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seeds seeds from ripe pods (true?), starting, promix, coir, light set-up: HELP! :-)

Lots of questions and gonna try to get to point: (and have spent waking/sleeping hours reading on here so please don't tell me to "search" . . . pweeze).

(I've only grown a few annuums and mostly tomatoes from seed . . . shuu! Don tell!)

1. Biggest question: have enough seed from ripened pods to save but will they be "true" next year? Am ordering some new varieties but ordering all these pepper seeds = cost prohibitive. Got seeds from live plants from Cross Country Nurseries and are:

Harold's St. Barts, Chocolate habanero, yellow 7 pod, fatallii, naga morich, Caribbean red, red and yellow bhuts. Yellow 7 brain strain.

In ripe pods, in refrig, a lot to dry for powders still, plenty of time to save a lot for seeds if they will come true. I didn't isolate or put cheesecloth, panty hose, none of that over anything. In open field, cross pollinated. So, first question, is it likely that I can get one more year of "true" plants since the ones I ordered this year were true or tasted, looked "true" and not hybrid. I've seen some folks on here say that this coming season I'd be okay but would have to order for 2014 or something. Am looking at 2013 grow season. Like: is it a problem they're in frig awaiting some smoking and some drying as far as saving others for seed? So: ripe pods, in frig from 2012 true plantings: will seeds, if dried, create true plants for 2013? CCN is pretty reputable. But ya never know.

2. Have used promix for starting tomatoes. I've also used compost (mine, hot composted, multiple manures) and vermicompost with a little vermiculite and had outstanding maters. I generally help that out with a touch of "wee touch" of alfalfa meal, bone meal, and kelp. Baring everything else, slightest kelp just for roots. Am more interested in mycorrhizae from jump.

But is even kelp overboard in seed starting? I tend to go there: overboard. Because I have a few raised beds, in spring I top them off with a mixture of peat, vermiculite, several compost types, blood meal/fish meal, bone meal, bat guano, kelp and azomite. Azomite takes time to build and I'm seeing the results. But would Promix alone (has or says it does, mycorrhizae) work for the superhots for starting? If so, great!

3. I want to start in small plugs. 98 cell. After soaking about 8 hours in warm distilled water with 1 teasp. 3% hydrogene peroxide in labeled "solo" cups with maybe iddybiddy teensyweensy touch of mycorrhizae? In trays on rack above heat mat--helps tomatoes. Then into plug flats in trays on heat mat, with domes. I'd rather not do jiffy pellets but I've done that too with tomatoes. Thoughts? I'm looking at most economical way for a lot of pepper plants. Coir bricks? Promix? Thoughts about that many cells? I've seen one guy on here start in more. My heat mat will hold 4 flats.

4. Lights? I've done okay with annuums jalapeno, cayenne, Tabasco--bought from seed comps--tomatoes, squash, etc. with one fixture of 2 T8's 65k, per shelf on 74 x 48 x 18 deep shelf unit. BUT, not enough light sometimes. Thing is, had to maneuver flats. I have room on bottoms of 4 shelves for 4 more T8 65k fixtures with 2 bulbs each. Have some emergency heating blankets, that mylar stuff; was thinking about going with 4 T8's per shelf and reflecting light back after germination, with opening, near wood stove some and circulating air around plants (roll up the "silver stuff) for several hours per day. Thoughts? I have a healthy "dis"-respect for damping off.

5. Now the cute part. When potting up would like to hold peppers a while but how long can I? The annuums, I don't think could hold too long but start those later than chinense. And herein comes "cute part." I would just as soon pot up once (before garden--I don't plant in pots or 5 gal buckets) if can get away with it into 2" x 2.25" x 3.25" inserts. 36 per tray. Shelves are 18 deep and trays are 21 deep but think I can get away with it. I don't have to plant into last 4 cells. Some will go into individuals, am sure. My fear? Running out of space! Because am also planting (later), annuums, including sweet, poblano, guajillo etc., and then later, tomatoes. A lot of tomatoes. But by the time I plant tomatoes up into cell inserts, could be time, depending on weather, to let maybe, the superhots hang outside some, but no way we'll have a March warm enough to leave them out. But I have a t-post braced compost bin from wood pallets, not in use, facing south. I could easily raise the back of it with some 2x2's, cover that with clear poly or clear tarp-like, use some wire shelves and have small heater for night with covered floor?

