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GyO presents: '24 BONNET BONANZA + revenge of the fifth

confession: your very own @growyourown calls himself a pepper lover and has never grown scotch bonnets! BLASPHEMOUS, i know; i intend to rectify this in 2024. i have several varieties to try, and am excited to do so. i just gotta write this now partially because i have the seeds and i'm excited, and also because if i get this intro crap out of the way, it's a quick post to make once i actually drop seeds over christmas.

scotchdc.jpg

HERE'S THE SEEDS I BOUGHT FOR THE YEAR (note asterisks):
bonnets:
scotch bonnet trinidad red 900k *
scotch brains yellow 1M+
scotch bonnet 6-colour mix:
--choc/peach/red/orange/yellow/safi
others:
chin – fatalii yellow 900k
chin – congo black X butch t choc 1.1M **
pube – rocoto giant yellow 50k
frut – hijo puta madre 80k
frut – malaga bird 100+k ***

asterisks:
* did not come with the order. fast email communication resolved they would re-send this item.
** pacakge said "7pot congo red x butch t" not black x choc, this was my requested bonus item, so okay if it wasn't exactly what i wanted.
*** came as "malawi bird's eye", possibly annuum not frut. makes my side quest of all five harder, mentioned the likely alphabetical order accident in the email, hoping they resend this one too, but not holding my breath.

so here we go, projected sow schedule:

dec 31:
TRAY I

6x giant yellow P
6x rio hualaga P (‘23)
TRAY II
6x puta F
6x malaga F
TRAY III
6x e.p.f.h. P
3x purira F
3x lotah bih F

jan 27:
TRAY IV

4x bonnet yellow C
4x bonnet orange C
4x bonnet red C
TRAY V
4x bonnet safi C
4x bonnet choc C
4x bonnet peach C
TRAY VI
4x bonnet trinidad red C
4x scotch brains C
4x fatalii yellow C
TRAY VII
-failures from jan 1? (must succeed with frutescens for all five)
-others from previous years? (superhots?)
-bahamian goat '21 (if they are technically bonnets then i'm not a total virgin)

feb-mar:
baccatums - srp, aji cito, aji omnicolour
annuums - jalapenos et al.

keepcalms.png

wish me luck and let's have a toast to a prolific 2024 season, and to celebrating happy holidays together with family.

cheers friends, see you with seeds in soon, hot peppers-ho!
-GyO
 
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new batch sown tonight, more on that after these

pics as promised:

jan. 24: first batch in 4" pots and a few still in domes
IMG_20240124_215409.jpg


feb. 15: first group 4" pots again, all the bonnet sprouts in trays
IMG_20240215_214754.jpg


today: first group 4" pots now in greenhouse to make room on table
IMG_20240226_220808.jpg


also today: bonnet group now 2 per 4" pot, new seeds down
IMG_20240226_220841.jpg


note the big cardboard level 3.5 (duct tape bolstered) force field surrounding the table. curious child was asking "why no touch daddy" and deliberately just touching the plastic trays when the table was open. i tried to trust, but one day she did pull out one plant. then the first cardboard barrier i erected was compromised and about 6 plants she could reach got plucked from the dirt. i noticed soon after and replanted, fingers crossed none has died yet but it's only been 2 days since that second incident.

anyways, here's what's down tonight:

24traypic6.png

the jalapeno seeds could date back as far as 2020 and in my early days i might have not known about only harvesting seeds from fully ripe peppers, hence the shotgun approach with them. never grown any jalapeno from seed before, as the nursery plants are so cheap and available, but they did very poorly last year for me, and i am low on jalapeno after 2 poor years, so i might as well start a bunch and see what comes of it.

this will be all for the year, barring some catastrophe where a dozen bonnets somehow perish. tonight's round of seeds is just icing on the cake and to round out the growing of the all five; as long as some take it's all gravy. i'd really like to keep it to around 50 plants total this year so the outdoor beds aren't as jam-packed because many of the plants last year never took off due, i suspect, to crowding/competition having avg. 10 plants in each of the seven beds. seven per bed would give a lot more room for good growth in every plant, i'm hoping.


