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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!
Looking good in the frozen north!
All nice and healthy plants ready to
get their grow on!
WOW I TOOK A ____ OF A LONG TIME TO UPDATE THIS. there was nothing really to report, as the plants had maxed out their 4" pots and were wanting more but i couldn't put them outside yet. lots of plants were flowering and a couple even started a pod. the last 6 weeks since my update, though, there had been still at least once weekly temps going down to 3-4c, and rain several days in the last few weeks kept me from getting them even any hardening off time outside.

one particular evening, after work, i had put them out on the deck; a while later i notice it's raining out, minutes later it's pissing down hard, then it's inch-big hail coming down like crazy. had to don a raincoat and rescue all 57 loose plant pots, while hundreds of hailstones are bouncing off the deck into my house.

BUT I DID FINALLY GET THEM OUTSIDE THIS PAST WEEKEND, which feels great. i wanted to do so the previous weekend as it was our long weekend, but the night temps were around 5c and there had been high winds and more hail forecast. i was also hoping to get a couple more crates from work for additional plants, but that never materialized, and i am begrudgingly fine with it, as i am only just finishing eating 2020's jalapeno crop, and have enough habs and ghost and 2021 jalapenos to keep me going until harvest this year.

unfortunately, though, without expanding my outdoor grow area, i will be unable to grow any more than a scant few (if i use my fabric bags i bought) additional plant seedlings from any local greenhouses. which means i am stuck with 53 plants all of whose peppers are 1.0-2.4M hot, and a mere four plants in the 150-700k range, and nothing else.


THE GROW AREA DOES LOOK DOPE THOUGH, as seen here. it's amateur and the crates were all free, but it looks organized and the plants i put in it look WAY better than the ones i had this time last year (three months' head start will do that).

this is the middle box. of the 9 in the box, 7 are bombay morich orange, except for the middle-left and upper-left cells which are bahamian goat from my seeds from last year. in two 7gal fabric bags behind are (L) 2x hab jamaican hot choc (R) 2x fatalii peach, both from seeds from last year.

next are the left two boxes. (Left l-r) 6x 7LCxBBG, 2x DBxBS, 4x JPGxBJW (Right l-r) 4x oracle, 6x reaper red

and the right two boxes. (Left l-r) 6x reaper purple, 4x C22 (Right l-r) 5x borg-9 yellow, 3rd from back left is DBxBS(possibly reaper red due to seed mixing, but foliage/pod colour suggests reaper purple), 6x apoc-choc-scorp(although the one with the pod might be a 7LCxBBG because two sprout came in one cell in the germ trays and the adjacent one didn't come up)

aforementioned pods from above plants (only ones yet, but now that they are all in the ground and looking well, it's only a matter of time):
IMG_20220531_194642.jpg IMG_20220531_194627.jpg

SO GLAD IT'S DONE LOOKING AFTER THEM INDOORS. it was fun especially when they were first born, but plants are so much easier outside. a bit of water and plant food, and boom hundreds or even a thousand peppers if i'm lucky.

the only other thing that sucked is when i was refreshing my planters (i dug each one all the way down to the styrofoam drainage layer, discarded 30% of that dirt, and mixed what was left in with new soil, manure composts, and peat, all spread on a tarp with a rake and shoveled it all back in) after the second of 5 containers i actually read the packaging of my soil mix and it said "in-ground gardens only" and elsewhere "do not use for pots/containers". hope i have enough volume of space and sturdy enough plants to make do with the less than ideal conditions. good dirt was hard to come by, at least at quantities and/or for cheap. all looks well though, and we'll see how things shape up in the coming weeks.
TOOK EVEN LONGER OF A TIME TO UPDATE AGAIN. i'll never develop a following this way lol.

