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Siv's 2019 first time glog

I have never grown anything intentionally before but I wanted to try. Last year I bought some seeds from a local supplier here and tried to germinate them and failed. Not a single sprout. I kinda gave up. But around May I saw a sorry looking ghost pepper plant (at least that's what it was labeled as) sitting at Lowes so I bought it and put it in a small pot. Despite my neglect (and being away for a month during summer), the thing grew and put out a good set of pods. So this year, I'm highly motivated to give some serious pepper growing a go.
Determined to succeed this time, I educated myself and learned about the need for heat mats etc. I also watched a ton of Peter Stanley and Kangstar's videos which were hugely helpful.
I started with the leftover seeds from last year and here's the status:
  • Kraken - 10 started, 6 sprouted
  • Douglah - 10 started, 2 sprouted
  • Chocolate Moruga - 10 started, 0 sprouted
Then I placed an order with Sandia seeds on 4th Feb:
  • Ring of Fire - 10 started
  • Aji Limo - 10 started
  • White Ghost - 10 started
  • Fatalii - 10 started
  • Rocoto - 10 started
Of this lot, most of the seeds have sprouted so I have transplanted around four of each into wicking cups (half in soil and half in hydroton) to see what happens:

Then Sandia seeds sent a coupon for 25% off and I'm a sucker for a sale so my second order was placed on 19th Feb:

  • Bhut Jolokia Yellow - 10 started
  • Bulgarian Carrot - 10 started
  • Devil's Tongue - 10 started
  • Yellow Jalapeño Lemon Spice - 10 started
  • Mulato Isleño Chile - Chocolate Poblano - 10 started
  • Bell Purple Beauty Sweet - 20+ started
The yellow jalapeno and bulgarian carrot have already sprung up, as well as lots of the purple bell. The first yellow ghost just popped up this morning:


I probably shouldn't have done this but after seeing the love for these varieties, I made a third seed order yesterday:
  • Bahamian Goat
  • Sugar Rush Peach
So my first lesson learned: Now that I know the importance of heat, humidity and light, I don't need to put so many seeds in. I have way too many seedlings now! I'm only gonna attempt 2 or 3 of the new seeds this time!

