Northeast Grow - 2014 - Help a n00b out

Hi!
 
I've been mostly lurking this site for the past year trying to absorb the collective THP knowledge.  This year I will be attempting to put it all to use as I start my first grow from seed. 
 
I decided to start this glog in order to track my progress so that I can adjust for next year.  The goal is to raise seed until plant out in containers (Zone 6b). I would also love any input and feedback that you have to offer, unlike my plants I am very green.
 
 
Grow List:  All seeds were scraped from pods except for PepperJoe seeds.
 
PepperLover
Bhut Jolokia
Charleston - Got this as part of a freebie portion from an SFRB from PepperLover.  This one of my favorites for mincing fresh.  If you like cayenne flavor this is a good pepper to try. 
Devil's Tongue -  Wish I also kept some seed for Fatallii too.  I found Devil's Tongue was so similar, why grow both. In retrospect I would have liked to see if there was any difference while raising them.
 
PepperJoe
Atomic Starfish
Carribean Blend 
Early Jalapeno
Jamacian Red - I had a carribean red habenero pod that I loved (and wish I'd kept the seeds for).  It didn't have that "hab" flavor.  PepperJoe's seed naming isn't very consistant.  I'm hoping this is similar if not the same exact thing. 
Lemon Drop - A favorite of THP.  I have never had it so I thought I'd try it.  I have tried an ajii pineapple.  It was OK, but I did get the "soapy" taste.  I'm hoping this doesn't happen with the lemon drops.
Mulato Isleno-  Free seed from PepperJoe
Paper Lantern 
Scotch Bonnet
Prik Chi Faa (Thai) - Free seed from PepperJoe
 
Home Depot
Fresno
 
Nursery
Poblano
 
All seeds were soaked on 12/29/13 - I waited to make this glog until I knew I had more than just warm dirt pictures.  I know I started plants like Jalapenos and Fresnos extremely early.  They are test subjects.  I have more seed I might start later.  These will probably be ejected from the tent and into the cold window later and topped.
 
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My setup - Got a 4ft 4 bulb T5HO Vivagrow off of ebay for $80 shipped thanks to a link here on THP.  My original budget for a light was $160.  Since I had a lot left in my budget, I also picked up a grow tent I picked up for $80.  I'm glad I did.  It works much better for my space in the house.
 
This is set up in a "dining" room that I do not own furniture for.  This room stays between 50F and 60F during the winter.  Many people are battling heat in their tents, the tent should hopefully help me gain temperature I actually need. 
 
Light raised for photo purposes only. 
 
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I placed the dome on, placed a heat mat under the tray, and wrapped the seed tray in a blanket to get the temperature up.  I have a thermostat probe in the dirt to help monitor the temp.  Without the blanket I could not get it above 75F.  With the blanket I pushed the temp up to 85F.
 
 
Seed Tray up close (1/4/14)  - Less than 7 days since I started soaking I already have some peaking their heads out!
 
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Even closer on the Scotch Bonnet and the Paper Lanterns
 
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My Seed Tray Layout - Yellow means germination as of 1/4/14
 
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Over Winter - Brought one plant in this year to save it from the peril of the frost.  It the first pepper plant I ever bought, an orange habanero from Home Depot.  I could not find any hot peppers (but I did grow a lot of less hot peppers) from any local nurseries.  Even Home Depot had only this ONE plant.  It is a rescue plant.  The only reason it was left behind was because it was in terrible condition.  It was snapped and left behind to die.  Out of desperation I purchased it anyway.  I nursed it back to health, but it did not ripen before the season ended.  I did finish off the pods inside with great success by just placing it next to a window.
 
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I did not care for the taste of the pods.  But since it is my first plant and I love hab hot sauces I'll give it another go. 
 
Since I do not care much for the plant, I'm ok if it dies during mistreatment.  Due to conventional THP wisdom, since I don't care about it, it will probably grow to be a monster. 
 
It has always been growing in a container on an outside porch.  Since I do not care for the plant, I went against the grain and did not trim leaves or stems and instead up-potted the plant for the winter.  I stripped the ripe pods only on Xmas. 
 
It is in the same 50F to 60F dining room.  It is only getting light from the window.  Two months with no bugs and all of a sudden I was battling fungus knats and aphids.  I think it got unusually warm a week here when I watered from the top and that spurred them on. Watering only with bulb and allowing the top to dry out has severly but a damper on that.  I've also misted the plant with water and dish washing detergent which I believe really helped with the aphids.
 
Its not vibrant, but its not dead.  I would like to keep it in a dormant state until plant out.
 
 
 
My patio today (1/4/14) where I hope these plants will eventually end up.  I have a raised bed (see background of picture on left) where I'll buy nursery plants.  I llike the idea of the plants on the patio because I enjoy watching them grow.  They were too removed in the back of the yard last year. 
 
It is currently -7F here and I'm trying to raise tropical plants.
 
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Thanks for your help and for stopping in!
 
Bamboo seems like a good choice. Hopefully that will work. My growing medium is very light and makes tipping over really easy. I did stake a few of my plants. But, due to the looseness of the soil they still tipped. I'll have to be more vigilant until the roots get a chance to spread out.

Thanks for checking in stickman. Yeah, those fabric pots dry out quickly during the summer. Which isn't a bad thing for the plant. But continuously deep watering each pot by hand on most days started to get old. I wish I put the drip system in earlier in the season. Oh well, its ready to go for next year.
 
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