leaves, from one day to the next it's hard to see or appreciate the growth happening. but compared to the pics from my last post, we are off to the races!! without further ado:

reapers red and purple -
apoc-choc-scorp and 7lc-bbg -
oracle and c22 -
borg 9 y. and db-bs -
bombay and jpg-bjw -
2x b.goat 2x f.peach, 2x hjhc -

missing from pic: a bombay died on me at some point since the last post
not going to make it: that little borg 9 bottom right in its group pic almost but didn't come around, he'll be culled or at least shuffled to the far outside of the light if he doesn't rebound this week.

extra pics: here is a wide shot of the plants after randomizing spots following the group pics, and a shot of the best-looking specimens overall.


reaper red - apoc.ch.sc.* - c22
reaper purple - 7lc x bbg - oracle

the apocalypse is a beast! it was the very first to come out of its seed, but i'm still impressed how big it's getting. the oracle in the front-right is not even as close in size as it appears.

not much to this update, but we're coming along nicely. i do have a question though...

how long can plants stay in a 4" container before their health is impacted for lack of room to grow roots?

we won't be able to plant outside for two months yet (may 24th weekend is the accepted start of outdoor season here), unless we get an unusually early start to guaranteed-never-minus temperatures this year. it's been comparatively mild here lately, however i'm not banking on good weather to hold out forever.

i haven't the room or larger containers to up-pot 50 plants again prior to going outside, and i am starting to wonder if my plants will suffer from outgrowing their homes before i can get them to a greater volume of soil.

am i worrying too much? i know plants will always try pretty hard to survive, but i don't want to curtail any of the progress and investment i made in my efforts this year, and if anybody can offer any advice, i'm all ears.
Looking nice, GYO.
We have all worried too much at some point. Learning to worry just the right amount takes practice.

On up-potting. Peppers that are that healthy are pretty resiliant. They could probably make it to 5/24 especially if you start feed them some weak liquid ferts in about a month or maybe a little sooner. I wouldn't up-pot if I were within a month of plant out as they probably wouldn't have time to tie the soil together with new roots. You have a few to experiment with, you might consider topping (removing the central bud) a few that have at least 7-8 large leaves. That could increase production and help with chinense sprawl as it will slow them down some. And up-pot a couple of those larger ones to gallon or slightly larger in a few to get a feel for how they respond.
time for a quick update. BUDS starting at the tops of a couple of the most developed plants. too small to get a pic, but encouraging. they grow up so fast...

late birthday gift from my mom was this greenhouse kit. the plants on it are just when i was separating out all the varieties for the group pics. i think i will use it to space out the plants from their current locations, especially if i decide to start some non-pepper seeds for which i'd need to free up that table. torn on whether to buy some 2' LED lights to install on these shelves. on the one hand the wife is on me about the hydro bill directly from lights/fans/heaters going this year, but on the other hand the lights will make the plants better and my hobby more successful. and they're only 50 bucks, plus whatever electricity costs i run through them. i digress; here's the thing (plastic cover still folded up on the lower shelf):

on to the group pics (as is tradition)

reapers red and purple -
apoc-choc-scorp and 7lc-bbg -
oracle and c22 -
borg 9 y. and db-bs - (can't bring myself to cull the little one, he grew a new pair of leaves but remains runty af)
bombay and jpg-bjw -
2x b.goat 2x f.peach, 2x hjhc -

all in all, plants are doing good. of the 57 plants, there's approximately 10 really nice ones, 10 that are smaller than average, and the remainder are just going normally on pace to be a nice size by plant-out mid-may.

had an oscillating fan running on them a few hours a day since soon after my last post, to promote core strength so that future growth is easily supported by a strong base.

wide shot (as is tradition). forgot to photograph the heavyweights together as i had in my last post, but i feel they're all doing quite well anyway, don't see much need in showcasing the best when all are coming along nicely:

couple quick inquiries to anyone reading:

-should the tiny BUDS mentioned at the start of this post be pinched off to redistribute energy to more worthwhile growth? or just let the plant do its thing?

