Siv's second time lucky? 2020 Glog

And so it begins:
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From left to right:
  1. Growdown Fatalii - Seed Savers Exchange
  2. Kang Starr Lemon Starburst - Pepper Donkey [new for 2020]
  3. Bahamian Goat - Pepper Donkey
  4. Sugar Rush Peach - Pepper Donkey
  5. Dorset Naga - Pepper Donkey [new for 2020]
  6. Piri Piri - All Good Things [new for 2020]
  7. Peppadew - THP seed train (I think) [new for 2020]
  8. Turbo Pube - fataliiseeds.net [new for 2020]
  9. Datil - THP Seed Train
  10. White Ghost - Pepper Donkey
  11. Purple Thunder - PaulG [new for 2020]
  12. Leviathan Gnarly Scorpion - WHP (I think) [new for 2020]
  13. Solid Gold But - saiias [new for 2020]
All the seeds look pretty good other than the piri piri which seem small and darker than expected. We'll see how it does. Overall, I think I have a good mix of heat and colour. Maybe I need to add something yellow as the growdown fatalii looks orange.
 
I'll put together another tray next weekend. Last year was easy as I had limited seeds, this year has been near impossible to choose what to grow as I have so many seeds thanks to the kindness of PaulG and the THP seed train.
 
I'm debating if I should do an Aji this year. Last year I got a ton of Aji Limo so perhaps I should try crystal, mango or pineapple - any recommendations?
 

Siv

Extreme Member
Today should be my two weekly update but we have a problem. My Dorset Naga has the dreaded droopies!
 
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I checked pH and it was 8.4 - a bit high. EC was 1300ppm which is the same as the nute reservoirs. Since hooking up the auto filler, I've been a little slack in adding nutes. My well water is usually right at a pH of 7 but I just checked and it's now 8. Usually adding nutes to the pH 7 water drops it to about 6ish.
 
Right now, the system looks like this, all 1/2" tubing with the feed to the buckets entering the bottom:
2020 Hydro 1.png

 
I think balancing the nutes in one bucket is only going to defer any problems I may have down the road. So I'm thinking of creating some kind of nute circulation that will average out all the nutes in all the buckets. If I add a surge bucket to the system and then put in a pump that recirculates the nutes back to all the buckets, this should allow for some mixing of nutes across the whole setup. The addition would look like this:
2020 Hydro 2.png

 
The pump won't run continuously, it will just be run occasionally to balance the nutes which I can then test in one place and take whatever corrective action may be needed. The red return line will be 1/2" but the lines going to the top of each bucket will have 1/4" tubes so that there is flow all the way up and down the setup.
 
Any thoughts, advice, suggestions, corrections etc highly appreciated. I need to go buy a hose so that I can re-purpose the 1/2" line that I'm currently using to fill the nute reservoirs so this work won't be done until this evening.
 
Hmm, you're really close to a dutch bucket system Siv - except in this case the nutes are fed from both top and bottom.
 
However, with the approach you are describing - will it be possible to create a situation where there's too much water in the system and you run the risk of drowning the plants? I'm thinking about the pump in the surge bucket bringing the water level down enough while it's running so that your main nute reservoir would feed more solution into the system. Would that be possible? If it is, maybe another valve in the surge bucket might be able to fix this? I'm of course assuming the water level in the surge bucket is controlled the same way as in all other buckets.
 

Siv

Extreme Member
HeatMiser said:
Hmm, you're really close to a dutch bucket system Siv - except in this case the nutes are fed from both top and bottom.
 
However, with the approach you are describing - will it be possible to create a situation where there's too much water in the system and you run the risk of drowning the plants? I'm thinking about the pump in the surge bucket bringing the water level down enough while it's running so that your main nute reservoir would feed more solution into the system. Would that be possible? If it is, maybe another valve in the surge bucket might be able to fix this? I'm of course assuming the water level in the surge bucket is controlled the same way as in all other buckets.
 
Thanks HM, you give me something to think about. I didn't get everything done today - I set up the surge bucket (an old 30 gallon trash can) and had it pump in reverse from one of the buckets into the surge. The level in the surge bucket slowly increased indicating that the pump out rate is higher than the refill rate. And yes, the level in the master dropped so more nutes came into the system. Fortunately the flowrate of the nutes into the master is slow due to the small orifice on the float valve so there was likely no significant increase in level. I also gave myself a "get out of jail" failsafe where all the buckets have a hole in the side just at the bottom of the netpot so it'll be near impossible to drown the plants unless I leave the pump running continuously and the outflow rate is higher than the relief holes can cope with. Also, there is a valve on the infeed to the master bucket and the outflow so I can always close one of these to stop the system from filling up too much. 
 
You're right, this is essentially a Dutch bucket system when the pump is running however I don't want to run the pump often. I've been fine for 4 months and it's only one of 23 plants that's suffering so this is more like a quick fix solutions than something I'll be using regularly. What does surprise me is that my well water pH has risen from 7 to 8 from winter to summer. I don't know if this happens every year since I've never measured it before or if there is something seriously going wrong with my well.
 
Anyway, I have all the stuff I need to make this happen already with me so it's a quick fix (if a little effort). I think I'll tackle this tomorrow morning.
 