6. I've planted in open-large-garden in mid-April. Zone 7. Last frost date is supposedly April 15th or so, but have seen a few "surprises." So aside from the mix--and when potting up adding the nutes with later feedings, does this plan sound doable?

Oh and the grow list if I can use this past summer's seed from pods:

Harold's St. Barts, Chocolate habanero, yellow 7 pod, fatallii, naga morich, Caribbean red, red and yellow bhuts. Yellow 7 brain strain. And new stuff:

Zapotec Jalapeno--peppermania
Scotch bonnet--Ibid
Aji Limon--Ibid
Aji Lemon Drop--Ibid
Manzano Yellow--Ibid
Orange Thai--Ibid
Trinidad Scotch Bonnet collection--pepperlover
7 Pod collection--Ibid
Red and Yellow Moruga--Ibid
7 Pod Burgandy--Ibid
Giant Mexican Rocoto--Ibid
Monster Naga--Ibid
Jalapeno M--tomatogrowers as are rest (including tomatoes, etc at end)
Ancho San Martin
Jamaican Hot Chocolate
Red Cherry Hot--about same thing as mexi-bell
Thai hot--red--frutescen
Kung Pao
Socrates X3R Hybrid bell--gonzo mofo LARGE bell, turns red faster
Pritavit--really sweet red bell--for sweet smoked paprika
Orange Blaze
Sweet Spot sweet banana
Key West cubanelle
Giant Marconi
Big Bertha
and tomatoes: La Roma III, Super Marzano, Viva Italia, Early Girl, Bella Rosa, Better Boy, Lemon Boy, Mountain Spring (which is a lot like Mountain Pride), Rutgers, Celebrity, Goliath, Big Beef, Burpee's Supersteak, Brandywine Sudduth's, Cherokee Purple, Mexico, Sun Gold cherry, Sun Cherry.

Add to that a few versions of eggplant, tomatillo (which should be started earlier than tomatoes, really), varieties of pickling cukes, summer squash, zukes, varieties of basil, culantro and new chives. Along with bug keep-offs, like marigolds, zinnias, and about "tyme" to plant some more calendula.

So: 1. Would my seeds be good (true) from description above?
2. Would that light system work (doubling up)?
3. If I don't have room, presuming they grow, I can buy another shelving unit and 2 more fixtures of t8 65k? Yes? No?
4. What about idea of makeshift green house from pallet-t-post braced compost bin with wire shelves and heater?
5. Is this whole mess too ambitious?
6. I'll trade somebody some whole pods or dried seed for viable, if y'all think mine are viable, anything I have for peach bhut and datil so I don't have to make one order for one pack of seeds from pepperjoe. Nobody has peach bhut and would like more than seeds from one pod because I'd send whole pods or seeds from 4-5 or more pods. Insurance. In fact, if you have seeds that are "true" I'll trade anything if I have anything you want, providing you think my seeds will come out "true" this year. Not interested in creating hybrids accidentally.

I'd appreciate any and all ideas. Peace and thanks. Annie
With the seeds it's a crapshoot. only way to tell if they're crossed is to grow them out. Also , don't get caught up in nutrients while they are still seedlings!!!!! they don't really need it while they are that small. Pro mix is good not a must to achieve results that exceed your expectations.to many nute's while the plants are babies can be a bad thing!
Glad to see that your wanting to nail down a system. I would suggest that you take a look at some of theses guys Glogs, to get a better Idea and to see tricks of the trade.

