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shade Suchen's leaning tower of shade

Figured I would share my setup here since I am far too lazy to keep a true grow log updated. The shade cloth tent has quite the tilt to it, but even in the 30+mph winds and torrential downpours we have had in the last week it has never gone down or pulled apart. The whole patio slopes downward from the building which is the main reason for the lean. I originally spec'd it out to be 8 feet tall since the Mucci Sapori tomatoes grow that tall, but when I actually put it together it looked quite ridiculous. Chopped it down to 6.5 feet so it wouldn't be such a hulking monstrosity. This had the added benefit of greater stability.
 
The seeds were all started mid-February on a heat mat, then under a two-bulb fluorescent shop light indoors until 4 or 5 sets of true leaves. Then they were transplanted into their final homes. I frustratingly found out that the "5 gallon" size pots at the local hydro store hold really more like 3.75 or 4 gallons. Why do they do that?? The lemon drops quickly filled those pots with roots, and needed to be watered at least once a day. Recently put them in 5 gallon buckets to (temporarily at least) gain some time between waterings. Currently waiting on Red Savina habanero, another red hab from my uncle, and a chocolate scotch bonnet to pot up and will be giving the other seedlings away.
 
 
Here is the whole gang. I do have more patio space, but the lady friend doesn't want plants everywhere.
 
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The biggest of three lemon drop plants. These things grow like mad! The buckets likely don't even need drain holes with how fast these things suck up water.
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This is the red bhut from dried pods my uncle gave to me. He was also the source of my lemon drop seeds. This ghost is in a "15 gallon" nursery pot which is more like 13.5 actual gallons. It is definitely slower growing than the baccatums, but the stem is immensely thick below the fork. Some of the leaves are enormous as well. I take it as a good sign of things to come. It seems that none of the first 15-20 flowers are putting out any pollen. Is this typical for chinense?
 
BUxeFWpl.jpg

 
 
 
The orange bell peppers are still in the 3.8 gallon pots, so we will see how they go. They got really beat up from whatever roof washing liquid was sprayed on my plants a few months ago, but like the other plants have recovered well:
 
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And hopefully these ladies will help me fight off the bad bugs.
 
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Thanks for lookin'!
 
 
Most of the initial flowers have dropped on my plants. I wouldn't worry about it for now. It is good you got shade cloth up tho... as I think your summer heat would keep preventing fruiting. You probably get 100+ degree summer temps like me. I actually am about to do a similar PVC setup as yours. Might go with Aluminet for shade material. What percent is your shade cloth?
 
Also keep an eye out on your bells. In my experience they are especially susceptible to BER. *shrug*
 
I am up near the University of South Florida.

The shade cloth is 30%, but I actually have it doubled over. You are right about the summer sun, it is just brutal here. I have not had BER problems. I add dolomite to the soil and occassionally use a bottle of CalMag+ if I am feeling it now and then. My major problem the last 2 years is broad mites. May try Mighty Wash however ridiculous the premise. They show up around late June when humidity is constantly high.
 
Nice set up for your peppers. I wish I could set up an area like that for my peppers but I have them all along a 100 ft perimeter along my fence line in my backyard.
 
Are these lemon drops just very pubescent, or do I have something like spider mites?
 
 

Darn, the compression wrecked the quality on those. Can you all see the white hairs especially following the midrib of the leaves?
 

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Been battling several of these sons a' bitches the past two weeks. They are making Swiss cheese of my lemon drops and cherry tomatoes. One even got the bright idea to eat a hole straight through a nearly mature fruit. My favorite thing to do is pick the leaf they are on and leave them exposed on the patio for our resident anole population. Nom nom nom :flamethrower:

Also, the first 100-150 flowers on the bhut have come up sterile and continue to fall off. Cal-mag+? Epsom salt?
 

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suchen said:
Been battling several of these sons a' bitches the past two weeks. They are making Swiss cheese of my lemon drops and cherry tomatoes. One even got the bright idea to eat a hole straight through a nearly mature fruit. My favorite thing to do is pick the leaf they are on and leave them exposed on the patio for our resident anole population. Nom nom nom :flamethrower:

Also, the first 100-150 flowers on the bhut have come up sterile and continue to fall off. Cal-mag+? Epsom salt?
nasty buggars will strip a plant clean of leaves ! eat poop eat poop ! all they do .    hate em !    :onfire:
suchen said:
Figured I would share my setup here since I am far too lazy to keep a true grow log updated. The shade cloth tent has quite the tilt to it, but even in the 30+mph winds and torrential downpours we have had in the last week it has never gone down or pulled apart. The whole patio slopes downward from the building which is the main reason for the lean. I originally spec'd it out to be 8 feet tall since the Mucci Sapori tomatoes grow that tall, but when I actually put it together it looked quite ridiculous. Chopped it down to 6.5 feet so it wouldn't be such a hulking monstrosity. This had the added benefit of greater stability.
 
