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sinensis grow log 2019 (with tomato grafting!)

hey all, giving this whole gardening thing another shot.
this is year number 2 for me, and i've got big plans, but we'll see how it goes, lol
i hope everyone has a great season!!!!
my basic findings for overwintering is that zero light doesn't work well.
they need light! but only a little is fine. leaving them by a window seems more than sufficient to keep them alive.
just trim off most of their branches (maybe down to 1 foot or so) and bring them inside if they aren't full of pests.
Carolina Reaper
this was outdoors in a 15gal root pouch / smart pot (breathable fabric):
it was my biggest pepper plant. a branch broke off while i was carrying it inside, but it's doing just fine.


here's another reaper, but this one's always been an indoor plant:

Bhut Jolokia (red)

Aji Lemon Drop
Scotch Brains
Jay's Peach Ghost Scorpion

these were super neglected small plants that i started last summer but never made it outside. they spent some time in darkness also.
i just recently transplanted them in these 5gal SIP buckets.
before transplanting, i cleaned out the buckets and modified them to use a fabric wick instead of a dirt-packed netpot.
i think this is a superior system because the dirt is always gonna erode out of your net pot wick eventually and then won't wick as well.
a fabric wick also won't foul up your reservoir.
to do this, i duct taped the net pot hole and then slid the fabric wick through the edge:

the wick is a 4x16" strip of cut from a 16x16" microfiber cloth from costco (packs are sold for car washing).
Yaki Blue Fawn

this one spent some extended time in low light. look at that crazy etiolation :(
idk what to do about it. suggestions?

it's got a fruit on it
From Seed:
i ordered some 0.5 fl oz condiment cups with lids from amazon. seems like the perfect size to start seeds with the paper towel method.


i did a 24 hour soak this year. i think it's a good strategy to speed things up and possibly combat mold by removing residual 'food' (pepper juice/debris). basically serves as a final seed rinse.
the individual condiment cups make it easy.

my germination chamber is a styrofoam cooler with a small light bulb wired to a variac (a dimmer switch would also work).
a gallon of water pre-warmed to 85°F was placed in there to act as a thermal reservoir to buffer outside temp changes.
without the water, the temp swings by 5°F or more throughout a 24hr cycle. with the water, it swings only 1-3°F.
i know this because i have a thermometer in there that logs high/low and can be reset.
every couple days, i look at it and slightly tweak the variac knob if needed to keep it close to 85°F.
now for the grow list!!

this year, i want to give myself more variety. not just superhots. i want some good milds and mediums too!

started 2/6:
NuMex 6-4
NuMex Big Jim
7 Pot Primo Red
Galapagos Isabella Habanero
Bahamian Goat
Papa Dreadie Scotch Bonnet
Chocolate Scotch Bonnet
Peach Gum v3
Aji Fantasy Yellow
Bishop's Crown
Sugar Rush Peach
tomatoes started 2/6:
Green Zebra
Brandywine Black
Dr. Wyches Yellow
Arkansas Traveler
University of Florida Klee Lab: Garden Gem
University of Florida Klee Lab: Garden Treasure (brandywine)
University of Florida Klee Lab: "W" Hybrid
started 2/9:
Aleppo / Halaby
Pimiento Cristal
started 2/10:
Turkish Cayenne
started 2/11:
Sri Lanka Kandy Chili Red (growdown throwdown pepper)
i also said what the hell and ordered some seedlings from juanitos peppers:
Aji Lemon Drop
Biquinho (Baccatum, almost heatless, sweet juicy drop)
Brazilian Starfish
Habanada (heatless hab, snacking pepper)
Habanero Paper Lantern
West Indes Red
Scotch Bonnet MoA
Jays Peach Ghost Scorpion
Scotch Brain
they'll arrive hopefully after the last frost here.
2/11 progress report on tomatoes:

there we go!!
also, i want to experiment with tomato grafting this year.
the idea is that you can get crazy vigorous plants, disease-resistant roots, and possibly double the tomato yield.
here's an intro you can read if you're curious:
i ordered 100 each of estamino and maxifort seeds from paramount:
anyone ever try grafting peppers onto something like maxifort? i wonder if it's worthwhile.
july 27:


the plants are coming along nicely :)
lots of cool pods on this turkish cayenne. hope it's ok they're touching the media:

check out the variegated foliage on this fish pepper:

only a few leaves are like that, but they look sweet
CaneDog said:
Looking good sinensis. I like your turkish cayenne on particular.  Have you tried pods from that variety before?
thanks, CaneDog! :D
no, i have never tried them. can't wait.
next to that plant i have a thunder mountain longhorn which is maybe more of an ornamental but i'm really looking forward to seeing those pods grow out. they're supposed to be even longer and more gnarly than the turkish cayennes.
also, a few of my plants have problems. no clue if it's pests (mites?), virus, herbicide drift or what.
described in detail here: http://thehotpepper.com/topic/72020-plant-diagnosis-new-growth-stunted-and-crinkly/
Would be happy to hear what you think of the T Cayenne when you try it.  I was just send TM Longhorn seeds that I'll be growing next season. Haven't grown them before because despite looking really cool, I've heard they weren't much for eating. However, the generous person who sent them to me said they make great flakes and have something of a smoky flavor. Now I'm psyche to get some growing.
As to your plant issues, that's crappy to have that happening.  I looked at your photos and I don't know, but the things you mention are what come to mind. I'd consider grouping them together with a little separation from the rest of the (healthy) pack while you're figuring it out in case there's potential of spread.  I suppose I'd also get out a glass and do careful search under the leaves at some of the distorted new growth areas.  Hope it turns out to be manageable.
sinensis said:
also, spoiler alert, i didn't do tomato grafting. the title is clickbait, and i'm a damn dirty liar  :liar:
it was just a little too much for me this year, but at least i have a bunch of rootstock seeds. i can try next year.
I'll be waiting with baited breath.  I've tried grafting tomatoes a couple of times.  YouTube makes it look so easy, but I've never succeeded.
PaulG said:
Bonchi time!
Seriously. Please do this if you do not plan to keep the reaper around at full size. It would come out amazing.

Also despite not doing grafting, reading about it is inspiring, don't be surprised if you see some experiments next season. ;)