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tutorial The Comprehensive Guide to Over-Wintering

The_NorthEast_ChileMan

Extreme Member
Guru grabbed the page topper so I'll have to do a follow-up. Below was from post #340....
 
The_NorthEast_ChileMan said:
This thread needed a bump so I thought I'd add my 2014-2015 overwintering experiences . They'll be two posts because they're pic heavy and both won't fit in one. First up is a Bonnie Ornamental Thai.....
 
The growing conditions for both was - plants were brought indoors at my work location. The entrance door to the warehouse was south facing and had light from dawn to dusk but had direct sun for 3-4 hours in the afternoon. The plants were left in their 5 gal. home and full size - read that as no root or plant trimming. With limited sunshine the plants outer branches died - turned brown - and I cut this deadwood off as required during the winter. Water was added on "as needed" schedule - dug a few inches down and if dry, water was added. Nothing else like nutes & no aphid/whitefly issues. Pix are progression from end of season 2014 to end of season 2015 - nutes were used during 2015.
Next up is a Bonnie Jal, (Note on 1st pic: I did not remove any fruit as I wanted red.). The 2nd pic is late 2014 and when I saw the new growth it gave me the inspiration to attempt the overwinter. You'll note in the snowbank pic how that new growth exploded during the winter - my take on "dormancy" is - depends! The rest follow the Thai show, from spring thru fall and you'll note the number of fruit was at least doubled from 2014 in last pic.
 
 
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Hope this helps!
 
 
 
Hi there,
 
WOW!  What a wealth of information!  Thanks for taking the time to put it up here.
 
I've done a quick scan of the pages and haven't seen this specific question addressed.  I have two mature NuMex Sauve Orange plants,  They were started last fall, transported to Florida for the winter, and returned to PA to spend time under the lights until dirt day.  They began producing fruit in Florida, haven't stopped and have been residing on my deck for about a month, save for those few nights it was too cold to leave them outside.  Not really overwintering, but, yeah, overwintering, sort of.
 
At this point in time, I want to move them from their smallish pots into 10 gallon root pouches.  They are doing  pretty good, still fruiting, but I'm thinking a quick pruning wouldn't hurt, possibly send some additional encouragement to spread their roots a bit after transplanting.  I'm thinking taking them back, maybe 30 percent.  Here they are, upper left of the photo, about a week ago.
 
post-14381-0-27685200-1557706615.jpg

 
Does this sound like a reasonable move or would I be doing more damage than good?    Thanks for any direction you can offer.
 
 
 

Pepper-Guru

Extreme Member
nmlarson said:
Hi there,
 
WOW!  What a wealth of information!  Thanks for taking the time to put it up here.
 
I've done a quick scan of the pages and haven't seen this specific question addressed.  I have two mature NuMex Sauve Orange plants,  They were started last fall, transported to Florida for the winter, and returned to PA to spend time under the lights until dirt day.  They began producing fruit in Florida, haven't stopped and have been residing on my deck for about a month, save for those few nights it was too cold to leave them outside.  Not really overwintering, but, yeah, overwintering, sort of.
 
At this point in time, I want to move them from their smallish pots into 10 gallon root pouches.  They are doing  pretty good, still fruiting, but I'm thinking a quick pruning wouldn't hurt, possibly send some additional encouragement to spread their roots a bit after transplanting.  I'm thinking taking them back, maybe 30 percent.  Here they are, upper left of the photo, about a week ago.
 
post-14381-0-27685200-1557706615.jpg

 
Does this sound like a reasonable move or would I be doing more damage than good?    Thanks for any direction you can offer.
 
 
You have to ask yourself what you want from them. Sounds to me like they are producing and you plan to pot them up so they can continue to do so and get bigger yes? Do you have adequate indoor lighting to justify potting them up. Will you keep them indoors or continually move them in and out? If upon potting them up, you find no necrotic or dead roots, then I see no reason to trim them. Let them grow :)
 
Pepper-Guru said:
You have to ask yourself what you want from them. Sounds to me like they are producing and you plan to pot them up so they can continue to do so and get bigger yes? Do you have adequate indoor lighting to justify potting them up. Will you keep them indoors or continually move them in and out? If upon potting them up, you find no necrotic or dead roots, then I see no reason to trim them. Let them grow :)
 
Thank you for helping sort this out.  Under optimal conditions, the variety is prolific.  Given that, and the excellent points you raise regarding over wintering space, I'm thinking one would be plenty to overwinter.  I'll move both plants, as is, into the garden for the season.  When it comes time to prepare for winter, I'll believe I'll overwinter just one plant.
 
