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Hadanero's Lanco Pepper Grow 2024

So, we're finally in a house and I'm getting ready for my first growing season with an actual yard. The patio back in Málaga was wonderful and never had snow, but I'll be able to grow more than four pepper plants at a time here.

I'm not germinating any seeds for the spring just yet, but I did put together a little indoor germination station and started three varieties that'll go into mini-Kratky systems, and one that'll go into a 5-gal Kratky bucket. Never tried hydroponics before, but thought this was a good chance to get my feet wet. The varieties are: Peruvian White Habaneros and Yellow MOA Scotch Bonnets from Midwest Chile Heads, as well as Aji Ayuyo and Er Jing Tao from CaneDog.

My heating mat is a cheap one off the shelf from a local grow shop. Don't have a thermostat yet, but will see how it goes and pick one up if needed. The light overhead is the Sansi 36W full spectrum LED bulb. I have two, so I can increase the light as things progress. Finally picked up a timer too.

If there are any suggestions, I'm more than open to them. Should I lower the light some? It's currently 13" off the tops of the rockwool.

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Looking good, as for the light at 13" that sounds good for now & later you can adjust for growth.
I have my lights at 14" & set for 50% power &n I get good strong seedlings.

Best of luck on your new grow. 🙂
Congrats on your new house and yard, Hadanero! And good luck with those kratky peppers.

You might consider draping a small towel over the humidome and heat map until the first sprout sprouts. That should help with keeping the seeds warm and prevent the heat mat not from running constantly.
So much room... lucky you!
The Sansi lights are great, I'm using them too. Unfortunately they easily break. I had mine burning for 12 hours a day throughout the year. After a year about half of them died... 🙄
So, it's been two interesting weeks. Three good germinations - the only failure being the Peruvian White Habaneros. The first pic is 9 days old, showing the MOA Bonnets, Er Jing Tao, and Aji Ayuyo. Then, our drain pipe backed up into our basement and my grow area, so everything is in turmoil. But they survived and I'll be switching the three good seedlings into mini-Kratky jars today.

I realized after starting them that the Aji Ayuyo may not be great for a mini-Kratky. Everyone's saying it's got a more vinelike growth pattern, so I'll see how that goes. May have to be fairly agressive with the pruning and topping to keep it as an indoor plant. If it gets out of hand, I'll move it outside or put it in the 5-gallon bucket I have for a larger Kratky attempt, and use the shelving for a tressle of sorts. My main goal with the mini-Kratkies was to experiment and learn a bit about hydroponics, and to have something to scratch that late-December "gotta start seeds!" itch. So, my bar for feeling successful with these is low.

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While the insurance crew tore our basement apart, I finalized my grow list for the year. I'm just waiting for the Zapotec seeds to arrive, and then I'll be starting these varieties next week, dropping all the chinense, the baccatums, and the one frutescens variety first, and a week later, starting the annuums. I had wanted to do that this week, but with the basement in total disarray, it seemed wise to postpone. If any of the info on the grow list looks off, don't hesitate to let me know. Also, "Calvin's Jalapeño" is not an official variety, but I received the seeds as a bonus from Calvin of MWC before he closed shop, and my son shares his name, so I thought I'd just call it that.

Bummer about the drain backup, Hadanero, but things are looking good otherwise. Nice mix of varieties, too!

I've grown the ayuyo only a couple times and it was bushy and productive, but fairly compact and had no need for support. Based on how it grew for me (in soil) I'd expect it to be good indoor plant.
Very helpful to know - thank you!
All right, a quick update and a pair of photos:

Seeds for all the chinense varieties went into the rock wool on Feb 1. My son was happy to help me count out three of each and get them started. Now I just have to convince him that spicy food is also good to eat. None have sprouted yet, but it's only been about 5 days.

The Yellow MOA Bonnets, Aji Ayuyo, and Er Jing Tao made the move over to mini Kraktky cups, and they're all doing well. Slowly slurping up the water and sending their roots down further and further. The Ayuyo wins for longest root so far, though the Bonnet is quickly catching up. I've narrowed each down to the strongest looking seedling.

I'll likely start the rest of my seeds this weekend. Oh, and I'll be starting the Throwdown charapita as soon as it arrives. :)

It's been a few weeks, and it's a good time for another update.

The three hydro peppers are doing okay - some slow growth above the surface, but substantial root development below. Yesterday, I refreshed the nutrient solution (I'm using Mega Crop) and I plan to make that a weekly/bi-weekly task given the rate of uptake.

I remembered the night before last (as I was trying to fall asleep) that the rockwool has no nutrients for the seedlings I've started. "Duh," is the obvious response, to which I reply, "Yeah, I'm not a smart man."

So yesterday, I went ahead and moved the various chinense seedlings (image 1) into 3" nursery pots and watered them all (image 2). Thankfully this means I can continue with 18 seedlings from the chinense starts. I didn't have to cull as many as originally planned. The bummer was that I had zero germination for the Bica Roxa and bad germination (very weak/thin cotyledons) for the Peruvian White Habaneros. I would have been happy to have another Datil or Papa Dreadie Bonnet, but I'm happy to at least have one of each.

