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PeriPeri's Grow Log 2012: South Africa

Hi All,

So I'll give it another try this year. God knows I love chillies and I would love nothing more than to have a bumper harvest... but I suspect the truth of the matter is I do not have green fingers. In fact, give me a chilli and I will be pretty guaranteed to kill it lol That's not negativity talking, that's reality based on last years experiences lol

Last year it was pots. This year its a farm east of Pretoria, here in South Africa. My reasoning for this madness is pretty much like a hunter hunting with a machine gun... out of the thousand seedlings I plant... I must walk away with something lol (I hope).

So I have a pice of land. Good soil down by a river in the african sun.

The planting area has been divided into two sections. An enclosed area (±40mx40m) with shade netting and an open area (±40mx40m). Water is limited, but there is borehole water.

Outside Area:

Inside Area:

Temps this time of the year are in the mid to high 30ºC. It's the rainy season, so there is rain and it comes in buckets and hail-stones!

So here are the pics I took of the inside and outside areas Saturday 6/10/2012. It was 37ºC that day. I have a video as well which I took last Sunday when I started the planting (to come). Luckily we have a cold front at the moment, so since monday it has been overcast, cool and we have rain (magic). I think its about 23/25ºC at the moment. I planted on Sunday (36ºC) early morning (24/25ºC) and late afternoon and pretty much watered for the rest of the day. Didn't look like rain at all... but it's here and could not have come at a better time really!

As you can see I have laid out the beds in rows. Planting is at 45-60cm intervals. I am doing a little experiment also with double planting and single planting. I suspect the yield will be lower with the bushes that have been double planted... but who knows. A different climate... maybe results will show different.

On the grow list:

Bishops Crown
PeriPeri (naturally)
Hot Pixie
Thai Dragon
Baby Belle
Cal Wonder
Yellow Scorpions
Black Pearl
Naga Viper
White Hab
Orange Hab
Brown Hab
Red Hab
Big Jim
Long Thai
Carolina Reaper
Pasilla Bajio
7 Pod
Bhut Jolokia
Naga King
Scotch Bonnet
Hungarian Sweet Wax
Cherry Bomb
Boriya Mirch
Brain Strain
Ring of Fire

Still to come...

Angkor Sunrise
Devils Tongue White
Naga Morich
Devils Tongue Choc
Hab Choc

One or two other... but I can't remember.

First lot I planted on Sunday 7/10/2012.... details will follow...

Over and out for now!

Wow, that's a great plot for you plants! Looks like you covered all angles covered with the seed list (good flavor and heat). Double planting may cut back on production but you'll end up with more plants in a given space which evens out the harvest and theres less sunscalded pods due to extra foliage cover. Good luck with your plantings........this will be an interesting glog to follow...

Very nice start Peri. I will be watching this grow with anticipation. So exciting to see another grow starting up. :dance:
Looks good to me, great grow list, just remember to water when the leaves look wilted and keep on the look out for bugs.
Thank you guys! It's all very daunting!

Thank you Saugapepper... will be on the look out.

I will work on the video I took last weekend tonight so I can upload...

The shade netted area is amazing... it's quite incredible how much cooler things are under the shade netting. I will be going through to the farm tomorrow to check on things... so there will be pics of the seedlings I planted last weekend. Can't wait to see!

Chat anon

Apologies guys....

It has been hectic!

I only get to go out to the farm on weekends. Its an hour away from where I live.

I do have some staff to help water during the week... but as it turns out they have taken my money and rather watered their livers than water the plants... so there has been turbulance along the way. Never knew farming would be so tricky!

So we have had heatwaves of 37/38ºC and hectic storms. The chillies under the shadenetting are doiung ok... but those outside are struggling. Ontop of this weeds - you said it! Weeds are killing me here. I had thought to let the weeds grow on the outside as my thinking was that they would in turn give the seedlings outside some much needed shade. But then I was advised that they would take all the nutrients out of the soil... so I have been weeding muchos!!

Watering, weeding, planting, transplanting, watering is the order of the day.... but we are getting there! At my calculation I have about 150 plants in the shade net area. About 100 seedlings coming up and a good 250 in the outside area.

I also have a further 200 odd still in my incubator...

But lets start with some pics - a wee bit of back pedling to begin with!

14th October...

Outside Area


Inside Area


And some pics... though not many as I did run out of time :)





Ok, 28th October...


These are the seedlings in my "nursery". There's 7 Pods, Scotch Bonnets, Fish Peppers, Brown Habs, Red Habs, Orange Habs & Fatalii's... oh and Naga Kings growing here. They are too small to plant out at the moment... but from there I plant them into by inside area. I let them grow there until they are about 8-10cm and then the less special ones are planted in the outside area. The inside area is only for seedlings and ultimately VIP's (the special ones).

But yea... I'm happy with the progress of things here... coming along just fine.

We have had an incident - as I mentioned - of guys not watering... so I have lost a lot of my outside plants (10 - 20%)... but there are plenty in the outside area.

I am starting to plant the more common chillies from inside to the outside area now. Some of the outside seedling are struggling due to the intense sun and the non watering issue... which has set them back hectically I reckon... so I will be ruthless and just replace with those that are flourishing inside.

Oh and this day I weeded and turned all the soil and added Sea Monster (sea mulch)... they are in pellet form. Hoping this may purr on some growth.

Here are some more pics of the Nursery area...

Outside area is starting to look very weedy :((










Ok, last weekend... 4th November,

Man, weeds are killing me. Spent most of the day in the outside area weeding. Luckily I managed to rope in the other half to do some watering. Was probably about 37ºC... and I got burnt good lol Weeding, transplanting, weeding, watering, watering, watering...

