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Padron - Western Washington Plateau.

Hi Peeps!
I hope to grow some Padron peppers to spread around to friends and maybe a few to the local market. At the very least I hope to have a Tapas to go with my Bombas! Fry them up with oil and sea salt and wait for the hot one! We dont get Padron peppers here due to climate, so I decided to try and grow my own. I like to cook. Many recipes from many places and the worst part is not being able to get the ingredients or spices. Unfortunately, I live in a zone 8 area, far from Spain, with months of cold and a lot of rain. It was 33deg this morning and 64geg this afternoon, and humidity is 35...

So here we go! Noob inside start!
(Dirt in my area is very nutrient rich)(sorry I didnt take pics from the start)

I bought my Padron seeds from amazon. Sherwoods Seeds. I planted four seeds in a 1/4 gal. round pot. Points of the compass, about 2in. apart. I used a mix of Miracle Grow potting soil and soil from my front yard. My average house temp. is 73deg. Kept the soil damp for about a week and three of them sprouted. I used a lamp growing light for the next few weeks about an inch above..

What I used to start..



Sorry I didnt start taking pics from the beginning. But this is pretty much what I used to get them growing to about 3inch. It was that easy. Keep the soil warm (above 70deg.), moist, and add a little light after they sprout. Potting soil is good and has nutrients, but I think the mix I used with the natural soil from my yard helped.

Once they got to about 3in. and the first true leaves started to grow I transplanted to three 1/2 gal. pots. I used a large spoon to scoop out far around the roots. By this time I bought a bag of generic garden soil and mixed it with Miracle Grow and more soil from my front yard. I left about an inch of soil from the top. I bought another set of LED grow lamps (LORDEM Grow Light) and kept them 7in. from the top of the plants. They continued to grow for another week but started to get top heavy. I added more soil to just below the seed leaves to add more support. At the same time, I bought FoxFarm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula: Big Bloom, Grow Big, Tiger Bloom. About a week after topping off soil, I mixed all three 3cc (syringe) with a1/2 cup of water and poured about a table spoon on the soil. They liked it!

Im at the end of the first month and this is where they are living. I spray them, and the plants around them once a day to keep the humidity up.


This is where they live for now..


Still working on the humidity...

Going on from here, I have 5gal. buckets, holes drilled and water pans. Soil mix of generic garden soil, Miracle Grow garden soil, succulent soil and Forrest Ocean. Plus the FoxFarm Liquid Nutrient Trio. Problem is the weather outside is still very cold. I now have four LORDEM Grow Lights and can keep them inside for a while. Currently running the lamp for 12hrs starting 3hrs after sunrise. Too cold outside, and my timer only runs 12hrs.

Ill post updates as they they happen.
Ill ask questions below..
Ill also resize pics. Sorry!!!

After viewing this, please suggest something you see that may help, such as pruning, soil, planters, whatever!

Thanks for looking!


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First question for you guys..
How long with the plants be good in this size container? I can jump to a 5gal bucket any time. Im thinking iceberg, whats below the surface should be larger. Im guessing the roots are already starting to get crowded. Thoughts?

Second - Since its going to be a while before I can move them outside, should I add more LED lamps. I now have four LORDEM Grow Lights I can use now, or in the 5gal buckets. I also have a reptile heat lamp I can bring up the temp. with.

Third - Should I pinch and prune?

All of them still have the seed leaves. As you can see, there are other leaves growing in between all of the true leaves. Should I pinch, or just let them go? I feel the plant should be getting taller.

About to water, they getting droopy..

Thanks for reading!!
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Hey THG. Things are looking good!

My thoughts are. More light and a few more hours of light (if possible) are good things. Droopy doesn't necessarily mean they need water, it can mean too much water (or too much water retention) sometimes and if you're using outdoor soil in your mix you might want to pay attention to that because it doesn't drain well for containers. Sounds like you mixed it up with some good potting soil so maybe that's not an issue for you. Also, it's highly unlikely those guys are root bound. I doubt they've even filled out that space yet. And whatever you do don't pinch those leaves/branches growing out along the stem among the leaves. Those are a good thing and your plants are looking great!
Hey THG. Things are looking good!