And the annuum, baccatum, and frutescens are off to an okay start (image 3). The Zapotecs from Baker Creek jumped up quickly and I was getting some legginess in the tray, but it's calmed down since lowering the light. I'm ordering another light because I underestimated how many I'd need.

And I started the Throwdown Charapitas as well (no picture, sorry) - I counted 80 seeds in the 6 pods. I'm just starting 4 for now, and the plan is to grow my competition plant in a 5-gallon Kratky bucket.

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My annuums weren't too happy with being potted up - the various jalapeno varieties in particular--Zapotec, Mattapeno, and Calvin's Jalapeno--all started curling. I thought maybe it was a lack of water, so I gave a small bit of water. One of them started damping off, so I realized they were all likely overwatered. I lost the Zapotecs and one each of the other two. I also lost an MOA Yellow Bonnet.

So, given the losses and the few varieties that never germinated, I just started 6 seeds of each of the following: Datil, Peruvian White Hab, Bica Roxa, Zapotec, and Cabai Burung Ungu. I'm hopeful I can get these up in time, but I know it's late for chinense. I feel certain the Zapotec will germinate quickly (it was about two days for the first round, but leggy early on). I also started 12 more Charapita seeds for the throwdown.

I also refreshed the water for the mini-Kratky cups. It's fascinating to me to check out the roots, and @CaneDog was 100% right about the Aji Ayuyo - it's already showing some low foliage and seems like it'll happily stay compact. I'll need to trim back the Er Jing Tao, but not for a while yet.

Pictures show the state of the crop and the third light I've added, Er Jing Tao roots, a closer view of the Aji Ayuyo foliage (a bit nute-burned, I think), and a few happier seedlings (Pimenta Bode Amarillo, Aji Pineapple).

My kids are really getting into it now, which makes the whole thing that much more fun.


Okay, a couple of months further, and we've reached that combination of good weather and a free evening, so I was able to plant them out two nights ago.

The first two shots are of the trays as they were - I've lost a few, but still had 24 plants to move outside. The chinense (tray 1) did better overall than the annuums (tray 2). I'm thinking I need to sow the annuums about two weeks later than I did this time around. As you can see in the second photo, several look pretty rough. A couple of those didn't make it out. I think I'm going to reduce my overall target next year and pot on once in between the initial potting and planting out. (Or convince my dear wife to give me a lot more indoor growing space.)

I'm especially looking forward to trying the Papa Dreadie Bonnets, the Chombos, and the Aji Pineapples. My family is eager for the Padrón peppers - we enjoyed those a lot in Spain, roasted with a bit of oil and sea salt. (Edit to add: I was mistaken, and the Padrón seedlings did not make it out.)

The hydro peppers are holding on, though I burned the Ayuyo a bit. It's slowly coming back. The Er Jing Tao and MOA Bonnet are both budding, so I pinched a few of those buds back and left a few.

I split out the chinense into grow bags and the annuums and baccatums into the garden though I was guesstimating on plant distance - we'll see how they go.

They're two days in and looking happy overall. The potting soil was nothing fancy, but this is my first run at a full season, so I wanted to see the results with the not-so-pricy stuff before I talked myself into spending more.

While I wait for these to provide me with an abundance of pods, I'll be sorting out a better seed storage plan.


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Okay, so it's been about two months - I thought it was longer!

Some updates. The first two photos are my deck peppers and the third are those in the bed, which have grown much better than those in pots. Part of that may be species - those in the bed are mostly annuum and baccatums, while those on the deck are all chinense. One definite bit of learning: the Sta-Green potting soil at Lowes has done me no favors. As you can see, three plants in Scott's are taking off, while many of the rest seem to have given up. I've been fertilizing very gently with the Alaska Fish or Bio-tone. But several have remained stunted (unless that's normal for chinense?) Another thought floating around is I started them all in grodan cubes a bit too large for the trays, and maybe it was too compressed for the roots to really push out?

There is one very small plant in the bed, but it has been acting like it's got a mutation - significant, healthy, and very tiny foliage. It's an Olho de Peixe White, which I haven't grown before, so maybe that's normal. It's to the far right in the third picture, second from the top and it looks almost like a weed I haven't picked between taller plants.


Here's a good example of a plant I don't know whether to blame on my misuse of Grodan or the crummy soil from Lowes: It's an MOA Bonnet, and it's looked exactly like this for two months now. I'm mostly leaving it because it's not taking space I need for anything else, and because I'm curious what it'll do. Please don't ban me from the forum for this one. 😂


On the positive side, pods are popping out everywhere. I couldn't get my phone to grab a good picture of the Zapotecs, but there are a couple dozen across two plants. I already picked and sauteed 8 or 9 good sized green Zapotecs and enjoyed them in my eggs. The rest of the pods I could get pictures of are:

Aji Chombo (1 potted plant, 1 in bed)

Pimenta Bode Amarillo

(several pods across two plants)



I would have thrown those stunted plants out for sure! But that's just me... 😁
You have quite a few pods already and they're actually growing! Your weather must be good then... 🌞