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thoroughburro 2022

Many thanks to those who indulged in my long winnowing process. I had assumed space would be my limiting factor, but it was calculating how much soil would cost that convinced me to narrow my focus yet again. After some heartbreaking cuts, the plan is now locked in! I just put the first seeds in for an H2O2 soak in advance of sowing tomorrow. Let’s go!


Jigsaw, seen here edited in from June 2022, became iconic of the grow

  • Numbers refer to desired number of containers per variety
  • Two individuals per container, to increase diversity
  • 5 gallon containers, unless noted
Sowing Schedule

Sat Jan 8

2 Capsicum flexuosum, wild

Sat Feb 5

4 NuMex Trick-or-Treat
4 Ají Dulce Rojo
4 Ají Dulce Margariteño Yellow
4 Hot Paper Lantern
4 Scotch Bonnet TFM
4 Bonda Ma Jacques
4 Bahamian Goat
4 Jamaican Hot Chocolate

2 Rocoto Mini Olive

2 Ají Amarillo, 10 gallon

Sat Feb 19

4 Ají Fantasy Orange, unstable
2 Ají Norteno
2 Ají Amarillo Baby
4 Ají Pineapple

Sat Mar 5

2 Romanian Rainbow
2 NuMex Heritage Big Jim
4 Jalapeño Zapotec

2 Chiltepin Hermosillo Dwarf, 2 gallon, wild
2 Jigsaw, 2 gallon, ornamental
2 Bolivian Rainbow, 2 gallon, ornamental
2 NuMex Centennial, 2 gallon, ornamental
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Nice job of winnowing your list, you have a
good selection there. The Bonda Ma Jacques
is an awesome pepper, and evidently, a good
crosser, witness Bonda Mahala and Trippaul
Now, I say the plan is locked in, and it is… with one exception. As a novelty, I had intended to grow at least one example each of the five main domesticates. In the current plan, only frutescens is missing. I usually love an underdog, but I’ve struggled to find frutescens compelling.

The other half of the seed train will be headed my way in not too long, and if it contains an enticing frutescens, I’ll be adding two containers of it to be sown with the baccatums, Feb 19.

Mainly, since I’m under-enthusiastic about the species, I’m looking for a favorite of self-professed frutescens lovers, like the Guam Boonie. Was only looking for it toward the end of my seed purchases, and couldn’t find it for the remaining orders.
Just finished sowing the now-soaked flexuosum seeds into Jiffy pellets, which I hydrated in a 1:5 solution of 3% H2O2:tap water.


Safely nestled in the water heater closet, at about 75F

I gathered from the various wilds threads that this should be about right for the species, but if there’s no action after a few weeks, I’ll move them to a heat mat at about 85F.
I noticed some white surface mold on the pellets. Not terribly worrying, but an indication the “germination chamber” is too humid. I removed the lid, sprayed the affected surfaces with just enough 3% H2O2 to moisten the mold, and set the jar in moving air for a half hour, until the visible condensation was gone.

It’s back into the water heater closet with the lid cracked, now. I’ll probably reseal it after a day or two; it’s pretty dry in there.
In the end, the plan was not as locked in as promised. After putting them in to soak, last night…


…here is what I put into soil, today:

NuMex Trick-or-Treat
Ají Dulce Rojo
Ají Dulce Margariteño Yellow
Hot Paper Lantern
Habanero Oxkutzcabense (aka “Oxkutzcabian”)
Scotch Bonnet TFM
Bahamian Goat

Ají Jobito
Pimenta de Cheiro Luna
Biquinho Red
Tobago Treasure
Naga Smooky Rainbow
Bonda Ma Jacques

Rocoto Mini Olive

And here they sit awaiting germination (on a heat mat, before covering):


Today makes two weeks since the flexuosums were sown; no action there, yet.
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Yes, between two and four containers of each variety depending on usage, with ideally two individuals per container to increase diversity.

And yeah, this is the most organized I’ve been with my gardening. Aside from this, my experience is with Cactaceae and other succulents, whose slow growth make for a more laid back experience. Peppers are living in fast forward by comparison!
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One week since planting the chinense (and lone pubescens). I know it’s still early, but out of around 160 seeds one would expect a few early birds, no? Hopefully I’m just being impatient.

The flexuosum are now at three weeks, as well; no news.
Patience is key, @thoroughburro! Flex can be a
slow germinator. I was lucky, mine popped in 12
and 14 days after reseeding into an AeroGarden.

You should start seeing hooks any minute now
on the rest!

