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My First Grow Log - PNW Space Peppers

[SIZE=11pt]It's 2020 and the growing season is coming. I've currently got one obsession: Space Chilies. Chinese Hangjiao #1-10, growing them, eating them, maybe selling them. This will be not only my first outdoor pepper grow, but my first soil-less media pepper grow as well.[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=11pt]Read more about Chinese Space Peppers [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]https://chilli-seedz.com/space-chilli-peppers/[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=11pt]Here's the plan:[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=11pt]Supplies:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]10 x 2.5 Gallon nursery pots with saucers[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]2 x 5 Kg (11 lb) block Hydro Crunch Coco Coir[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]11 cu ft Vigoro Perlite[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Masterblend Tomato 4-18-38[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Calcium Nitrate 15.5-0-0[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Epsom salt[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=11pt]Grow Space:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Clackamas County, Oregon. USDA zone 8b.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I'll be starting the seeds indoors, I'm thinking I can get them outside early, because they will be in containers and I have space to bring them in if it gets too cold. The major factor I have to deal with is I will be moving before the plants reach maturity. This is both good and bad because my current balcony is not great for growing. It faces South-ish but is partially obscured by trees and is pretty small.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]The balcony is 6 ft x 4 ft exactly. 10 x 2.5 gallon pots with saucers fit it almost perfectly, which means it won't really be manageable with 10 grown plants on it. Especially the HJ peppers as they seem to grow pretty large. I have another balcony I can move plants to, but it doesn't receive as much sun.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=11pt]Plants:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]So far I have seeds in the mail for:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#1 - The unfortunately named Corona - spicesontheweb.co.uk[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#3 Solar Flare - thehippyseedcompany.com & vertiloom.com[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#4 Comet’s Tail - thehippyseedcompany.com [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#5 Helix Nebula - spicesontheweb.co.uk[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#6 Pulsar - thehippyseedcompany.com[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#7 Super Nova - spicesontheweb.co.uk & vertiloom.com[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#8 Total Eclipse - thehippyseedcompany.com [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#9 Big Bang - vertiloom.com[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]HJ#10 After Glow - spicesontheweb.co.uk[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]I had to double order from Vertiloom because of their minimums. I also have some Numex Big Jim and Count Dracula Peppers coming in, but I’m going to try and grow those in soil outdoors after we move. I’ll germinate them late, after all the space peppers have blasted off. I cannot find number 2 Meteor to save my life, there is a post up here about it, and I have visited almost every pepper community I can find. I think I'll be able to find it before it's too late, as I still have some time. I've even been emailing the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, trying to source them directly. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]There isn’t much information about growing the space peppers, but I have found the industrial agricultural documents regarding their growth. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]http://www.space-breeding.cn/[/SIZE][SIZE=11pt] (should be auto-translated)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]The Chinese government grew 600k hectares of these crops in order to find the desirable traits for mass production, so they must know what they are doing. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]The space chilies are Capsicum annuum so they shouldn’t go outside until much later. They can live happily in my greenhouse tent before going outside, as it is currently housing a Purple UFO x Datil Pepper crossbreeding experiment. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]Germinating:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I’m going to use General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter plugs and a 36 square tray with a humidity dome to germinate. My tiny indoor greenhouse stays between 76-80 and has ~ 200 watts of LED lights. It is currently housing all of my early season vegetables, and it is monitored so as soon as they sprout I’ll pull the dome off. I have a CFL in the socket directly above them so they get a bit more warmth, the floor of the tent can get down to 70.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=11pt]Transplanting:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I’m hoping to go straight from the nursery tray to their final destination pots. But the weather here in Oregon is tricky and I’m probably starting this way too early.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]I re-hydrated a single brick of coco coir a few days ago, and it has been mixed 60/40 with perlite. It’s currently drying out. I’m not going to sieve it, mostly because I didn’t have anything to sift that much media, and now it’s already mixed with perlite. One brick of 5 KG / 11 lbs was enough to fill a 40 gallon tub, it is incredible how much coco expands. I'm going to use this first batch for my early season vegetables, but I'm planning to mix up the batch for the space peppers the same way.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=11pt]I scored some very nice pots and saucers for cheap. They are essentially just injection molded or heavier plastic nursery pots. They have large openings in the bottom and a large saucer for underneath. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]https://www.lowes.com/pd/10-25-in-W-x-8-8-in-H-Black-Plastic-Classic-Planter/999979052[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]https://www.lowes.com/pd/Garden-Treasures-12-24-in-Black-Plastic-Plant-Saucer/1000607783[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]I don’t think the saucer will be enough to catch a large amount of runoff. I’m not super crazy about raining nutrient water down on my neighbor’s patio and into the groundwater, so I’m going to have to figure out a sustainable hand watering system. For my indoor plants I just set them in or above a 5 gallon bucket and water them through, maybe I can do something similar for this grow. There’s no power on the patio, but when we move I will definitely consider converting to a drip system, or even turning the pots into bato / dutch buckets. [/SIZE]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVnS6VUKo8o
 