[background=rgb(255, 244, 228)]So: 1. Would my seeds be good (true) from description above? Its hard to say depends on a few factors of how they where grown, who was next to them... when they where flowering,and how much traffic of bees where there..[/background]
[background=rgb(255, 244, 228)]2. Would that light system work (doubling up)? light is always a good thing, but dont burn down your house by over doing it. the sun is the best and I would put them next to a window before lighting them all up with lights. I have found, bigger the pepper they produce the more light they need, I wont start bells inside for a long term, they grow to fast and need a ton of light[/background]
[background=rgb(255, 244, 228)]3. If I don't have room, presuming they grow, I can buy another shelving unit and 2 more fixtures of t8 65k? Yes? No? I would start superhots before anything else becuz they take the longest, and if you start tomatos or things like jalapeno they tend to get to big and need more lights to grow, start them 2 to 3 week before the frost date[/background]
[background=rgb(255, 244, 228)]4. What about idea of makeshift green house from pallet-t-post braced compost bin with wire shelves and heater? green house is also good, but remember that your only going to have 12 hours or so of sunlight and seedling need 16 or so to grow. so you would have to add lights, I would also put hot compost in the green house, it will heat it up at night and you will use less heat from the heater.[/background]
[background=rgb(255, 244, 228)]5. Is this whole mess too ambitious? I would not pot them up too big intil I got them outside, but to each it own, unless your going to be leaving them in pots[/background]
There is no such thing as too ambitious. If plants were OP'd, there is no telling if your next gen. Will be true or not. It depends on how compatable the plants you had surrounding it are with it and if the pollen from another flower was used to pollinate it or if it was self pollinated.

Seedlings do not NEED 16hrs of light to grow, they will just grow slower in a 12/12 environment but then again, that all depends on what kind of lighting you have them under. If you have 5000 lumens a sqft for 12hrs VS 16 hours at 1500 lumens...you could possibly get the same results or better. Lighting is very "up in the air" when it comes to plants that are not photo period.
Thanks SmokinH. 2700 lumens per bulb over 4 feet and 4 bulbs. Without a light meter, I have no way of determining that.

As far as plants go, yep: all OP and yet all chinense, planted close to each other but 10 feet + from anything else. Now, given the nature of bees . . ., ha; but as one member messaged me, one could isolate an OP and the thing could come out w/hybrid children. In fact many of the seeds we get are often not as isolated or humanly pollinated as we might think. So am gonna take 4 different peppers from different parts of plants--not taken up yet--plant 5 to a cell and plant 4 cells of each type just to see. I have no problem cutting out the weakest of 5 if they all germinate.

And thank you for the vote of confidence! We're only limited by our heart-minds and if I'd ever given in to some "realities" I'd not have accomplished much. While I will be ordering more seeds, which could be as crossed as what I have, I kinda look forward to the adventure of the thing. Thanks, man!
Phew that a big post! As far as true seed goes, if you didnt isolate the plants and you are growing different varieties even reasonably close then you will be uncertain at best as to what you will end up with. It depends what you are going to do with the plants you get, if you are going to sell them as 'true' then thats a no no but if you are just growing to see what you get then at worst you will get at least some of the qualities of the parent plants.

Next season start with reliable seed and isolate the whole plants just before the first flower opens with very fine mesh so Mr Bee cant get at them, wait until you can see the first part of the fruit then uncover and tag the TRUE pepper.

Good luck ;)
I'd really like to thank Jamie (romy6) and Ed (meinchoh) for the seeds they've sent (and Jamie provided me with some goodies like a douglah at a ballgame today that I hope doesn't get me fired for dropping the f-bomb in front of the dean of my dept. but in the name of peppers, hey!). He also sent a "spice blend" of powder but after the douglah earlier, may wait until tomorrow to try. Hmm. So far for 2013 grow I have:
(no douglah seeds from Jamie: I ate them)

From romy6 (Jamie):

Orange Thai
Bonda Ma Jacques
TS Cardi
TS Moruga
Peach bhut
7 pod brown x Naga
Naga x brain strain

From meincoch (Ed):

T.S. Moruga blend
Peach bhut
Caramel Bhut
Murupi laranja (which from my spattering of Portuguese tells me "It's a new world of pepper")

I'm drying:

Harold St. Barts
7 pod yellow
chocolate habanero
naga morich
caribbean red

I know mine are all crosses but I guess I'll bear them. And see if ordering a few from another source makes a difference. I have to order some new tomato seeds, as well as Tabasco from Tomato Growers and want to try the Zapotec Jalapeno, from Beth at peppermania. Many thanks to these guys and Ed, the powders for you were fun tonight after "the douglah event." Off to check another shelving unit from local Craigslist tomorrow, should be . . . cultural and after re-reading and re-reading cmpman1974's (Chris's) grow 2012, not investing in high dollar T5's but hitting up Lowe's tomorrow for some more T8's 65k and fixtures. With mylar blankets or film, creating a kind of grow closet around shelf units, should be adequate. With fans and bottom water/ feeding only until they go outside.
So Judy sent me some (gifts) nice Kerinting Long, Amish Bush, Peruvian White Hab, "Most Prolific" (is chinense but other than that, have no clue[?])--any ideas would be welcome, Bradley's Bahamian and Blue Mystery, which Judy can't classify which is cool--supposed to grow big, bushy--alrighty then! Am planting these in 72 deep 6 pack cells, and with light right down on them--4 T-8 65k per shelf, 4 shelves, 18 deep, little overlap but running perpendicular with mylar. Then potting up to 36 6 cell, deep cell, which is about equivalent of 2.5 x 3.5 like Cross Country uses (ordering case of those), so that would be either 32 or 36 in 4 1020's per shelf, have 100 3.5 x 5 deep pots (I bet we end up buying another shelving unit and more fixtures. Just a pretty good bet there.) Because I do anything for my mother, who's just TH-RILLED about the Kerinting Long--she and my father go out for lunch in summers--she always takes a pod of hot pepper with her--she likes them small, so with what Judy sent as gifts, Mama might have some "pocket peppers" for her to embarrass my father (she's been known to take a mater and pepper with her: yes: she has been known to do so). AND the woman mentioned on phone, "Been so long since I had a Prue tomato, the best I've ever eaten" so the extra 1020 space I had is going to half Prue and Sarnowski toms planted after the gifts Judy sent. And Pepper Joe sent some mystery seeds: might as well plant.

Soaking in 3 oz. solo cups in warm diluted kelp overnight or at most 24 hours. The manzano I ordered from Judy will get H2O2 treatment and rinse, and then maybe a warm kelp soak. Not using Promix BX as am making my own simple mix with equal perlite to peat, some vermiculite, dolomite lime, and a little mycorrhizae. Mycorr root dust in next pot-up. Bottom feeding with diluted NHarvest fish-kelp when DO feed which will be a while. Probably use Baccto Lite (because it's available locally) for 1st pot up, some Dyn-Gro Foliage, and maintain the NHarvest.

Want to use some nice hot water to thoroughly moisten mix to be used in 72 deeps, then load up the 72 deeps with mix, bottom water, use domes, "catiwampussed" or "sigoggled" (see NC "rural jargon") and put on gonzo 4 1020 heat mat overnight, have starting soil moist and warm before soaked seeds go in, probably keep the barely covered soaked seeds in little solos in 1020s slightly raised above that mat for the soak to keep water at around 70 degrees overnight. Staggering the pepper planting, as I THINK the annuums will germ faster, but might try a 6 pack, just to see. And using slab of insulation under heat mat to help it--thought about making a 3 sided box from insulation around the mat with a fan on low--yes--mix might dry out faster but am able to water from bottom if needed, as am more concerned about seed rot than the effort of watering.

And for those of you who have "reluctant" to "WHAT NOW?!" "significant ones" and if you live in say zone 7 or less--get them involved. How's this possible? Christmas/New Year's season. As more seed, potting stuff has arrived in mail, they get scared, but kind of excited. (Or maybe just scared.) Soooooo, ask them to "escort" you to good feed and seed stores that also sell tools--got a 50 lb. bag of perlite for 12 bucks--take them. Then after buying new battery charger and couple new batteries for the cordless tools, go for a nice espresso at a coffee shop, sing Christmas songs while riding around looking at lights--pack that Bing Crosby CD for the car/truck, put the case in pocket--sing Christmas songs, falalala. And then spring it on them that you would love their help putting a shelving unit together. Tell them how great it looks with the casters. Mhmm. Put a Santa hat on him and take a pic beside the shelf unit! Shiny, chrome! It just needs a sport steering wheel! So far, guys (and gals) this is REALLY working wonders for getting that 2nd shelf unit without a lot of grief. And of COURSE you can spend less time with your gigantic family on Christmas Eve and MORE time with theirs. And the piece de resistance? YMMV :cool:.