Thanks again for your input!
 
I have a five year old fatalii who's been a great annual producer. We're nearing the time of year when he moves back in with us, and I was wondering if anyone tailors their late season feed to improve the seasonal performance.

I typically use fish emulsion for most of the year. Maybe a little P for root health?
 

Pepper-Guru

Extreme Member
Fatalii Attraction said:
I have a five year old fatalii who's been a great annual producer. We're nearing the time of year when he moves back in with us, and I was wondering if anyone tailors their late season feed to improve the seasonal performance.

I typically use fish emulsion for most of the year. Maybe a little P for root health?
Just speaking for myself, but I tend to stick with a balanced npk the entire season, as peppers both vegetate and flower simultaneously no matter the age. Capsicum is not photo period dependent like cannabis where you generally feed one N rich regimen early on and higher PK later on for flowering. A balanced nutrient is recommended for capsicum throughout its life.

Now if youre pruning the plant and overwintering, I would just reduce solution concentration when feeding, as their simply isnt enough foliage to justify using the same amount that you normally would.
 
I'd like to keep some of my chili plants indoors this winter to get a bit of a head start next year. I have cut them down, and I can keep them at 8-12c. I am uncertain about lights though. Most overwintering guides just say to keep them in the sunniest spot, or in a south facing window, but I have none of these in the garage (also, it's dark here most of the winter season anyway) and I need to use artificial lighting. How many hours a day do they need to survive? I don't need them to grow, just survive. I have a 6000K lamp, I might need to get another.
 

Pepper-Guru

Extreme Member
Maybelline said:
I'd like to keep some of my chili plants indoors this winter to get a bit of a head start next year. I have cut them down, and I can keep them at 8-12c. I am uncertain about lights though. Most overwintering guides just say to keep them in the sunniest spot, or in a south facing window, but I have none of these in the garage (also, it's dark here most of the winter season anyway) and I need to use artificial lighting. How many hours a day do they need to survive? I don't need them to grow, just survive. I have a 6000K lamp, I might need to get another.
 
 
Most overwintering guides don't focus enough on lighting. Neither do most indoor growers. Lights are cheap and cheap to run. I suggest getting the cheapest, highest rated/reviewed HID or LED off amazon. It will really change your entire experience. You can go the "ambient" lighting route, but I find the results aren't optimal. 
 
I like 14 hrs of light a day
 
Wow, somebody else on the forum doesn't advocate "veg" and "bloom" for peppers, AND doesn't believe in 24 hour lighting.
.
Who knew that all I would have had to do, was put "guru" in my user name. :D
.
Keep saying it, man!  Tell everyone!
 
Pepper-Guru said:
like cannabis where you generally feed one N rich regimen early on and higher PK later on for flowering. 
 
This is done to mimic seasons, when N becomes less and less available, and the plant gets its "death" trigger.  It's main focus is then, to fulfill the biological mandate...  Draw down N, get ready for the plant to bloom and dry.  It's done in all commercial farming, but with peppers, we'd grow them perpetually, if feasible.  Healthy plants, healthy fruits.
 
Pepper-Guru said:
 
 
Most overwintering guides don't focus enough on lighting. Neither do most indoor growers. Lights are cheap and cheap to run. I suggest getting the cheapest, highest rated/reviewed HID or LED off amazon. It will really change your entire experience. You can go the "ambient" lighting route, but I find the results aren't optimal. 
 
I like 14 hrs of light a day
 

Thank you very much!
 

Pepper-Guru

Extreme Member
solid7 said:
Wow, somebody else on the forum doesn't advocate "veg" and "bloom" for peppers, AND doesn't believe in 24 hour lighting.
.
Who knew that all I would have had to do, was put "guru" in my user name. :D
.
Keep saying it, man!  Tell everyone!
 
 
They made the mistake and let me join up back some years ago and now they can't get me to shut up! ha
 
How's the swell looking right now? I grew up in Palm Bay, need to get back down to Sebastian and hit the waves
 
Pepper-Guru said:
 
 
They made the mistake and let me join up back some years ago and now they can't get me to shut up! ha
 
How's the swell looking right now? I grew up in Palm Bay, need to get back down to Sebastian and hit the waves
 
There is no swell right now - only a dirty brown washing machine.  We're currently picking up trash on the beach from all over the third world.  I can't even tell you how bad it is right now.  People bitch about straws, but bottle caps are never mentioned.  The wife picked up a full grocery bag full of them just a little bit ago.  Along with shoes, and lighters. (yes, lighters)
.
Give it a week or so, and it will be looking good.  These damn storms interrupted some fantastically good fishing, with a killer bait run.
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I'm not a surfer, but I appreciate salt water kin.  PM me, if you want to talk FL some more. I used to live in Palm Bay, too.
 