my favourite part thus far in the season is having a dozen pubescens coming along nicely, the largest specimen being e.p.f.h. (tall girl in back middle of third pic above) a variety which didn't give me any ripe pods last year. having started all the pubes at new year's, the prospects for a good harvest are more promising this time around, and the new to me this year giant yellow are growing well also.

oh and check the cool growth habit on this lotah bih (F). the second leaves kind of died and it looked stagnant, but after quite some time it grows in two branches apparently:
IMG_20240223_205459.jpg


welp, it's past my bedtime folks. hope you enjoyed

-GyO
 
hey all you lovely growers, here's what's cooking in GyO land:

BIG UPGRADE: GOT ANOTHER LIGHT

it's an aglex k100 or something. highest light output for lowest price is my only metric, got it at $61 (regular $90-99) for 940 ppfd @ 12". this one is just the panel-and-driver style, where my existing main light i was using has the plastic encasement with built-in fan.

it does get quite hot to the touch, and the light it emits is warm too. i am now using this one over the seed table, and rigged up the fan-cooled light into my cheap collapsible greenhouse in place of the 4 super-cheap light strips shown in the last update (who will move down to be used to light the lower shelf once i need to set that up, where last year i had just used only 2 bars on each shelf).

big issue right away with that, though - the fan exhaust is not being vented out of the greenhouse and as a result the temp got up close to 30c the first night, so i now blow a fan (most powerful but ~$20 one i could find last year) up from the floor to temper the heat and add only gentle agitation because how high up the shelf is from the wind source.

i was worried by the heat of the new unit and the fact that the minimal design meant that the power cord touched the panel when hanging down to the outlet that was obviously located well below the suspended light. a few moments of pondering made me realize the easiest solution was to use the excess loose rope from my lighting height adjustment rig/ratchet thing to hold the power cord up in the air to avoid contact with the panel (not shown in pic). so far, so good with this aglex light, it does look mighty powerful.

IMG_20240304_215317.jpg


SMALL UPGRADE: REFLECTIVE MATERIAL

inspired by @FinInGermany i added a mylar foil "rescue blanket" around the shitty greenhouse as well to do some reflection duty, because why not?

the 7' length was just right to wrap around the entirety (minus the zippered front flap), and the 4.5' height also covers the lower shelf when i need to use it too. and as i had bought a pack of 10 (for $13), i cut a strip off a second blanket just wider than the door flap, so now it is covered as well and there is no impedement to using the zippers to open the door and yet all remains covered. it's really very nice and user-friendly for being a redneck-level setup.

i know the mylar is less effective due to being on the outside of the clear plastic greenhouse covering, but it was super-easy to slap on (and take off later if need be) compared to taking off the whole cover and taping everything to the inside of it. maybe after it's done its job and the plants go outside for the year i could take the time to redo it all nice and proper for maximum effect, but i doubt i'll find it worth it.

IMG_20240308_223020.jpg


THIRD ROUND SEED UPDATE:

24traypic7.png


3/4 portugal x hab (A)
2/4 AOC (B)
4/4 hawk's claw (A)
2/6 aji cito (B)
2/6 SRP (B)

nothing from jalapeno mass sow, is it because i harvested from green and/or dehydrated seeds >110f? time will tell if these seeds are useless...

more grow pics since last time:

new light difference:
IMG_20240303_134830.jpg IMG_20240303_135245.jpg

mylar tent with door open, 7 march:

IMG_20240308_223048.jpg


now what's left to do:

doubled-up bonnets et al. need to get separated ths weekend. 1.5 weeks makes a whale of a difference; many once-tiny plants now need more space of their own. need to set up greenhouse lower shelf soon for some of these ones to go to.

i am really proud of what i accomplished so far. got lots of seeds to start growing and put some modest improvements in place to my setup. did i get as many bonnet plants as i'd like for what i sowed? no, but i have many more seeds. are the pubes looking super promising, though? absolutely.

most importantly, with the mylar blanket, the ambient light in this room is way lower than what would be otherwise bordering-on-blinding to my daughter. "rainbow colours, daddy" she said when i had everything open, which i can only equate to meaning damagingly bright.
 
hey all you lovely growers, here's what's cooking in GyO land:

BIG UPGRADE: GOT ANOTHER LIGHT

it's an aglex k100 or something. highest light output for lowest price is my only metric, got it at $61 (regular $90-99) for 940 ppfd @ 12". this one is just the panel-and-driver style, where my existing main light i was using has the plastic encasement with built-in fan.

it does get quite hot to the touch, and the light it emits is warm too. i am now using this one over the seed table, and rigged up the fan-cooled light into my cheap collapsible greenhouse in place of the 4 super-cheap light strips shown in the last update (who will move down to be used to light the lower shelf once i need to set that up, where last year i had just used only 2 bars on each shelf).

big issue right away with that, though - the fan exhaust is not being vented out of the greenhouse and as a result the temp got up close to 30c the first night, so i now blow a fan (most powerful but ~$20 one i could find last year) up from the floor to temper the heat and add only gentle agitation because how high up the shelf is from the wind source.

i was worried by the heat of the new unit and the fact that the minimal design meant that the power cord touched the panel when hanging down to the outlet that was obviously located well below the suspended light. a few moments of pondering made me realize the easiest solution was to use the excess loose rope from my lighting height adjustment rig/ratchet thing to hold the power cord up in the air to avoid contact with the panel (not shown in pic). so far, so good with this aglex light, it does look mighty powerful.

IMG_20240304_215317.jpg


SMALL UPGRADE: REFLECTIVE MATERIAL

inspired by @FinInGermany i added a mylar foil "rescue blanket" around the shitty greenhouse as well to do some reflection duty, because why not?

the 7' length was just right to wrap around the entirety (minus the zippered front flap), and the 4.5' height also covers the lower shelf when i need to use it too. and as i had bought a pack of 10 (for $13), i cut a strip off a second blanket just wider than the door flap, so now it is covered as well and there is no impedement to using the zippers to open the door and yet all remains covered. it's really very nice and user-friendly for being a redneck-level setup.

i know the mylar is less effective due to being on the outside of the clear plastic greenhouse covering, but it was super-easy to slap on (and take off later if need be) compared to taking off the whole cover and taping everything to the inside of it. maybe after it's done its job and the plants go outside for the year i could take the time to redo it all nice and proper for maximum effect, but i doubt i'll find it worth it.

IMG_20240308_223020.jpg


THIRD ROUND SEED UPDATE:

24traypic7.png


3/4 portugal x hab (A)
2/4 AOC (B)
4/4 hawk's claw (A)
2/6 aji cito (B)
2/6 SRP (B)

nothing from jalapeno mass sow, is it because i harvested from green and/or dehydrated seeds >110f? time will tell if these seeds are useless...

more grow pics since last time:

new light difference:
IMG_20240303_134830.jpg IMG_20240303_135245.jpg

mylar tent with door open, 7 march:

IMG_20240308_223048.jpg


now what's left to do:

doubled-up bonnets et al. need to get separated ths weekend. 1.5 weeks makes a whale of a difference; many once-tiny plants now need more space of their own. need to set up greenhouse lower shelf soon for some of these ones to go to.

i am really proud of what i accomplished so far. got lots of seeds to start growing and put some modest improvements in place to my setup. did i get as many bonnet plants as i'd like for what i sowed? no, but i have many more seeds. are the pubes looking super promising, though? absolutely.

most importantly, with the mylar blanket, the ambient light in this room is way lower than what would be otherwise bordering-on-blinding to my daughter. "rainbow colours, daddy" she said when i had everything open, which i can only equate to meaning damagingly bright.
Hey, GYO. Cool looking setup you have there. Just wanted to mention one thing before you go to the effort of coating the inside of your greenhouse with rescue blankets. After realising that silver actually only mirrors the light, whereas white actually reflects all of it (school physics lessons was a long time ago 😁) I replaced my blanket with a white sheet. Now I have to wear shades when I'm watering my plants 😅.
 