My thoughts are. More light and a few more hours of light (if possible) are good things. Droopy doesn't necessarily mean they need water, it can mean too much water (or too much water retention) sometimes and if you're using outdoor soil in your mix you might want to pay attention to that because it doesn't drain well for containers. Sounds like you mixed it up with some good potting soil so maybe that's not an issue for you. Also, it's highly unlikely those guys are root bound. I doubt they've even filled out that space yet. And whatever you do don't pinch those leaves/branches growing out along the stem among the leaves. Those are a good thing and your plants are looking great!
Thanks Boss!
I can add a second light and adjust the timers to come on a few hours apart. One start at 5am to 5pm, the other 7am to 7pm? Twice the light for 8hrs. and build up and taper off? My lights work on 12hr cycles.

In your opinion, when should I start looking at putting then in the 5gal for roots? Another month? Two?

Not going to pinch. Keeping a close eye on water. Every two days and less than 1/4 cup (4TBLS). I do mist them every day. Ive noticed that just the tips of the leaves curl up when they are water happy.
Wont use my 3cc fertilizer mix for another 2 weeks or so.

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That all sounds good. I'd probably look to pot them up to the 5g's once they're hardened off and adjusted to being outside 24/7 so what, probably within about a month. Don't want to wait long after that because they'll take a little time rooting in again and we need to get the most our of our summer here in western wa.
Got new home for the peppers.


Ive got three grow lights on them now, 7 - 10inch above. The LED strips are set at 12hrs, one at 5am, the other at 7am. The desk lamp LED is manual. Ive put them in a pug dog kennel to keep the cats out. Ill need to secure and consolidate the wires...

This weekend might be the first available outside time!

Devs - Cant edit original post anymore. I would have put this up on the original post there so its a running timeline in one easy segment. Frustrating thing to me is that there is hardly any middle info on growing. I was hoping to post a timeline in one section and reference up through further posts...
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@THeGAME101 - As soon as I saw the pic, I thought "cats", lol. That should work! On a side note, one of the perks of being an Extreme Member is the ability to edit your older posts. Just sharing info.
This is about 10 days after new house with 3hrs a day outside...

Starting 5 days ago, I took them outside in the shade. Zero chance of direct sunlight. Also, the side of the house they were introduced to get zero direct sunlight, much cooler, and more wind. I gave them out door time of around 3hrs each day.
Yesterday way different. They got shade in in the hot side of the house. I gave them about 3min direct sunlight hotter part of the day as I took them out, and three min before I brought them inside. Today, Ill give them around 6min. direct in the middle of their 3hr outside stay. Looks like they have grown about 3in. in 10 days. YAY! Ive got the shade box they are in to avoid hottest part of the day for now.

Unfortunately, the next week is going to be cold wet and windy. Going from avg. of 78deg. day to 48deg. night to 63/46 and rain. Pretty much any accumulation to direct sunlight Ive done is out the window for at least a week. Im going to put them outside away from the rain and wind, but wont get much direct sunlight for the next week.
Im going to raise the lights to outside the indoor cage cage back to 7in. I also bought a small greenhouse I can put everything in, along with a heat lamp. Plus, there is the 5gal. buckets to transplant available. Should I worry they are getting too big for their current 1/2gal planters? More light inside? More heat?

Dawg - How are you doing with yours in Seattle? In Enumclaw I get wind. Here a 1mph sustained breeze can be like putting your head out the window in a car its so flat. If its a steady 5pmh, itll break the stems. Ive found wind barriers to keep them away. . Then we got the impending cold..


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Looking good! Things are coming along well up here, too. I've been hardening off for plus or minus a week, depending on plant toughness and maturity. Everyone's out 24/7 now and except the youngest they're getting normal sun for my deck (not a full day, but at least 6 hours of direct depending on location). They seem fine with it. I had a few windy days early on, but no damage. I plan to start transferring some to my community garden plots this weekend and will hopefully finish this month.

I just checked the local forecast after seeing your post and I'm bummed about the cool and rain. Hopefully the forecast changes as it often does this time of year. I think you're typically a little cooler than here, so you might want to keep bringing them in on the cooler nights, but I bet they could take some bigger doses of direct sun and would respond well. I just check them periodically at first (every hour or two) to see if they show wilting and if they do it's back to the shade.
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Yeah, so bad!
Too windy and too cold for at least the next week to harden. Below 60deg high, cloud cover, and 8mph sustained winds with gusts into the 20s.
Im thinking Im going to transplant to the 5gal inside and can postpone the hardening until the weather gets more solid. Then basically start the hardening all over.