Now I'm debating how to grow these on. I have plenty of room in my garden so I'm thinking about a whole bunch of 5 gal buckets with one lot as self watering in compost and another as a drip watered hydro. I may do dutch bucket or I may try a venturi style nute injection, not sure.
Anyway, I look forward to seeing what happens to all these plants over this year!
+1 Heefy! I shudder to think of
some of the mistakes I made   :rofl:
Your plan for the garden sounds good.
Pretty ambitious, should be fun to watch
it develop. You have a great list of peppers,
best of luck for a great second season  for you!
A quick check this morning and sun is shining into my grow room (store room) window for the first time so hopefully things will have a good kick-start. I noticed that some of the seedlings in the wicking cups had a little leaf curl and I read that this is due to overwatering. I expect that was the case since I had the bottom tray with an inch of water. I emptied the tray and they seem to be looking better. How often should I add water?
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A few weeks ago my wife bumped into our neighbour (who's a big gardener) and told her about my new fetish. The neighbour's husband then insisted on coming over that evening and he came with this present for me, it's a 4ft 2 tube light with a frame he made. I've built a DWC starter bucket to give the babies a head start and will be using it to allow the seedlings to put on some legs before moving outside.
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When I first filled the tote, I put far too much nutes in there - there were crystals floating on the surface. Of course, nothing grew and some of the leaver turned brown at the edges. This weekend I emptied the whole thing and have just got water in for now since I'm sure there are some fertilizer crystals still on the bottom of the net cups. I'll add a little Dynagro next weekend. Lots of salad in there as well which I plan on moving outside soon.
The best seedling in there is one of the Krakens - this surprised me as it was a late starter but seems to be coming on pretty well:
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The Rocoto looks OK too:
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The two Aji Limo don't look so great though. Not sure why - any ideas?
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Finally, I have four plants from last year that I just took out of the garage as we should have had our last freezing temps for the year. One is my "ghost pepper" from Lowes that produced well, there is a farmer's Jalapeno and two others that I have no idea what they are since the labels have faded. Other than the Lowes plant the others only put on a pod or two but they were bought in September so probably far too late. I'm gonna repot these in 5 gal buckets I think.
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Like all good chili head growers, lots of
fun stuff going on here! Great gift from
your neighbor. Is he into chilis, too? He
should get a basket of pods for that! So
cool of him to do that!
How deep is your tote? That' would hold
a lot of water. Would you normally just fill
it once and then wait until plant out? I hope
replacing the water did the trick for you!
Looks like the OWs are coming back, too  :woohoo:
If you haven't grown Aji Limos before I think you're in for a treat: they're one of my favorite Chinense peppers and go with everything! I had a couple spaces saved for a couple plants and WAAA! I didn't have the seed...
Good grow to ya!!
PaulG said:
Like all good chili head growers, lots of
fun stuff going on here! Great gift from
your neighbor. Is he into chilis, too? He
should get a basket of pods for that! So
cool of him to do that!
How deep is your tote? That' would hold
a lot of water. Would you normally just fill
it once and then wait until plant out? I hope
replacing the water did the trick for you!
Looks like the OWs are coming back, too  :woohoo:
Thanks Paul. My neighbour built the light stand for his wife but she didn't have any success with it. I'll surely give them some produce if I manage to produce some!
The tote is a 27 gal one from Lowes. This is my first time so I've just filled it up so that the water level is just above the bottom of the net pot which equates to about 24 gals. I have 4 air stones in there bubbling away.
stettoman said:
If you haven't grown Aji Limos before I think you're in for a treat: they're one of my favorite Chinense peppers and go with everything! I had a couple spaces saved for a couple plants and WAAA! I didn't have the seed...
Good grow to ya!!
I've never intentionally grown anything before but I hope to change that this year! I would class last year as an accident since I effectively forgot about my plants and only noticed when one was covered in pods.
Time for an update! I'm starting to think that for a noob like me, perhaps starting lots of seeds wasn't such a bad idea! Some of the babies are doing well, some OK and others are not.
Some of the ones in the wicking solo cups started showing some leaf burn so I raise the light and they're much happier. Some doing better than others but all are still alive!
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In the DWC bucket, the Kraken is doing really well and the Rocoto is hanging on but the Aji Limo are still not moving.
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And for the new starts, I've learned another lesson - just leave them alone until they get big enough to transplant. The mistake I made with the others was to transplant them too early and naturally the smaller ones haven't done so well. I'll wait until I get at least two sets or true leaves before moving them out of the box.
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And just to overdo it, I got some more seeds. Since I don't have a spare light, I'm trying these in the zip-loc bag method. Only 5 of each this time.
  • Bahamian Goat
  • Sugar Rush Peach
  • Brazilian Starfish
  • Anaheim
  • Fish Pepper
  • Datil
A bit of an update and more learning!
I have a bunch of seedlings under the domed 20x10 with heat mat and kept adding more of the new ones as they germinated. This time I used the paper towel/zip loc bag method and only put them in rockwool once they sprung a tap root. The problem is that some of the older seedlings started to brown and then die. I'm guessing this is because they were kept in high humidity too long?
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Anyway, I've taken the dome off, culled some and am carefully watching the others.
My best plant at the moment is the Kraken that's in the DWC starter tote. It feels like I can see visible growth every day!
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I'm so impressed with how quick these grow in the DWC setup that I'm going to put all my newer seedlings in there to give them a head start.
Finally, half of my first batch of seedlings were put in wicking cups with soil and suddenly I had a load of gnats flying all over the place. Since we're safely past the last frost date here in Texas, I took them outside and rigged up a feeding box from a 5 gallon tote so they can stay fed while they harden off. They're now under a covered porch so they'll get some direct sunlight for about an hour in the evening but other than that, they'll be pretty secure. Only one Fatalii drooped a little but I propped him up and hopefully he'll be OK.
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It's been a while so time for an update!
The plants in the wicking cups and soil seem to be doing fine outside. They're getting hardy and I'll transplant them into their final grow bags in a couple of weeks (need to get the irrigation system working first).
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The sister plants which were in hydroton are still indoors and alive but not as vigorous as the ones outside. I may move them outside soon.
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I have four plants that have gotten pretty big in the DWC system so I've now put them in 5 gallon kratky setups and put them outside but well shaded to harden off. The kraken is the largest, followed by an Aji Limo, lemon Jalapeno and a Rocoto. I'm not sure if I want to keep these in hydro or put them in soil - I think I only have room for a max of 36 grow bags, spaced 3 feet apart.