BIG UPDATE: HAD A BABY!!
boy, 9.25 lb, healthy no complications & mom is doing well. 😁


...pepper plants are also well. had just enough time after work that day to water the plants, shower myself, and get us to the hospital 😛

--NEW BATCH OF JALAPENO HAS BEEN SOWN, GROWN, AND MOVED ON UP TO TWO PER 4" CUP--

dropped seeds on st. patrick's day; used my 2021 edition seeds as that batch sowing of the older stock gave all of a fat zero sprouts. these ones are labeled "jal (or ?) '21" because of the possibility of stray seeds falling in the dehydrator bottom, but the 18/24 seedlings that came out of this effort are looking pretty uniform. got them doubled up in 4" pots, so 9 pots added to the table.

my plan was to activate the second shelf of the mini-greenhouse-tent and transfer some of the bonnet cohort from table to tent, but that plan was waylaid when i could not immediately find an appropriate size riser to set the plants on, nor a good way to easily lower the light nearer to the shelf. i was able to squeeze all the new up-pots on the table with the ones that were there, but it's tight.

also the earliest batch of plants are now on the lower shelf of the tent with the 4x 10W strip lighting. it's for the best because most of them are growing way too big, or had gotten scorched leaves from the heat/intensity of the tent/light, so this will be easier on them because it's likely 7-8 weeks yet before they can go outside. 4 of these guys (all pubes - epfh, giant yellow, 2x rio hualaga) have been re-up-potted to 6 or 8 inch pots; half a dozen more of them probably ought to be, but i just don't have the right pots or shelf space to do so at the moment.

thinking i should have experimented with topping this year. the biggest ones in the larger pots are getting very rangy and the tent feels crowded. hopefully in the next week or two, the youngest ones get a bit bigger and can all go into the tent, then the biggest plants can come back out to the table, into bigger pots and with the light turned off or raised way up.

PICS:
march 13, table:

IMG_20240310_224732.jpg


now, table:
IMG_20240402_233729.jpg

now, tent:
IMG_20240402_233843.jpg


see you at the next update. when i'm shuffling everything around, i will try to arrange a photo shoot with a pic of each variety grouped together.

join me in wishing for an early start to the outdoor season. we are getting mostly decent weather here (warmest dec-jan-feb ever), but every week or two we are getting a day of cold and snow coming back through.

is everyone getting pumped for the eclipse next week? path of totality here, still not sure how i should go about watching it though.

best,
-rob
 
oh wow Congrats on the new addition to your family Rob, that's lovely news

Plants are looking mighty fine as well :D
 
That is a BIG UPDATE! Congratulations to you and your wife, Rob. 9.25lb - now that's a big boy!

Plants? :thumbsup:
 
thanks everyone. we're still all doing well, i had 5 weeks off work for parental leave and just started back this past week. life is good.

just a small update. weather has been pretty great but often windy. today was the plants' first day going outside on the deck for the afternoon:
IMG_20240504_134253.jpg


amazingly there are 79 members in total. i grew way too many. and how do i have them all stuffed in my back room on one 2-foot card table and a two-shelf tent of like 18x30". tightly, is the answer.

fungus gnats, though, are a thing i've been living with. didn't really realize what a big deal they were, i read the thread here when it's posted to but forgot the beginning i guess about the damage they do. i thought all the leaf damage i was seeing was due to the light intensity, but i know now that the yellowing and blackening is because these assholes are eating the roots.

it has not been a horrible amount of damage, but there are always several dropped leaves around when i go to water. some of the plants are quite denuded, and a few others have very few undamaged leaves, so i am not sure all 79 will be justified to plant out to the beds. i've also had a couple of plants go over 18" tall before branching; they look ridiculous.

but all in all we are rolling right along. i would have liked to have taken the plants out to start hardening sooner, but like i said, wind.

many of the plants have begun flowering too, and i have plucked some off randomly with no rhyme or reason. ergo i must have started too early, lesson learned. somewhere between new year's and valentine's lies the sweet spot for me, glancing ahead january 18th is a saturday, we'll aim for that weekend or the following i should think.

that's all for now, next update i would imagine will be after planting out to the beds sometime later this month.

-GyO
 
shaking things up with a surprise update:

nothing major. just had the plants outside again and had the time and willingness to take the "family" photos of them.

(WARNING: picture-heavy)

and this was after being outside and prior to a water; ALL THE DROOPY ONES ARE JUST DRY NOT ILL, I PROMISE.