Watching for that sea of green!
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Who could have guessed that patience would be key?? 😉


Pimenta de Cheiro Luna (aka Pimenta Luna, Pink Habanero) broke first ground yesterday, then fully emerged this morning along with:

NuMex Trick-or-Treat
Hot Paper Lantern
Scotch Bonnet TFM
Bahamian Goat
Bonda Ma Jacques
Rocoto Mini Olive

I feel much more confident and chilled out now that some green is showing. Phew!
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The chinense-centric group is at 14 days and has been continuing along about as expected, albeit with a few stubborn holdouts. I’m going to post average time to germinate when it all shakes out, but until then will keep details minimal.

Waiting for any:

Ají Dulce Margariteño Yellow
Habanero Oxcutzcabense
Tobago Treasure

Waiting for enough:

Ají Dulce Rojo
Hot Paper Lantern

Naga Smooky Rainbow is already the most photogenic of the chinense, so it will star in this update:


Meanwhile, I just got done sowing the next group, which includes the baccatums and the culinary annuums. Same procedure as the last group. And again, not really sticking to plan! Here’s what I wound up with:

Ají Pineapple
Sugar Rush Stripey
CAP 455
Blended Lemon
Ají Fantasy Orange
Ají Amarillo Baby

NuMex Heritage Big Jim
Jalapeño Zapotec
Quadrato d’Asti Giallo
Romanian Rainbow
African Bird Orange

And the flexuosum continue to sleep.
Oh, and I wanted to add my first solid takeaway for the season: I don’t like Jiffy pellets. The opening of the netting is very inconsistent after rehydration, and I’ve had to fiddle with them a lot as new germinations come up and get caught.

I don’t think they will wind up hampering the grow, but no point putting up with a “convenience” product which annoys. Next year, I’ll go with what my initial instinct was in the first place: fine coir in plug trays. Good ol’ coir never lets me down.
Oh, and I wanted to add my first solid takeaway for the season: I don’t like Jiffy pellets. The opening of the netting is very inconsistent after rehydration, and I’ve had to fiddle with them a lot as new germinations come up and get caught.

I don’t think they will wind up hampering the grow, but no point putting up with a “convenience” product which annoys. Next year, I’ll go with what my initial instinct was in the first place: fine coir in plug trays. Good ol’ coir never lets me down.
The Jiffy Pellets work fine if you loosen them up after
soaking and before seeding. I used to squish them
around and you could feel layers of the pellet getting
broken up even though it had already expanded. I would
'massage' them until the whole pellet was soft, and open
up the net on top and make a new hole. The finished
pellets were taller and a little skinnier than they were
before the treatment.

That tip came from @Georgia Growhead, and really helped.
Now I use potting soil or rockwool cubes, because that's
a lot of work if you have 20 or 30 to deal with.
Thanks for that, Paul. I have one more round of sowing, so I’ll be able to give it a try soon.
I'll be interested to hear your take on the
process and results, John.

:cheers: Good luck with your next round!
I won’t be trying the massaged Jiffy pellets, unfortunately. I’ll post a proper update later, but in doing some transplanting today my poor germinations were explained:

The majority of pellets are bone dry. This is despite being kept at 100% humidity (condensation under dome), and regularly applying water (to what I now realize were suspiciously “thirsty” seedlings; in fact, the water was simply running through due to the rewettability issues with peat).

Clearly, I should have allowed them to hydrate longer initially and, with massaging, things might have gone well. But I did read and follow Jiffy’s instructions, including hydrating until they wouldn’t accept more water, about 30 minutes.

I need to get back to salvaging what remains.
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All right, well. Nowhere to go but forward!

A few varieties (the few which remained relatively hydrated) were numerous enough that I transplanted them to their 3.5” nursery pots, in which they’ll stay through hardening off.



Ají Jobito
NuMex Trick-or-Treat
Pimenta de Cheiro Luna
Naga Smooky Rainbow
Scotch Bonnet TFM
Rocoto Mini Olive
Ají Amarillo Baby

Of the remainder, the chinense group were completely dry and the annuum-baccatum group was on the way. (See last post.) I’m rehydrating them now and will have an eagle eye on water retention.


The good news is that just about every baccatum seed has sprung up within a week. And the only holdout, CAP 455, actually has also sprung up like the others in one pellet, while the other is dryer and stalled. Again, curse Jiffy and/or my own failings!

The flexuosum had a seed on the surface partially germinate, as posted in the Wild thread. I left it alone a couple days, but it remained fairly unchanged. Today, I gently pushed it about a quarter inch into the soil. Still hoping for more germinations!
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