So I managed all of 3 rows on the outside. Mind you I also did some transplanting from inside to outside area.

The Bishops and PeriPeri's are thriving. Roots are looking amazing! Big root bowls on the plants I transplanted from the inside area.

Inside plants are thriving... very happy there. Outside area is like a bloddy warzone!

So by moving the more common chillies from inside to outside, I'm making room for the special chillies now on the inside.

Massive hail storm yesterday (8th November). Am going to the farm on Saturday... will need to asses the outside area damage.

Outside Area (weeds galore)




Looking good peri I wish I can I can pull off something like this in the tropics but my wife thinks am crazy with all the plants I got right now lol any how i will be following this glog man . Nice job bro keep the updates comming and good luck on your grow
Hi Sali man. Thanks for the support! I really have bitten off more than I can chew here... and am going to need more help from the guys on this site as well as guys in the garden... but when I hold those pods in my hands... I am sure it will feel like it has all been worth it.

There's a whole load of pics that didn't come through on my posts... I will try and post the important ones again.

Inside 4th November


4th November Outside (weeds taking over) :(






28Th October...





Garden looks amazing makes wish I had some land like that, but I am with you once your able to see and touch the pods it feels rewarding. Can not wait to see how your King Naga does I have heard about never really thought about growing it not sure if it is the same as the monster naga. Good luck and amazing work
Hi SocalChilehead. Thank you... I will try and keep pictures coming. I did a little research on the Ghost Chilli... interesting to see how all these names came about: http://www.thehotpep...hilli-low-down/ it seems its all the same chilli, just different names from different places :) I did a taste test of the Naga King... and it was delicious!!! If this baby gets pods... I'm just goignt o be the happiest man on this planet!



So this is the propogator I built for my seedlings at the beginning of the season. I made it out of bits and pieces I had lying around. It's good to house about 700 seedlings. It runs off 4x 25W Energy Saver globes and is a perfect 30ºC... I have insulated it with foam board and reflective roof sheeting, which keeps the temp constant.

At the moment I have got about 200 left to go:

Angkor Sunrise
Devils Tongue White
Naga Morich
Devils Tongue Choc
Hab Choc
Bhut x Giant White Habanero
ButchT x Moruga
Bahamian Goat Pepper
Antilaise Caribean
White Habanero
Scotch Bonnet Peach Long
Naga Viper
Yellow Scorp x Bhut

Can't wait to get those babies in the ground :)
Looking great there, PeriPeri. Awesome garden plot. Sucks about the hired help, but it is what it is. The Fataliis look happy in their native soil. Looking forward to following your grow.
Thanks DocNrock! This probably sounds totally stupid, but while Fatalii's are from central Africa (Congo)... I have never seen them locally until last year. Someone must have had the brain wave to grow these locally... just sad it wasn't me lol. Anyway... I have planted those babies on mass and yea... they are looking healthy and happy in their native soil.

Talking of which, I have been out to the plot again this weekend. I spent most of today working like a dog. But hey, I could think of worse work...

So today I planted out all the large PeriPeri and Bishops Crowns from inside to the outside area. I reckon they are big enough to hold their own in the open.

The aim was to clear the inside area and plant out the plants from the "Nursery" to the grow beds inside. I'm running out of space though (will you believe it). The outside area has two fields, the top field is 90% full. So when these new seedlings are big enough they will have to be planted out into the bottom field. For the time being I have planted the seedlings in the inside area very closely. - bearing in mind that they will eventually all be transplanted outside at 45 - 60cm intervals.

Things have gotten all jumbled up outside. All the plants are labelled, but what has started out as rows of chillies, is now mixed rows due to the hap hazzard way I have transplanted into gaps where chillies have died outside.

In any case, I'm feeling good about the progress. Hail has been an issue so far. We have had some pretty hectic thunder storms of late, which have resulted in hail... which we do not usually get that part of South Africa. But then someone told me that for all the damaged leaves one sees... hail is actually good as it releases nitrogen. Didn't know that...

Insect wise, the inside is free of the usual culprits... aphids and white fly (my absolute nemisis) - but the war is on... Cutworm! Luckily with cutworm there is a simple solution which comes in the form of pellets that have to be sprinked around the base of the seedling. One dose seems to suffice untill the seedling is too big for the cutworm. Also, if you see a little hole in the soil next to the chillii stem, give it a dig and you will find the culprit. Ugly mothers they are too. I dig them out and squish the buggers as they come out by night and cut cut the stem of the young seedling at ground level... a real pain!

So ontop of transplanting and watering, I added sea mulch and cutworm poison to every plant... It's been ye another busy day!

So this was the state of things 11th November...



and when I was done transplanting all the chillies....


Looks like chillies have shrunk lol, but no - I have transplanted all large plants to the outside area and what you are seeing now is all the Brown Habanero, Fatalii's, Red Habanero, 7 Pod, Naga Kings I transplanted from the nursery.
















Sorry, struggling to add more images... its telling me I have added more than permissable :?








Looking back on the images week by week, its actually quite amazing to me how the plants have grown. You don't realise it when your in the garden.
Geez man, I don't think I am going to make it to my chillies this weekend :( I am actually depressed. Gonna miss them babies... wonder how they are doing??
Geez man, I don't think I am going to make it to my chillies this weekend :( I am actually depressed. Gonna miss them babies... wonder how they are doing??

The next time you see them they'll probably be three times the size they were the last time you saw them. ;)
Lourens, amazing photos!! I wish I had even a quarter of your land to grow peppers. Keep us posted on how things progress...