Noticed some nodules just above the soil line. Looks like 4/5 white bumps on either side of the stem.

Guessing those are roots wanting to grow? Thinking about clipping the seed leaves, waiting a few days for them to scab, then replanting to the 5gal. 2/3 stem below soil line.
Ive got some new hardware, a 36x18x32 greenhouse and a heat lamp. Good news is that they growing well. Bad is that they are going to outgrow the cage before I can get them outside..
And cats...
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So I bought a spider farmer light.

Probably better all around, plus I have other options if it stays cold. Ill get to that later..

Last two days they've been outside for a while in full sun. Unfortunately Im guessing they are already root bound, or very close to it. And here comes more cold and wind. Also I was surprised at how dry the soil is after a steady 1/4 cup a day watering. Clearly, Im doing stuff wrong! Live and learn!

I spent the day mixing soils for my 5gal buckets. Used a mix of Kellogg garden soil, Miracle-Gro Organic Raised Bed & Garden Soil, Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm and citrus, and Foxfarm Ocean. Blended them in four parts (3,2,1,1), four times going heavier on the Ocean in the last mix.
Tomorrow they go into the buckets. Waited way to long to transplant so Ill be looking at how to untangle the roots a little if needed.

My 5gal buckets have multiple holes in the bottom with drain trays. No rocks or sand at the bottom.
Kinda using James Prigioni guide.

Let you know how it goes!
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Just transplanted and gave them a bigger home..

They werent root bound. However, the pots I was using had such low drainage and small drip plates, the soil was compacted 2inches from the bottom. You can see the type of pots I was using. DONT USE THEM!! lol. Maybe for sprouting, then get them out quick!!

A few days ago I clipped the seed leaves, and today planted them 2/3 up the stem, about 2inches deeper than they were. Unfortunately, I had to transplant them it to cold soil (54deg..) Im thinking they will be better off with more room to breath, plus I have a subtle heat lamp on them as well. My constant inside temp is 72deg. Any suggestion on keeping the top of the soil from getting moldy while I apply heat to warm the bucket through..

My new LED light was too close the last few days and I started to get edge curl, so I raised it from 7in. to 12in. Fumbled through calculations of light and time and hopefully 12in is the sweet spot at this point.

I guess we'll see how well the transplant went in a few days. Still looking like more than a week before over night temps are above 55deg. Todays day time was 54deg with rain. I plan on lugging them out on warm days till its more hospitable until I can keep them outdoors..

Oh yeah, I need to put up cat barrier...
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Too close! New light is too intense. I thought maybe I wasnt getting enough ventilation because of the leaf curl, but its the new grow light.
I pulled it off and put my other lights back up. They arent really strong enough at this distance but will have to do until I get home from work and can raise the new light another 12 to 24 inches. I thought I had used a light calculator the right way but I guess I was off by a bit, lol..

Hopefully, you can see the leaf edges curling up and starting to get darker trying to adjust so you know whats happening when it first becomes a problem...
After posting some concerns, and getting advice from a few other boards, the consensus is let it ride.
Root damage, Wet soil and Lighting. Recent transplant.

Im going let the soil dry out over the next few weeks and then hopefully the weather will allow me to put them outside full time. No one seems worried about the leaf curl, so Ill put it out of my mind. I fertilized foliar with Grow Big once and wont again.

Using a small humidifier for an hour each plant, and rotating them every day.
Below the canopy leaves seem to be perking up!

I replaced my Spider Farmer SF300 with a Vivosun VS1000.

Ill watch it for a few days and see if its a better light. Being said, using the phone LUX and PPDF/DLI is giving readings that make a lot more sense. The VS is a square light, and the SF300 is rectangular. Yet the manual specs for the SF300 advise readings of a square light. I think the Spider Farmer light has a place, but its way to specialized and intense for my needs.