Siv said:
 
Thanks HM, you give me something to think about. I didn't get everything done today - I set up the surge bucket (an old 30 gallon trash can) and had it pump in reverse from one of the buckets into the surge. The level in the surge bucket slowly increased indicating that the pump out rate is higher than the refill rate. And yes, the level in the master dropped so more nutes came into the system. Fortunately the flowrate of the nutes into the master is slow due to the small orifice on the float valve so there was likely no significant increase in level. I also gave myself a "get out of jail" failsafe where all the buckets have a hole in the side just at the bottom of the netpot so it'll be near impossible to drown the plants unless I leave the pump running continuously and the outflow rate is higher than the relief holes can cope with. Also, there is a valve on the infeed to the master bucket and the outflow so I can always close one of these to stop the system from filling up too much. 
 
You're right, this is essentially a Dutch bucket system when the pump is running however I don't want to run the pump often. I've been fine for 4 months and it's only one of 23 plants that's suffering so this is more like a quick fix solutions than something I'll be using regularly. What does surprise me is that my well water pH has risen from 7 to 8 from winter to summer. I don't know if this happens every year since I've never measured it before or if there is something seriously going wrong with my well.
 
Anyway, I have all the stuff I need to make this happen already with me so it's a quick fix (if a little effort). I think I'll tackle this tomorrow morning.
 
Awesome, 
 
You should be good with your "get out of jail" failsafe. If for some reason the pump is left running this might drain your reservoir after a while, but the plants should be ok. 
 
I can't comment on the well water. How's the droopy plant doing? Unc E. had a similar problem a couple of weeks ago, would be interesting to find out what caused it. Fixing the Ph is a good start.
 
Keep us posted...
 
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Siv

Extreme Member
Still plumbing - it's too damn hot out here...
 
But as a break, I popped out the back and picked some pods in the shade
 
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There are some more SRPs to get from hydro so a big ferment will be started with those. Everything else will go in the dehydrator with the exception of a couple for snacking.
 
And SOLID GOLD baby!!! I'm so pleased with these but that all have holes as the bugs like them. Can't wait for my hydro pods to ripen as they'll be perfect.
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Siv

Extreme Member
I finished the return line and it's kinda working. Since the draw into the surge bucket is from one end, I'm finding that the flow into the bucket isn't enough to pull from those at the other end. So the buckets furthest away are overflowing when the pump is left running for a while. I'm going to move the surge bucket take-off from the middle to see if this helps.
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Anyway, I let it run sporadically a couple of times and tested pH and it's 7.5. I've ordered some pH down which should arrive Saturday. I'm hoping that this is the issue!
 
Dorset Naga looks pretty sad but I bet he's focusing on fruit. I'm gonna take these off once they're ripe and see if he improves.
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Another plant with the droopies is one of the Datil. And surprisingly this guy is putting out orange pods now! The first harvest were red.
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This white ghost looks like it may be drooping but it's hot outside so I'll see how he is in the morning. Almost ready for harvest
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Lots of PT to harvest!
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And the Bahamian Goat and KSLSB have grown so much into each other that you can't see where one stops and the other begins.
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Siv

Extreme Member
Decent harvest this morning. I'm debating what to do with all the LGS - I've been drying them so far but I think these need to be made into a sauce.
 
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Previous stuff has been bubbling away and I'm now up to 8 jars. Two are cabbage and two are carrots so in about a week, I'll likely put these in the fridge and repurpose the jars for peppers.
 
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And I now have a big problem with the hydro plants. Some are looking a bit sickly and this morning I saw this:
 
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I bought a big bottle of neem and will start spraying soon.
 

Siv

Extreme Member
I sprayed all the hydro plants with insecticide soap. Tomorrow I will employ my son to start a neem regimen. So far they are on about 5 of the 23 plants but since they're all grown into each other, I have to spray the lot.
 
The LGS is turning into a huge producer. I'm pulling lots and lots of pods off these plants now. Since there are so many and the dehydrated jar is full, I started two ferments - one with the brownish pods and one with the red ones.
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As is typical for a super hot, the LGS walls are pretty thin so the pods are pretty light. The Dorset naga packs the same punch but with thicker walls, more weight and more flavour. Both will be on my grow list for next year.
 

Siv

Extreme Member
Before:
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After:
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There was a little overflow which wet the base and it looks like it just deteriorated from there. I was actually planning on building a new table and support for these so it looks like it's just brought my plans forward a little. I guess I was asking too much from $10 Ikea tables outdoors with 32 gallons of nutes on them!
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
Hope that didn't cause you too much trouble Siv, and glad you posted it.  I have a bunch of plants on a table out back that's gotten terribly warped recently and you've convinced me to replace it tomorrow before it collapses and damages everything.
 

Siv

Extreme Member
CaneDog said:
Hope that didn't cause you too much trouble Siv, and glad you posted it.  I have a bunch of plants on a table out back that's gotten terribly warped recently and you've convinced me to replace it tomorrow before it collapses and damages everything.
 
Not a big deal for me fortunately - I just lost a batch of nutes. That's the good thing with redundancy - one bucket gone but the other is still there and working fine. I've turned off the autofill and am letting it run empty so that I can move them soon. I actually wanted to move them as they're blocking the pathway to my wood stash. I may use a few of those trunks for the new stand.
 
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