EARLIEST BATCH (Jan 1)

two big boys, rio hualaga left, giant yellow rocoto right:
IMG_20240507_14.jpg

the other two in larger pots, ecuadorian pepper from hell:
IMG_20240507_15.jpg

four more rio hualagas:
IMG_20240507_09.jpg

four more giant yellow rocoto:
IMG_20240507_10.jpg

3x lotah bih:
IMG_20240507_12.jpg

4x hijo puta madre, 2 weaker, 2 strong:
IMG_20240507_13.jpg
_____________________________________________

BONNET BATCH (Feb 1)


4x fatalii:
IMG_20240507_02.jpg

3x SB safi:
IMG_20240507_06.jpg

2x SB orange, 1x SB yellow:
IMG_20240507_03.jpg

2x SB red, 1x SB chocolate:
IMG_20240507_04.jpg

2x SB trinidad red, 1x butch t -x- congo (red/black?):
IMG_20240507_01.jpg

3x SB (could be orange/red/choc, disrupted by child):
IMG_20240507_05.jpg

2x runty-ass SBs, chocolate and another o/r/c toss-up:
IMG_20240507_20.jpg

3x "malawi bird", 3x "malawi bird eye":
IMG_20240507_08.jpg

_____________________________________________

ANNS AND BACCS BATCH (Mar 1)


4x aji cito:
IMG_20240507_17.jpg

2x AOC aji omnicolour, 1x SRP sugar rush peach:
IMG_20240507_18.jpg

2x potugal -x- hab?, 2x hawk's claw (takanotsume):
IMG_20240507_19.jpg

another hawk (he's fine now):
IMG_20240507_07.jpg

two STUPIDLY TALL ones, port x hab, hawk:
IMG_20240507_11.jpg

FINALLY, THE 19 JALAPENO FROM MAR 17: (only 18 in pic)
IMG_20240507_16.jpg

hopefully it lets me post these 20 pics at once.

this makes me feel good to look at each type having its representatives, and what i was able to achieve so far.

it's unfortunate i got none of: scotch brains, SB peach, purira. i will definitely try to grow the brains next year because it's well regarded here.


but yeah, i am going to have a nice few hours of planting to do pretty soon here...

thanks for watching
-rob "GyO"
 
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Wow! Great collection, Rob. Looks like things are gonna be hot up in Ontario this summer :dance: . Oh, and before I forget again, congratulations on your little seedling. My daughter brought a son into the world just under a year ago, so now he's actually at the age where he's starting to join up some dots, I'm getting all the fun without the pressure nowadays:party:.
 
possible frost again tonight, thinking it's best to wait until next weekend to plant outside.

they could use some more hardening off first anyway.

here's the totals of what i showed pics of the other day:
(P) rio hualaga: 5
(P) giant yellow rocoto: 5
(P) EPFH: 2

(F) lotah bih: 3
(F?) hijo puta madre: 4
(F?) malawi bird: 3
(F?) malawi bird eye: 3

(C) SB choc: 2-4
(C) SB red: 2-4
(C) SB orange: 2-4
(C) SB yellow: 1
(C) SB safi: 3
(C) SB trinidad: 3
(C) fatalii: 4
(C) congo x butch: 1

(B) aji cito: 4
(B) aji omnicolour: 2
(B) sugar rush peach: 1

(A) hawk's claw: 4
(A) portugal (x hab?): 3
(A) jalapeno: 19
 
DIRT DAY HAPPENED!
IMG_20240519_185738.jpg


the wife said last year i could not get any more planter boxes, so i only got one new one this year! my daughter is helping use the hose, and up on the deck are mom holding baby.

more pics:
left side boxes: left-centre section:
IMG_20240519_185821.jpg IMG_20240519_185851.jpg
right-centre section: newest box for 2024:
IMG_20240519_185901.jpg IMG_20240519_185920.jpg

layout of who's where:
24garden.png


early pod pic:
IMG_20240515_220216_9CS.jpg


it's an SB orange looking true to form. the other confirmed SB orange is starting one, as is one of the fatalii and at least one rio hualaga. hopefully i was not too late potting them outside, as i have had it before where the first pods in a small container plant spells the end of production even after transplanting out to a large bed.