Greetings everyone! I wanted to thank everyone for all the great info in this thread, especially Pepper-Guru. I've been overwintering for a few years now but I learned an awful lot reading through these posts. I've only ever brought in established container plants before. This year, in addition to bringing in two established plants, I followed the advice here and dug up three of my best plants from my raised beds and re-potted a two-year old plant I overwintered last year. I thought I'd post my setup and see if anyone had any constructive criticism or advice for me.
 
These are in an east-facing window that runs almost floor to ceiling. Above the window are three 45 watt fluorescent bulbs in the main light fixture used to illuminate the room. In the past my plants have gone dormant in the winter, dropping leaves when they are brought inside and then starting new growth (and sometimes even fruiting!) in February or March. This year I'd like to keep them going, so I added one of those cheap LED gooseneck lights. I know they aren't perfect, but my plants are already getting lots of light from the window and fluorescents, so I figured that the LEDs will be kind of a little extra boost.
 
The big container plants are Corbaci and Feher Ozon. Both have pods on them so I will let them ripen and then prune when the fruiting is done. The little plants are Corbaci, Hinkelhatz, Anaheim, and a 2-year old Black Hungarian.
 
Thanks again for all your help and advice! This is the sort of thing I joined this forum for. It's always great to learn new techniques. :)
 

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Pepper-Guru

Extreme Member
TheFrogLady said:
Greetings everyone! I wanted to thank everyone for all the great info in this thread, especially Pepper-Guru. I've been overwintering for a few years now but I learned an awful lot reading through these posts. I've only ever brought in established container plants before. This year, in addition to bringing in two established plants, I followed the advice here and dug up three of my best plants from my raised beds and re-potted a two-year old plant I overwintered last year. I thought I'd post my setup and see if anyone had any constructive criticism or advice for me.
 
These are in an east-facing window that runs almost floor to ceiling. Above the window are three 45 watt fluorescent bulbs in the main light fixture used to illuminate the room. In the past my plants have gone dormant in the winter, dropping leaves when they are brought inside and then starting new growth (and sometimes even fruiting!) in February or March. This year I'd like to keep them going, so I added one of those cheap LED gooseneck lights. I know they aren't perfect, but my plants are already getting lots of light from the window and fluorescents, so I figured that the LEDs will be kind of a little extra boost.
 
The big container plants are Corbaci and Feher Ozon. Both have pods on them so I will let them ripen and then prune when the fruiting is done. The little plants are Corbaci, Hinkelhatz, Anaheim, and a 2-year old Black Hungarian.
 
Thanks again for all your help and advice! This is the sort of thing I joined this forum for. It's always great to learn new techniques. :)
 
How long have they been indoors? Looks good to me! 
 
Pepper-Guru said:
 
How long have they been indoors? Looks good to me! 
 

Thanks! They've not even been in for 24 hours yet, but I'm still encouraged that they seem happy. I re-potted the smaller ones over the last two weeks as I finished harvesting.
 
I'm really interested to see how this re-potting method works for me. With the smaller containers I can fit more peppers in the window, which is a big win. It also lets me pick my strongest plants instead of just bringing in whatever is already in a container.
 
Come spring, do I transfer to a larger container before I bring them back outside, or do I harden them off first before transplanting?
 

Pepper-Guru

Extreme Member
TheFrogLady said:
 
Thanks! They've not even been in for 24 hours yet, but I'm still encouraged that they seem happy. I re-potted the smaller ones over the last two weeks as I finished harvesting.
 
I'm really interested to see how this re-potting method works for me. With the smaller containers I can fit more peppers in the window, which is a big win. It also lets me pick my strongest plants instead of just bringing in whatever is already in a container.
 
Come spring, do I transfer to a larger container before I bring them back outside, or do I harden them off first before transplanting?
Doing both at the same time is fine. Transplant to final container, water in well, set it shaded or dappled sunlight for a week or two :)
 
What weather conditions mark the moment to end the outdoor season and bring the peppers indoors for the rest of winter?
 
Does the daily high matter just as much as the low?    Last week here, we had a few nights with high 30's at night, 70s in the day, and the peppers plants seem as healthy as ever.
 
Is it good to extend the outdoor season by bringing the plants indoors if a frost is expected, and then outdoors again the next day once it warms up?
 
If there are some random warm sunny days in mid winter, bring the pots back outside? 
 
Is the "first frost date" in my area a good date to bring them indoors for good, or wait for the first actually forecasted frost?
 
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