SF300 at 24 inch.
LUX - 5534
PPFD - 83
DLI - 4.3

VS1000 at 18 inch.
LUX -11000
PPFD - 200
DLI - 10

The SF300 would only do that at 12 inches and burn the top leaves. At the same time, the VS seems to be a softer light. Plus its got 4 setting of dim. Ill keep an eye on the canopy leaves to see if they continue to curl and darken and adjust. Anyway, hope to have them outside in a week or so. Then I have cherry tomatos and banana peppers starting! Next up green onions, Mint, and some flowers my daughter likes!
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Well it seems the wet cold is staring to go away. FAST!
Been playing with the Padrons, and at least have a draw. They are growing good and the weather is going to go from cold windy wet to no breeze, double the temp, sunlight in your face. Funny thing a few weeks can do..

I took them out into strong light and had no problems with the sun. But then the ambient heat hit them and they started to droop. I pulled them into my shade pocket. All good.

Tomorrow, Im going to put them out in the am and give them their forever over night. In the AM Im going to water light and set them out in the pocket. And its going to get hotter fast!


Its a big pocket. This is around 4pm.


Going to bring them inside for tonight. Then into the breach!
It's great that the recent extended gloomy weather period appears to finally be over. The past two weeks of rooting into the new containers should really help to get those guys growing quickly with the better weather.
Hope yours are growing good too Dawg!

So this is 1 1/2 days outside, full sun for about 5hrs. They are now creeping into the shade pocket. They currently are getting morning sun at around 8am and then into the shade 1pm until the next day. They also got about a cup of Foxfarm 3way each they day before I put them out.

Yesterday morning when I put them out I gave them about 2 cups of water each. Top of the soil 2inch down is dry, then its wet. Still drying out from transplant and being inside. Im noticing that some of the large leaves are getting lighter, maybe browning. I left a flower on when I took them out and today is wilting when fine yesterday.


They are away from their steady 72deg temps and 12hr grow lights. Last two mornings were around 48deg, and rose to mid 80s.

I just wondering now if I should give them a splash of water on top every day as the rest of the bucket continues to dry out.. Otherwise they seem to be doing good for its first over nighter with hardly any real steady hardening.. Ive just got to give them some time to adjust and figure out how to water them outside now..

In its old grow space...

Cherry tomatoes and banana peppers!
Tomatoes have been transplanted into 3.5 x 5 and are just about ready for hardening. The bananas just need another set of true leaves to go into the 3.5 x 5s. Gotta buy a few more buckets and get more soil. Know this is a pepper forum but can anyone advise how many feet the tomatoes will grow in these containers before they need a larger? Ive read it could be 3 feet..
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Hi guys..
So first is current grow space with cherry tomatoes and banana peppers. This was the grow area for my padron before they went outside
So they doing pretty good.

My Padrons arent doing so well. Back story is cold and wet temps between 48 and 75deg outside. 5gal bucket still wet after a month. Yesterday, I drove a 1/2in stick up into the bottom of the buckets drain holes to try and help dry out the wet. Then we got a wind storm with up to 25mph gusts so I put them in the garage.

In the garage under my Spider Farmer SF300. This is just to give them some light while they wait to go back outside..

They go back outside tomorrow morning, but I think the majority of the soil is too wet. It just doesnt dry up as it would in 85deg. I hope after adding about 10 more drain holes per bucket itll at least get more air flow. Then we go back to damaged roots on transplant.

I dont know if its too cold, too wet, bad soil mix, roots, or what. They are alive and have been growing, but I wouldnt be surprised if its just not the climate outside for them. Being said its early, and this area tends to do a hop to very hot in August. This is a unusually cold wet year.

Up to date report!


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Cool thread, I enjoyed seeing the progression. I grow many hundred feet of padron near Portland Oregon. I let them get red and use them for hot sauce. The flavor color and heat level are all perfect for me. Much easier to produce than red jalapenos which I also grow tons of for fermenting. Padron plants are unstoppable, I do 24" row spacing with 18" in row staggered with the row next door. Pick truckloads. And I get to snack on the little green ones the whole time I'm picking the ripe ones. My taste testers have all hands down voted the padron salsa their favorite. I add white onion and garlic cloves in the ferment. Your plants look good, just a little bit early and in the end you'd get the same results with less effort if you grow them on 3" pots and then plant on fabric with drip tape for water and fertilization.