Staying alive, staying alive.. Ah ah ah and not.

CaneDog

Extreme Member
CraftyFox said:
Thanks for the links and feedback on these.. Definitely the flower I'm seeing too. I notice you didn't say anything about the flavor..
How were they?
 
Flavor was fine - I'm not great at describing nuances, but I know good from bad.  No capsaicin zing, hence the reference to sweet.  You may pull a little heat though, with what I expect is generally hotter summer weather than here.  I've thought this might be a good baccatum to use for a cross as it has some strong characteristics, but could use a little pop.
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Well.. I've got a lot of Bacca in this mosh, so who knows what will happen. They are definitely looking the best so far of those species, outside. PeppaPeach has been surprising me with indoor pods enough that I've kept the sole one that sprouted inside, under lights. 

The Coral Volante F2 (Peach Volante x ?) are all over the place, the ones that are podding up so far.. I've got pale upright pods, pale hangers, green hangers, and green hangers and uprights with easy sunscorching pods. I'm hoping I'll get some insights into the pollen donor soon. 

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Edit: Thanks for the help with the pics Bossman, but somehow they still don't look right.. Maybe I shoulda had a V8? Maybe I'll try again when my patience level returns.  :banghead:
Edit#2: Yep.. Absolutely should have had a V8! 
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Growing quite a few of seeds I got from Bhuter last year.. No idea these Mustard Gum Naga Brain would be so dark. I keep expecting to see flowers on it, and just keep finding leaves. Mexico Midgets are up and I'm hoping to see some hooks from, maybe, my last germination round this summer.. Hard to say. 
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Expanding the Strawberry collection a bit more.. That one was looking rough before I touched it, but I'm hoping. 
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Couple of the 'Padron' I have going.. The first one looks really Baccatum to me.
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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
I hit the peppers with a little organic slow release and a sprinkle of Epsom yesterday.. I'm trying not to meddle too much and just watch, but I did notice some BER on a couple of pods and had to do something. 
I can tell I need to sit down and do some math if I'm going to stay with a similar mix next year. I honestly haven't given it enough thought yet. 
One of the peppers I forgot about on the floor for a week or so, looking pretty sweet now.. Future Bonchi potential.  I think this is a Padron, but I'm not positive anymore, since some of tags were just stamped in and not inked. It could be an Aleppo too..
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My one and only Leutschauer, hoping it's true!
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I still find myself marveling over the difference in these Sedum babies from the parent. The two are second year seedlings.. Unsure about the parent, as it came with the house. 
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First round of Staphylea seem to be doing alright, the second round seem to be lagging on the hook.. Hopefully we didn't put them too deep. From what I'm told, these are pretty slow for the first 2 years and then they take off. 
I've still not sampled the nuts, but I read they are pretty tasty. 
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Well into my last round of germination (maybe) for this year. Starting seeing hooks 5 days out on the Toms and 8 with the Peppers.
Most of them are up, including 6/8 of Min's Omnicolor, which didn't come true the first time I ran them.. I'd be happy if one was good. 

UP: Min's Omnicolor, Challeano, African Devil, Marbles, Goat's Weed X f2, and a couple of cherry toms, Tiny Tim and Mexico Midget
Pending: Black Naga x Piri-piri Brown, Sweet Pickle, DavidP. Omnicolor(FTS last attempt), and a few extra Pretty N Sweet.. Cuz they are pretty sweet looking. 

Trying to use a little different lighting this time, but I'm worried I might be too close to the plants.. These are LED, not Fluorescents. 
Thoughts?
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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Well, it's nice to have the server back up!!
Some of my peppers have turned around, and some have taken another turn. I think I am just as much to blame as the weather, but it's hard to say.. So I won't be discussing it much for now.
I need to put more time into researching my substrates in the future.. That much is evident. I think a big part of the mistake was assuming the manure/mushroom compost mix was actually mushroom composted manure..

The new fence (wall) has really impeded the air circulation in the backyard too, and I feel I'm not really going to be growing much back there next year. Danny R. pointed out to me that I had some mold issues I was assuming was just sunscald. Makes a lot of sense. Here is the issue in question, on the Padron.. Which was delicious! So are these cherry tomatoes, which popped up next to the porch, along with some gourd.
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I prefer the driveway anyway. Far fewer slugs and earwigs to deal with, and the toad who loves to eat them.. Along with burying its badself in the pots, leaving big tunnels and disrupting the roots. Haven't seen this toad since I moved the pallet peppers last week.

1st world problems..