-wrestling with the idea of topping for the first time just for fun/learning on a few plants. i wouldn't want to accidentally retard the growth of my best specimens, is it a good idea to maybe try it on the second-best candidates of each type? and where exactly is the best/safest place to cut? none of my plants have made a "Y" yet, so would i cut after the 4th or 5th pair of leaves maybe?

until now i've left it up to nature to do what it's gonna do (besides using an artificial light source lol), but i'm curious if i can influence better end results by intervening further. after all, i have a complex brain, and i am capable of knowing what the plant is trying to do and can learn what it will do upon experimentation. still not sure, but open to suggestions.

cheers, mates; here's to a prosperous season!
Your plants are looking nice and healthy! Good Job!

Unlike a lot of other fruitbearing plants, peppers are able to maintain vegetative growth and producing fruits and flowers at the same time. So there is no real need for pinching flowers. Most of them will probably drop naturally anyway.
As long as they are not rootbound and there is enough space and nutrients for them to support new growth, they will continue to grow.
Topping is a debatable topic. I personally wouldn't top Chinense, cause they will branch out nicely after their first y.
For lanky and weak plants it could have some benefits tough. Be sure to leave enough leaves on the plant to support photosynthesis and cut a few leafpairs above the cotyledons. Look for some healthy and strong sideshoots and cut a bit above them. I think it's good to have some free space between soil and first branching on the plant. This will encourage a good airflow underneath and can prevent some issues later on. As you said, experimenting doesn't hurt and could turn out surprisingly well! Be sure to calculate 2 to 4 weeks of recuperation after topping your plants.
I personally wouldn't top Chinense, cause they will branch out nicely after their first y.
For lanky and weak plants it could have some benefits
thanks for that. like i said, i have never and prefer to let things be. for now i'm holding pat, but who knows if my curiosity will get the better of me in the future.
Real nice looking grow you have going, GYO. I topped some of my far-too-early seedlings mainly because of shelf height. It does slow them down a tad as they shift energy into pushing new side shoots, but that's kind of what I was looking for.


Extreme Member
Agreed, @JJJessee. I usually don't like topping,
but I am finding that with some of the wilds, it
helps control their 'wild' growth habits. I do like
the look of plants with the natural growth habit
displayed, though.
hope everyone had a fun and safe easter and 4/20...

update: several plants Y'ing, lots of plants are getting big, weather outside has been fluctuating between 15c highs with some nights being mild and others below zero with snow.

on with pics
reaper red:
reaper purple:
borg9 y:
front-back: hjhc - b.goat - f.peach

everyone all together (getting crowded):

some were looking a little thirsty in the pics, and i did water them all accordingly tonight. much easier to do properly when they were all separated for the pics, versus the jungle that is normally that table as you can see above. also some of the plants are actually getting too tall if i were to try to put them on that new birthday greenhouse/shelf thing i have, so they must all stay in this current configuration until the weather stays good enough to go outside.

speaking of which, i need to get to wrangling up a few more wooden crates to expand my outdoor container area in anticipation of plant-out (and buying a couple dozen more pepper plants from the nursery, no doubt). i gotta get me some more soil too, as last year's dirt badly needs amendment. inspired by others' soil preparation methods, i plan to empty out all my current containers onto a giant tarp, dump in my new soil mix and fertilizer i will buy, and mix it all together and redistribute among all the beds.

starting my own seeds, and so early, was fun but i am ready for them to go outside once the weather behaves. that one day of hard work planting them all out will be worth both the space i gain back and the electricity i save from running lights/fan/heater these last months. hoping for that day to come ahead of usual since overall it's been a mild/warm spring by our standards, but we'll see how it pans out.

thanks for watching my progress; nothing much to report; just overall good growth in the majority of my plants. can't complain.

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