The seeds were all started mid-February on a heat mat, then under a two-bulb fluorescent shop light indoors until 4 or 5 sets of true leaves. Then they were transplanted into their final homes. I frustratingly found out that the "5 gallon" size pots at the local hydro store hold really more like 3.75 or 4 gallons. Why do they do that?? The lemon drops quickly filled those pots with roots, and needed to be watered at least once a day. Recently put them in 5 gallon buckets to (temporarily at least) gain some time between waterings. Currently waiting on Red Savina habanero, another red hab from my uncle, and a chocolate scotch bonnet to pot up and will be giving the other seedlings away.
 
 
Here is the whole gang. I do have more patio space, but the lady friend doesn't want plants everywhere.
 
XE26iICl.jpg

 
 
 
The biggest of three lemon drop plants. These things grow like mad! The buckets likely don't even need drain holes with how fast these things suck up water.
PVZe81Dl.jpg

 
 
 
This is the red bhut from dried pods my uncle gave to me. He was also the source of my lemon drop seeds. This ghost is in a "15 gallon" nursery pot which is more like 13.5 actual gallons. It is definitely slower growing than the baccatums, but the stem is immensely thick below the fork. Some of the leaves are enormous as well. I take it as a good sign of things to come. It seems that none of the first 15-20 flowers are putting out any pollen. Is this typical for chinense?
 
BUxeFWpl.jpg

 
 
 
The orange bell peppers are still in the 3.8 gallon pots, so we will see how they go. They got really beat up from whatever roof washing liquid was sprayed on my plants a few months ago, but like the other plants have recovered well:
 
sNsVEnxl.jpg

JwsQaUjl.jpg

 
 
 
And hopefully these ladies will help me fight off the bad bugs.
 
bJDf40el.jpg

 
 
Thanks for lookin'!
 
nice grow my friend !    :onfire:
 
Thanks! The caterpillars are still around. There has been a crazy crop of them this year all over at least the north Tampa area. I was considering Bti, but they are not doing enough damage to warrant spraying.

Had my first lemon drop pod ripen yesterday. Will take a photo when I get home. Crazy how long they take to mature, I was actually spoiled to some degree that they ripened so quickly last year due to pests.

Getting ready to pot the chocolate scotch bonnet into a 5 gallon bucket. Can't wait!

The bhut I have moved under the roof awning to prevent it from getting any more water. Leaves have been flipping upside down since transplanting, and none of the hundreds of flowers have yet set any pods. The plant itself is already a giant, but I figure 2-3 weeks of no water will let the roots recover from soggy conditions. I have read that the deeper roots are more important to a mature plant, but the bottom of the 15 gallon pot has been wet since the day after plant out. Not good. I also suspect the sterile flower issue will fix itself with healthier roots being less locked-out of some nutrients.
 
srhz6GJh.jpg

 
The three lemon drop plants have all started ripening at the same time. Each day brings another ~20 ripe peppers to the table. The air temperatures are too hot for the tomatoes overnight, so they are not fully ripening any more. Still tasty, and the fiance made a glorious salsa straight from the garden (plus spices). Even the stubborn ghost pepper is finally producing pollen! No pods have set yet. The chocolate scotch bonnet is in its final 5gal bucket, and two flowers have opened! So pumped for that one to come around.
 
We have had two days of brutal evening thunderstorms snapping branches here and there. One of my lemon drops got lifted off the pallet and dropped on the ground by a wind gust of somewhere around 30-40mph. Luckily damage was minor. I also have a horrific spider mite infestation on two tomato plants and my butterfly bush. Time to see if ladybugs released outdoors with no tent/screen can get the job done before they wander off.
 
As THP member here always says:  
 
Flower drop probable causes:

1. Day temp too high >95F
2. Night temp too low <65F
3. Too much nitrogen fertilizer
4. Too much water
5. Low light levels (reduces fertility).
6. Very low humidity (reduces fertility)
7. Poor air circulation (air circulation contributes to pollination).
8. Lack of pollinating insects.
9. Size of pot 
10. Too much mineral in feedwater.
11. Too much grower attention/anxiety. 
 
Big bhut jolokia which still won't set any fruits. This is prewatering, hence the droop:
 

 
One of the lemon drops still churning out plenty of pods:
 

 
This one should be a chocolate scotch bonnet, though it looks maybe a little wrinkly? Was kept in a Solo cup overly long and may have been stunted as a result:
 

 

 
A bhut that was also kept overly long in Solo cup. Actually set one fruit! The pheno is nice and gnarly, too:
 

 

 
Some happy visitors to the garden! Maybe they will help me control the spider mites? If it isn't clear, this is a whole mess of lacewing eggs. Found 4 or 5 on the big bhut as well:
 
 
Nice setup!  I like the leaning tower of shade.  I put something similar on the end of my deck with 30% screen, but mine looks like it was made by boyscout dropouts or something, lol.  What lovely bushy plants those are as well.  
 
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