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Here's a little of what's going on with the Second generation of Peach Volante X.. Still love to know the other parent, if it becomes apparent in this generation. I've always been a fan of frutescens, but these guys are really bringing it back home for me. Haven't had any yet, but I'm sure they are going to be good. The ones that were lime, appear to be turning a shade of orange, and the darker ones are going a deeper red.. It seems like there are 3 grades of green, so I'm hoping to see another color emerge from those.. They seem to be taking long to ripen.
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Filius Blue and Burpee's Pretty-N-Sweet Annuum F1, still waiting to try them.. Pretty cool colors though!
Yep.. They are getting moshed!

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Been waiting a long time to try a Sweet Datil.. Looks like it might be tonight! And DeSorta, putting on some pods now.. One of my good insights into how this year is more than just weather related. I'm going to try and really limit what I grow next year and put more focus into the ones I do. Still working on obtaining a good plot with some security. We've discussed just trying to establish our own community garden, but I'd rather not have to manage that.

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Pictures still lousy..
 

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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
That Datil was pretty sweet, perhaps a tad under. I mistook 'sweet' for meaning 'heatless'.. Which it wasn't. Reminds me a lot of Johnny's Paper Lantern.
We also sampled the Pretty-N-Sweet the other night.. Very similar in flavor to those mini-sweet multicolor bells they sell at the market, but a touch sweeter. Almost fruity, but still that strong Annuum flavor. It also may have been a tad under.

I gave some of the sorry looking plants a feeding of liquid a week or so ago and finally seeing the improvement in the majority of them.. The ones I didn't give it to are still hanging on, but they haven't improved. I haven't done any testing, but I bet I'd find my nutrients had been washed out from all the rain earlier in the season. Just didn't make sense to see EVERYONE else's peppers around here looking good and these look awful.
Now I'm noticing signs of Stink bugs hitting the fruit, so more fun to come.

Mustard Gums are finally forked and setting buds.. A few of the other lagging ones have too.
Turns out my two orange-podded Volante X have decided to diverge even more, one continuing to darken into reds, and the other staying crayon orange.. So far. Some of the other ones are starting to pod up as well. Also got the last round of germination outdoors, and noticed the larger of the Mexico Midgets is already starting to flower.
Propped and pruned the volunteer cherry tomato by the door up too, as it was starting to get a little gangly. Somewhere under a dozen of the suckers floating around here now, but none are doing as well as the original by the door.. Wish I knew what kind it was. I know the kids were running around with Baxter's and a few others this spring, but they say they didn't plant any.

I found a whole new level of tedious this week, confirming the identity of the Blackberry Nightshade in my yard by counting the seed stones in the berries. Worth the chutney though. I notice there are quite a few more poking out of the flower bed now, so hopefully I'll have enough of a harvest to make something interesting with them.

Finally put a fence around the Amelanchier this year, so I get grub-slugs instead of rabbits.. I'll take it. Or rather, the fish will take them.
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
So is the sweet datil a winner? I did a quick check and it appears to be offered as a 'no heat' variety so it seems reasonable you expected that.

FYI - My De Seda is ripening as a De Sorta - they're good-looking pods, though. I'll have to try again next year as I really want that original De Seda variety and I figure at least some of the seeds must be good.
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
So is the sweet datil a winner? I did a quick check and it appears to be offered as a 'no heat' variety so it seems reasonable you expected that.

FYI - My De Seda is ripening as a De Sorta - they're good-looking pods, though. I'll have to try again next year as I really want that original De Seda variety and I figure at least some of the seeds must be good.

It was good, for sure.. But I don't know if I'd grow it again. Paper Lantern grows a lot stronger for me. I've got to really narrow my scope a little too.. I get so out of control with varieties. I've got another two I'm going to really let ripen and see, but the plants look about as good as my Mystery Min, and they will probably also be getting the cut after this year.. If they aren't heatless. I promised myself that next year I'd start growing out the wilds I have.

I'm waiting to sample the Volante crosses, but I like what I've seen of them so far. They are just starting to bud up again after the recent heat wave, and seem to have no issues indoors. I feel myself coming back to Frutescens again, which I think was where I started before all of this wonderful Baccatum and Pubescens madness! While I'd love to grow the Baccatum and Chinense varieties indoors, I think I'm better off sticking with the Frutescens, Anns, and Pubes.. Which seem to actually perform alright without a lot of babying.

I still have those two Rocs.. DeSorta, who is flowering and podding.. And DeSeda, which needs to be put outside, because it isn't enjoying inside. I'm pretty sure I saved some seeds from the DeSeda last year.. And will if it fruits this one. If you need any new ones. At least the color on it was right. I think I also finally cloned DeSorta, but DeSeda eludes me. I have a time with either of them, really, for how easy that species is reputed to be from cuttings.