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The later starts are doing well in DWC - I've expanded with an additional 2x 5 gallon setups and am replacing anything non-pepper with pepper starts. I'll have far more than I need but some grow faster than others so the bigger ones will go outside with the earlier starts eventually.
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And finally, since I needed a place for the salad type stuff, I build this contraption! It's kinda like a marble run with the water entering top right and cascading left then down to the next row and across to the right etc. It's in a shaded spot so hopefully I can get good salad grows out of it well into the Texas summer.
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It's only been a week but I've been busy in the garden so I thought it would do good to document.
Firstly, the soil starts are doing good and will be potted-up next weekend. I topped most of them and It's been windy so I've had to put a cardboard sleeve taped to the tote to stop them from blowing away!
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The hydro starts are doing better but some showing some signs of deficiency. I'm not going to worry about this as I'll likely pot them up with the soil starts.
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The wind was not kind to my yellow Jalapeno and almost all the leaves broke off. Only two leaves left - but I guess she'll come back strong.
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I put out two more lots of seedlings - no point keeping them inside now that it's warm enough. I'll add more outside once they get to a decent size (3 or 4 sets of true leaves)
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Now the big work!
I built this raised bed from old decking lumber that a friend gave me and a couple sheets of metal roofing from Lowes. I must have cut myself at least 6 times - need to remember to wear gloves next time! I have no idea what I'm gonna plant in it. I still have enough sheet metal and wood to build another.
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And I also laid out my 15'x20' tarp and staked it down. This is where all the grow bags will go - I think I can get 35x 10 gallon bags spaced about 3' apart in 17" saucers. This area is shaded from around 3pm so hopefully it'll serve well initially to avoid too much Texas sun from cooking the plants. I'll probably put some 50% shade cloth up when we get into the 100s. The bonus is that this area is fenced so hopefully the deer will keep out! I need to order the drip irrigation system.
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Finally, I had an extra Ring of Fire seedling and I put it in a Kratky setup and left it on my wife's studio window sill. It's over a foot tall now and has started flowering!
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Update time again!
The soil starts really need potting on but they're looking lush!
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Same with the hydro starts - I've decided to keep them in hydro and have got some 5gal buckets and net pot lids to transfer them
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We've had some high winds recently so the larger plants took a bit of a beating. Most of the large leaves tore or broke off but there seems to be plenty of new growth. Aji Limo (left) and Kraken (right) are looking a little war torn but the new growth looks good:
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The rocotto (left) seems to have slowed down but there is a bit of new growth. The lemon Jalapeno (right) took a hell of a beating and lost almost all its large leaves but it's hanging on.
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Finally all the newer ones seem to have weathered the wind well.
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I did some work this weekend and potted on the hydros in the wicking cups into 5gal buckets. I copied the zip-tied supports from a Peter Stanley video - I thought I better get them in now as I have no idea how one would retrofit something like that once the plant was big. One thing for sure, I need more buckets!
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