[SIZE=11pt]Feeding / Care:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I really hope I don’t have to water more than 1x per day, it’s not very hot here in Oregon. I have no idea if using Masterblend 3 part with coco is even a good idea, I am just going to try it. Alternatively I have the Fox Farms trio if things go badly, and I can always just purchase some soilless medium compatible nutrients. I don’t really want to purchase dry amendments, as I’d like to be able to use my nutrients for water based hydroponics as well, but I will if it is necessary. [/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=11pt]I'm planning on doing a 2-2-1 mix of Fert-Cal-Epsom the entire time, otherwise known as the MHPGardener method[/SIZE]
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYv9iu2NI3M
 
[SIZE=11pt]Everyone everywhere says coco is naturally salty, and retains salts. Otherwise I would switch to 2-2-2 once the plants leave the seedling stage. I'll hand water in the nutrients every day. I love gardening and already have a fairly rigorous care schedule for all of my household plants and projects, so I don't mind the extra work. [/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=11pt]If anyone made it this far thanks for reading, should be a little gap now as we wait for warmer weather. I will update as the seeds arrive which shouldn’t be too long. When they sprout we can start monitoring their progress again. If anyone knows where to get HJ#2 Meteor Seeds please let me know. Also, please let me know where I can improve and where I've gone wrong. Thanks![/SIZE]
 
I haven't forgotten about this GLOG, I was hoping and holding out for a full house. #4 I curse you every day.
 
 
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I used a hole saw and a heavy duty cardboard box to make a nice tray.
 
I've put every #4 seed I have in some sort of germination.
 
The plants look great, I didn't even had to water them for awhile because the coco was pre-charged and really wet.
 
So nothing special, I'm going to start hardening them off inside by the window pretty soon. I'll come back AGAIN when #4 shows its pretty face.
 
Acprkit said:
How are the seedlings doing?
 
 
Hey Acpr, thanks for the question. I've been neglecting this blog due to now living in upside down land :banghead:
Fortunately I'm fully stocked on all growing supplies, so the show must go on.
 
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I've fully accepted that this is a 9 pepper grow now.
 
(edit: I'm not ordering any more #6 seeds right now because I have international packages held up for several weeks already, with the delays in international postal service I'm not too hopeful in finding, ordering, and receiving new seeds before they are completely out of cycle with each other).
 
Possibly 8 as #4 is stunted and not growing at all compared to the others.
 
I have PLENTY of other peppers that can stand in for the two, I'm thinking of replacing it with Dracula peppers or possibly just leaving it at 9, since I have everyone has a lot going on right now.
 
I have seen a tiny bit of yellowing, and some dropped their cotyledon, I'll take this over nutrient burn and brown leaves. It's my first coco coir grow so I'm just happy they haven't all died.
 
Here you can really see the difference between #4 and the rest
 
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You can see the backup Brazilian Starfish plant with some nasty yellowing on it, I always forget to feed the backup plants.
 
Some of them are developing their 5th node,so I will FIM them pretty soon. I have had amazing success with a couple other plants using this method.
----
We're in for a gloomy spell for the next few weeks
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But after that I might start hardening them off, starting by the window inside then moving to by the window outside and finally to their pots, which have been ready for them for quite some time now.
 
Thanks everyone for reading, I'll try and update more frequently. Stay safe and sane out in there.
 
Well thought I would post on here for some closure. Here's how the grow went:
 
  • Had to move for pandemic related reasons, took the girls down with me. A couple met their maker along the trip down, just being smashed up against the roof and jostled around for a long period of time.
 
  • I had trimmed them back very aggressively for the move as it is a very long drive and I wanted to shock them for a couple days and remove possible breaking points, the car was absolutely STUFFED with things.
 
  • They recovered nicely and were on their way to branching, nice woody stems, big old growth leaves.
 
  • As the situation got worse it didn't feel right or fun to have Chinese genetically modified organisms called Corona for sale any time soon.
 
  • Moving process started, and there wasn't enough space for everything. Some other peppers had to go too, but the Chinese Space Pepper Project was on the chopping block. The peppers ended up going into the trash, I wasn't that sad. In the moment I was just happy to have the car packed and ready to go.
 
I still have the seeds and maybe next time I can just call them "Special Chinese Peppers" or something like that.
 
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Here is the last known pic. I didn't have any pots to up-size them so they stayed in the cups.
 
In other great news my first cross was a success!
I'll post some pics of that hopefully soon. Thanks for reading and I guess if it's possible I'll close this grow log as these plants are no longer with us :(
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Really sorry to see the Space Peppers go down, SG.
I was looking forward to seeing how they developed!
 
Glad your move was a success, and that the remaining
plants are progressing nicely. I guess you are no longer
in the PNW?
 
PaulG said:
Really sorry to see the Space Peppers go down, SG.
I was looking forward to seeing how they developed!
 
Glad your move was a success, and that the remaining
plants are progressing nicely. I guess you are no longer
in the PNW?
No way Paul you can pry me out of Oregon in a pine box! Just moved across the state and then back, good old pandemic times.
 
The remaining plants are great, starting to harvest the Datils now.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Moving is a bummer. Moving twice is a bitch!
 
hope you are all settled in for the duration.
 
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