Randa omni fortuna.. Or so it goes.
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
Yeah, it's easy to get out of control on different varieties and then miss out on old staples - like paper lantern which produces great for me, but I haven't grown in years.

I've been on a bit of a frutenscens kick lately since you sent me that piri piri african devil, which has been awesome. I have 2 big bushes of it this season plus a smaller one at home. I'm trying a few others in my current indoor grow to see if they'll become annuals too.

Good deal about your heat wave. We could use one around here about now as it's been pretty cool and things could use a boost to ripen.
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Yeah, it's easy to get out of control on different varieties and then miss out on old staples - like paper lantern which produces great for me, but I haven't grown in years.

I've been on a bit of a frutenscens kick lately since you sent me that piri piri african devil, which has been awesome. I have 2 big bushes of it this season plus a smaller one at home. I'm trying a few others in my current indoor grow to see if they'll become annuals too.

Good deal about your heat wave. We could use one around here about now as it's been pretty cool and things could use a boost to ripen.

I missed those ADPP this last year.. Tried to start some, but they didn't pop. That was my bad tray. I will be sure they are in next years grow. I've got enough Frutescens now that I'm just going to focus on them for a while, with a few Pubes and Wilds I still need to grow.

So much for the heat wave.. We had slingshot-golfball sized hail the other morning and it has been relatively cool since then. I was lucky to only lose one plant (snapped right off low) and take very little damage to the others.. I watched it coming down and can only feel blessed. I was pretty sure the year was over.. Still not convinced it isn't closing.

Some of the peppers are flowering, but I haven't seen many new pods on the Chinense or Baccatum. Shame.. Those four MGNB just started to flower like a week ago, along with the couple small Charapita I have going. I can only blame myself.. My son is growing a few of those mini-sweets, and his plants are killing it in comparison to mine. They all look pretty rough though. This was definitely a year for attentiveness and not neglecting essentials. Fairly sure now my nutes were washed away in all the rain, or it could have been the mix to start with, because I just went base when I couldn't source my usual.. At least that was a part I had control over. Either way, I'm taking a step back again next year and focusing on fewer varieties and fewer individuals. I still had enough peppers to not want for them this year, and they are still coming in.. I got no real complaints about that.
I don't know how I'm going to bring myself to cull any of the these four..

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The Coral Volante project is going fair.. I've got a lot of interesting variants, but only one so far that matches the flavor or hits on the color of the pods I got from Adam. There's still like 3 or 4 more plants that are ripening, but only one of them looks to be in that range. On the plus side, the one that does meet the criteria also has pods that are almost deciduous.. Another thing about it that is unique to it so far, amongst it's group. It also grows in a very symmetrical habit.. The pods don't know if they want to rise or fall.. Most of the ripe ones end up being even or slightly upright, and definitely have that 'gone soft' feeling when ripe.
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On the other end of the spectrum, this one was one of the first to ripen to orange, but just sits at that color.. The pods are very firm and none have shown signs of softening or rotting. Must be at least 2 weeks I've been looking at the same color on this one.. I think I'm going to have to try it this weekend. Reminds me of those ornamental ones NuMex put out.. Halloween or something, right? Not what I was after, but cool to look at.
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The one that goes the full range from lime thru orange to red, has an issue with the pods splitting right down the side, from the calyx down, usually. I'm not sure if it's rain or what yet, but the flavor isn't bad on them. The rest have been well out of scope of the desired flavor, so they won't be moving inside this year.. Of the ones that have been sampled, anyway. I think there may be at least one more keeper.

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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Well, I managed to get some isolations done.. Turned a few varieties around and made a few cuts from my list of peppers that sounded nice. Probably got more to do with me than the peppers, but my year was all over the place.
Now it's time to come inside again and I'm already finding plenty of little imports. Beside aphids, I've noticed a few wasps and one little Orius I haven't been able to get a picture of yet.
Here's one of the wasps stuck to an aphid.. I think it died while laying an egg, but I don't know. I gently molested its antennae a bit, with zero reaction.. Nor have I seen it make so much as a twitch with either those or its other appendages. Pretty sure this other one is parasitized too, but time will tell. One of the reasons I struggle with these so much as an indoor remedy.. Really tough to just let them be.
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The yard is full of fruit and powdery mildew, as is often the case in fall here. Our sons have made a few dollars for themselves by selling the random pumpkins and gourds that seemed to appear in our yard 'magically' this year. I would have liked to sell some peppers this year, but looks like I'm buying again to supplement my needs..