mostly nothing to report on, especially as my grow's growth was slow. i think i didn't water them quite enough early on, and then after a couple weeks in the planters i had given them generic miracle-gro (that i've used in past years) and nearly all the plants' leaves went yellow. i did water heavily after realizing that was happening, but a lot of them never recovered and had dropped a lot of leaves and quite a few presented a couple of pods but no branch growth as if to signify they felt the end of their lives impending.

does not look lush:

kind of a bummer, but from what others are saying, we are not having a good year all around. there has definitely been some serious heat and humidity around here for the last month as well, which takes some hit points out of the plants for sure.

the ones that did bounce back are doing good though. there are several plants that have half a dozen or more pods forming. there are a few plants who did start to grow and branch out and are now starting to flower. sadly at least half of the plants are stunted and/or have no pods, and many are dropping flowers still.

picture dump, first here's a c22 pod, sadly the only one on 4 plants so far
a textured reaper purple pod
here are two pod examples on 7LCxBBG plants, which are on the near half of the leftmost box in the wide shot.
IMG_20220809_172738.jpg IMG_20220809_172802.jpg
next is the tallest plant, also in the leftmost box, which is assuredly a DragonsBreath x BrainStrain


purple foliage plant with several pods, supposed to be another DBxBS (or possibly reaper red according to my planting/mix-up records) but those don't call for purple leaves/pods and these are definitely not reaper-like, so not sure wtf happened. also the pods are lightening in colour (in a white way, like going towards ivory or peach) on the opposite side from the picture, when that side was also dark purple a week before. also when i squeezed gently to make sure they weren't mushy, they actually had a hollow feel to them...

so what the heck could be going on with this guy?

and finally my ripe peppers so far (like i said, a couple plants flushed one pod and are not showing signs of continuing). some of the peppers were taken off last week and the rest tonight

-top left are bahamian goat (seeds from my peppers last year), which i was surprised they turned red and so quickly. last year they did not even go full hab orange in colour, as i thought is common, and took quite a long time to ripen.
-top right is hab jam hot choc (seeds from my peppers last year), so kudos to last year's grow-ons coming up as nicely as all the mega-hot varieties i am leaning on this year. we'll see if either of these two types grows a bunch more peppers or if it was also an early abort...
-single small brown one is an apoc choc scorp (the gnarly one from the earlier pics was victim to an earwig or other insect)
-single small red one i forget which plant i took it off last week lol
-bottom 4 red ones are oracle (supposed to be >2mil SHU so can't wait to taste-test, #fright)

so that's what's new over here. kind of a crappy update, things just never took off outside. but we'll ride it out and see what comes. honestly it's probably better i didn't have obscene amounts of mega-hot peppers at my disposal, because i have been known to outdo myself when i make burrito meat with like 10 habs and 5 ghosts and 10 jalapenos in it, and maybe a few shakes of various powders.

hope everyone is well, thanks for reading.
so, 5 months later, gotta be a record long time taken to update a glog.

it was just so sad the final state of things. here's the last picture, 9/29's pull was everything. i didn't have enough unripe pods on that first freeze risk to try and save anything, so just picked all the plants clean. and there wasn't much to show:


(positions in picture is relative to garden bed locations for i.d. purposes)

that was all i got in 2022. i am retrospectively thankful not to have had 1000+ superhot pods like might have happened if everything thrived outside, but it was a very bad turnout overall. very few reapers and the megahot c22 and oracles also didn't produce much.

apocalypse chocolate scorpion was the clear winner for a single variety, but it might just be that it had 6 plants that were all strong by chance and took better at plant-out.

i did dehydrate and get seeds out of the best candidates from each cluster above though, so all is not lost.

anyway, how was yall's's christmas seasons? ours was great... not! we all got sick for basically the whole time we were off work.

okay, let's shed all this negativity and head into 2023. i have fun pepper plans ahead of me... just need to execute better, i lose steam like a leaky boiler as the season goes on, it seems.

now, forget what you just read and join me in the new glog i'm posting in one minute!

my new year's pepper resolution: let's start again strong and stay with it all year long