that's all, folks!
-rob
 
thanks marc! i must agree it is rather lovely. and this is the best it has EVER looked on planting-out day. usually i have >20 runty scraggly seedlings mixed in there who wind up getting overshadowed and producing nothing, but this year almost every single plant is looking strong and healthy (apart from gnat damage/leaf drop).

i was lucky to be able to get all of the wooden boxes for free from my work, or else i would certainly have a much more ghetto-looking setup. or be a lot poorer, as any decent planter boxes i've seen to buy are $100+ each.

the crappy thing though is there are several large trees on the perimeters of my yard, so only a couple of the boxes get more than 4 hours of direct sun. and only one tree is actually on my property so i don't know whether i can do anything much to open it up. also the shade is obviously nice for when we are outside playing and entertaining.

we are planning to do a major renovation/addition to the back half of the house within the next couple years (baby needs a bedroom), so when we build a new deck i am hoping to get plant housing built into it (and maybe keep using these boxes too if the wife allows).

-GyO
 
pic heavy update:

overview 27/6:
IMG_20240627_170855.jpg

everyone is growing. i feel like it's filled out even more in the last week.

earliest pepper:
IMG_20240627_170907.jpg
first scotch bonnet is starting to ripen! unfortunately not interesting anymore though, as on sunday i discovered it was now fully orange, but been ripped from the plant! i think by a squirrel, owing to the occasional large dig marks i've been seeing in the soil. there were marks right by this plant that day, and the stem to the pepper was fairly cleanly broken off midway to the node, and there were possible bites taken from the pepper. hope he learned his lesson and fucks off.

a nicely flowering scotch bonnet:
IMG_20240627_170917.jpg

holy crosses and/or mislabels, batman!:
IMG_20240627_170925.jpg

these are "portugal (x hab?)", must have been crossed by the baccatums last year, because that pale calyx and pod shape screams of SRP to me. i can't even guarantee i did in fact segregate '23 from '22 seeds, nor that i picked the former to sow, but this doesn't look like a simple habanero/annuum cross, right?

couple jalapenos:
IMG_20240627_170940.jpg IMG_20240627_171037.jpg
second one has some pointy bois on it

a decent-sized rocoto (epfh):
IMG_20240627_170955.jpg
now noticing a few more getting to this size and majority of the pubes are growing well and flowering/fruiting.

another bonnet plant:
IMG_20240627_171013.jpg
one of the subjects of this photo has since been eaten into by insects. (and the worms ate into his brain)

a couple of plants with young cream/ivory/pale-coloured pods:
IMG_20240627_171105.jpg IMG_20240627_171117.jpg
once again, i must have mislabeled somewhere; i feel i was very meticulous this year, but maybe when i collected the seeds i recorded erroneously. or else it's a jungle of random-ass crosses all over the place. (sluts!)

frustrating:
when you are careful to label and transfer everything according to what you wrote down, and then a crapload of stuff doesn't show up in the right places.

what i wrote is there 🆚 what it is/appears to be

SRP : AOC
aji cito : AOC
AOC : aji cito
port x hab : SRP or hybrid of it and SRP
AOC : SRP or same as uncertain port x hab
hawk's claw x2 : SRP or hybrid of it and SRP (different look than the port x hab ones)

on top of all that, i only had recorded to have one plant of SRP, so at least some of them must be crosses, or else i BADLY mislabeled/miscollected my saved seeds from last year.

also frustrating:
WHEN INSECTS ARE BURROWING INTO YOUR PODS AND EATING YOUR LEAVES!!! at least three pods were eaten into, and several leaves of several plants have holes chewed in them. i had suspected problems with earwigs before, but i haven't seen many of them this year.

could it be ants? could it be this fly-type thing (my FIL called them "sweat bees", have yet to look it up)? there are TONS of these this year, and i regularly see them on my plants:
IMG_20240627_170756.jpg IMG_20240627_170743.jpg

final thought:
i still have high hopes despite the setbacks. plants are all growing well enough, considering my laissez-faire approach. i just hope my crop doesn't continue to be devoured. i may have to take measures if this activity continues, but i have no idea where to begin when it comes to fighting pests.

what do you all think?

cheers and a hearty "hot-peppers-ho!",
-GyO
 
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