I've grown accustomed to Thistles being a second year crop for seeds, but this Milk thistle really proved that wrong.. Also answering the question as to whether you can grow these in a 3 gallon pot. This beastie is a solid 6' across and I've already pulled 4 ripe seed heads with something like 50 seeds each and there are at least another dozen in various stages. It was strange to have the flower spike come off the side and from a lower axil, instead of out of the center.. It seems to be developing a central stalk now, so I'm not sure why that happened.
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I've got a lot of woody shrubs still sitting in containers I need to get in the ground ASAP, so that's going to be most of my focus this week.. When I can juggle it in. This last month sure has flown, hopefully the next one goes a little slower and the temperatures hold.
 

Downriver

Extreme Member
I've never stopped to actually look at a thistle closely before I pulled it. They're actually kinda pretty plants!
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
I've never stopped to actually look at a thistle closely before I pulled it. They're actually kinda pretty plants!

No doubt! This one doesn't pull in the insect traffic the way the Cirsium vulgare do, but I'm mainly growing these Silybum for the seeds, for medicinal value.. I've always been a fan of most of the thistles, outside of Cirsium arvense. These are definitely the most ornamental variety I've grown. I've read the leaves of this Milk thistle are good eating when young too, but I won't be tempting that till next season when I intend to grow a few more of them. Either way I should have seeds now for either C. vulgare or Silybum marianum, should anyone want to grow some.
Most of my C. vulgare that were flowering have already gave up the ghost, but this Milk seems to just be ramping up for a finale.
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Got a picture of Orius last night.. After almost smooshing it while doing aphid rounds. Size really shows why I struggle gathering them. I have yet to actually catch one myself, but it's good to know they are close by.

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These have been the most common Hoverfly this year.. Which has something to do with the compost buckets, apparently, as I usually see a group of them hanging out around it. This plant is about 6' from the nearest bucket, and this Syritta was eating the honeydew left by the aphids.
Very social and curious, I've handled a few of them this year just by sticking out my finger for them. I have no doubt I'll be finding some larvae on the peppers this winter, if the other predators don't eat them first.. Or I smoosh them by accident. That seems unlikely since smoosh isn't even recognized as word.
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Also noticed a BMSB in the green room last night.. Bugs that big shouldn't be able to sneak in under my nose. Every year it happens though. I'm starting to think they hide down in the sides of the pots, like earwigs and crickets will. Maybe I'll start popping the root balls out too when I visually inspect them. I know I should be replanting them in new soil, but I'm not sure yet about who's staying and who's not.. I do have plans to repot the ones I keep this time. Too many mildew smelling pots this year.
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Unbelievable to still be harvesting Strawberries in October w/Beltran.. The green room is an aphid jungle right now, and I'm going to have to spend some time up there. Mexico Midget seems to be doing great by the window in here.. First time I've seen fuzzy tomatoes!?

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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
I've never stopped to actually look at a thistle closely before I pulled it. They're actually kinda pretty plants!

I've got plenty of seed for them, if you ever want to grow some out. I read you can eat the leaves of these.. I haven't yet. They aren't like any other Thistle I've really known.. More like a succulent, with waxy leaves that feel almost like plastic. The central flower is much bigger than the others were, but I missed it blooming with all of the rain. Love the prickles on these too, so flipping sharp!!
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My son seems to think these are peanuts, but I'm not convinced..
Pretty sure I planted some beans in this pot and wrote it off, using it to layer the vine. I find it hard to believe the squirrel was this OCD.. And the pot isn't disturbed like they normally would. This look like a peanut to anyone? I've never grown one or seen one growing.
I'd be willing to bet that, if they are, it weren't no squirrel mitts that planted them there.. Not sure what I'm going to do with these.
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Hoping these Orius will prosper inside. They took a while to warm up to the aphids, but they seem all for it now. Almost up to a score of them now, and I'm hoping we can double that number over the next day or two.. Maybe get a few from somewhere else close by.
These bugs seem pretty easy to relocate, as long as you don't let them know you are doing it.. And more likely to stay on the target area.
I also wouldn't recommend putting a number of them in a small empty container like this, as they started killing each other in short order. Starting to look like it'll be an interesting winter.


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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Still working on reducing the size of my indoor garden, and waiting to find that Toad hopping around in the room. I've found two disturbed pots so far and there are no large animals in that room.. I hope I'm wrong, but time will tell. Right now I can hardly get around that room.
The squirrel did plant some peanuts in my pots, so I've got a couple of those I'm not sure what to do with.. Wonder who is feeding them raw peanuts around here.
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Orius are doing alright, but I usually only see them by the window in the day. Still only have the one 7-spotted ladybird, and I had to bring it back in from between the windows the other day. The Aphidius wasps have really taken off in there this year, and even downstairs in the open room. Aside from being careful of leaving hot lights on.. I've been sacrificing a couple plants to the aphids and letting them run amok on it, instead of killing them daily. The wasps attack the mid-sized ones so I mainly focus on controlling the tiny ones and fliers now. I can't say I've seen the other side of this hill yet, but I can tell I'm getting close.

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I've noticed if I collect the mummies before the wasps emerge, I can really focus them when they do.. I'm not sure the exact number of days they take to hatch, but it doesn't seem like more than a week from the time they are gold. I'll take the whole leaves off, including the rest of the aphids, and stick a few in 2oz condiment cup or a bunch in a quart for monitoring.. When the wasps hatch, they immediately begin parasitizing the others that aren't yet and then I can release them directly on a plant where they go right to it.
They only thing slowing them down is all these orb weavers and other baby spiders that came in this year, and they are still not rare.. Sometimes four of them all working the same plant.
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I've also got a few Hoverfly roaming around the plants, mostly small ones.. Hopefully they'll be the ones I saw around the compost bucket this year, because I'm keeping that up there too. It's added a few flies and some other interesting characters to the sum.. The fungal gnats were here already, so I don't even worry about them. I have some other small wasps that prowl the top 1/4" of soil relentlessly, and they are more prolific than fungal gnats since I've had them.. I'm beginning to think there is a correlation but I haven't gotten back around to proofing it yet.

Omnicolor(or not) flowered yesterday.. Almost pure white corolla, it was riddled with aphids, and I really couldn't find consistent coloring on either side of petals. The anthers were a lime/dark bluegreen with a crisp white edge(almost exactly the same as Goat's weed X. The stigma matching in lime with a white style and filaments.. If I recall correct. I didn't get a picture, and lost it before I could. Should be a couple more soon.. But I have this feeling it's a hybrid. Some day I will grow a true Omnicolor.. Maybe it's time to just order one. I'm still sitting a few varieties I haven't grown yet, but this one irks me. I came across another Ornamental Baccatum the other day that is supposed to be even quicker.. But I forgot the name already. It sure seems like some peppers are far more likely to cross than others.

I've started to stage up some of the new seedlings, but I don't think many of them will make it past anything larger than a quart. I've got more time than I have space right now, so I'm trying to focus on smaller containers.
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
This was a while ago now, and I still haven't actually tried one.. But wow do these Daikon get big! This was the second biggest, from what I'm told. I hear they are pretty bland, but wonder how they mash..
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Also harvested the first Mexico Midgets last week.. I noticed today they haven't been setting new fruit. Probably not enough moisture.. They seem a bit thirstier than Peppers, but I'm afraid to water them regularly with the sub I'm running. I'm probably going to repot a few things once I get my new substrate figured out. Still hairy, after being ripe. These seem to be pretty acidic compared to most toms I've had, they have a nice zing to them.

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CraftyFox

Extreme Member
Well, this MustardGum NagaBrain looks to be hybrid.. From what I can tell of Bhuters, his flowers were white/yellow? Mine were all puple/white.. As pictured before. This is the only picture I could find of Bhuter's plant in flower..

Now my pods have transitioned from purple thru green then yellow, and now are coming into an apricot color that tells me I'm a long way from home with these.. Not complaining. These have also been doing fairly well at the southern window, aside from a little loss of purple. The other three are on the floor, and they aren't doing terrible either. Really hoping I can pull these thru to next summer. The predators seem to be handling the aphids well.. I've never touched this plant for control. Most of the window seats seem to enjoy that benefit.



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I'm not sure if we have more Aphidius or Aphids now, but it looks pretty close. I've also been finding more and more Orius nymphs, both up and downstairs. We've replaced most of the lights around the grow areas with cool lights and it makes a huge difference. There's a few ladybugs, mostly Harmonia, and some recent adult emergence of Hoverflies and Brown Lacewing. There are a few other insects I don't know yet, and the usual suspects.

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Aphidius are pretty fun when you have them in numbers. I mist the windows for the insects, but I haven't been giving them anything extra. There are still peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and coleus flowering in the green room.. So, between that and the compost/worm bins they have some diversity to choose from. The majority of them will hang out on the window during the day and then circulate under the lights thruout the evening.

Our downstairs worm drowned when I watered the pot yesterday, so I'm probably going to have to do my own weed control now.
RIP Cutsy.. You were every pepper's friend! I've definitely lost some peppers now too, but given the space.. I don't mind letting nature make some hard choices for me.
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I've still got a lot of work to do if I'm going to start germinating anything at the end of this month..
 
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