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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!

Capsicum flexuosum seeds

Capsicum flexuosum seeds

Notes
  • 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
 
Today marks the end of my pepper germination season, and with it comes the last batch of numbers. As usual, each number is a seed which germinated at that number of days since sowing.

Ají Fantasy Sparkly White
5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7

Ají Cristal Golden
6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8

Frontera Sweet
5, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 11

Biquinho Red
15, 15

Ají Charapita
6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8

Datil
5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 11, 11, 12

Habanero Marobie
5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6

Habanero Big Sun
5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9

Habanero Oxkutzcab
7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 11, 12, 12

Bonda Ma Jacques
8, 9

Freeport Orange
5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

CGN 22184
8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 12

Ají Caballero
10, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15

Chiltepin Hermosillo Dwarf
7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 12, 12

Bird’s Eye Baby
8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 12, 13, 13, 14

Pequin Yellow
8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 11, 12

Jigsaw
9, 9, 13

Bolivian Rainbow
6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 12, 12, 12, 13

Chinese Five Color
7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9

NuMex Twilight
7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9

NuMex Centennial
nada

Across this and previous groups, my general observations are the baccatum leap out of the ground in under a week, with most chinense just behind at a week to a week and a half. Then annuum, frutescens, and pubescens all hover around two weeks plus. This wasn’t what I expected!

Also, in one instance, I ran an unintentional experiment by trying Biquinho Red twice, and the second time was on a whim and so wasn’t soaked in dilute H2O2 for 12 hours, as the previous one was. The unsoaked attempt took three more days to germinate than soaked. Just one data point with lots of confounding variables, but it does match the results from that one study.

Across this and the previous groups, but ignoring the tray which dried out, the notably poor germinators (with estimated rate) were:

Quadrato d’Asti Giallo 40%
Bonda Ma Jacques 20%
Biquinho Red 20%
Jigsaw 20%
NuMex Centennial 0%
African Bird Orange 0%

The Biquinho Red and NuMex Centennial are actually still in the germination tray and have until the non-peppers germinate to get their act together… but at this point, it’s unlikely anything will change. I’m not sure what to conclude from these. I planted quite a lot, so maybe these failures among so many successes is about right? Is a bum pack from an otherwise respected vendor something that happens from time to time? I certainly had others from each of these vendors which germinated perfectly.

Any thoughts?
 
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PaulG

Extreme Member
@thoroughburro - I have lots of thoughts about seed
germination. Mostly dark.

Sometimes trying to figure out why some, like your
Bonda, do what they do seems like an impenetrable
mystery. Or at least obscure.

Good luck going forward. I hope the two Bonda Ma
Jacques turn out to be good specimens for ya.
 
Unlike some, Rocoto Mini Olive has recovered nicely from the damage you see on its first set of leaves (it was a member of the tray which dried), and just today I noticed it displaying its namesake:

1646960836803.jpeg


This is my first time growing (or indeed seeing in person) a pubescens, so I’m excited! The typical descriptions suggest I should expect trouble setting fruit in my area (we get a lot more hot, muggy nights than cool and dry), but the successful accounts here of gardeners in similar areas have me hopeful.
 
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The goal is to double the individuals I can select seed from, while holding space used and fruit produced fairly steady. My research and limited experience suggest the plants will, at least in effect, cooperate to maximize yield among themselves in a given space. It’ll be a learning experience one way or the other!

And yes, some of them will be putting that “cooperation” aspect to the test, with how close they are. In particular, I had few seedlings to choose from for one of the Rocoto Mini Olive containers, resulting in this pair:

1647027582316.jpeg


They were seed by seed and couldn’t be safely separated. I’m hoping for some interesting forms…
 
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Yeah, the root ball that develops now will go directly into the final pot with little disruption. At least, that’s the plan. Is it outlandish? I’m imagining an interesting bonsai form to start, after a season of growth. 🤞
 
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PaulG

Extreme Member
I don't think that will be a problem. Might take
some mild pruning to keep branches from grow-
ing tangled in the middle of the plants. A few snips
here and there is all it would take.
 
I noticed some new growth where it shouldn’t be… yep, looks like an early fork on this NuMex Trick-or-Treat. Looking forward to an extra bushy specimen.

1647615495807.jpeg


Scotch Bonnet TFM, NuMex Trick-or-Treat, and Naga Smooky Rainbow have all shown particular vigor. They give me something new every day and make up for the slowpokes.
 
And speaking of the slowpokes, it’s not actually their fault of course. My observations are ongoing, but I’ve moved beyond viewing the Jiffy pellets drying out as causing much more than poor germination. I think the combination of two early mistakes are most to blame:

First, I erred on the side of humidity in the germination trays, which resulted in dew remaining on cotyledons and growing tips. It concerned me, but I contented myself with allowing them to dry once a day. This resulted in the most effected seedlings failing, with cotyledons remaining alive but growing tips aborted; or, they stalled to varying degrees, showed disfigured first leaves, but recovered when the second leaves came in.

Second, I raised my lights to their maximum height, but stubbornly refused to take additional steps to dim them even as cotyledons burned and first leaves struggled to take off. I knew better, but just hoped they would adjust like succulents. I’ve since removed a bulb from one shelf for more sensitive varieties, but the damage was largely done.

So, I won’t do that next year. 😉
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
We've all been there, brother, live and learn :eh: !

I love it when a plant forks down low like that
Nu Mex Trick-or-Treat.
 
I wanted to show what a clear difference in vigor there is between seedlings which stalled and their reinforcements. Which is older?

1648169006339.jpeg


The Freeport Oranges on the left were sown on Feb 16, twenty-five days after the Bahamian Goats on the right, sown Jan 22.

And remember this update?

Whereas the single of the original Habanero Oxkutzcab that germinated is certainly growing, but it will really need to pick up the pace to not be left behind:

1645987954753.jpeg


Notice the second sprout in the pot: I “planted” an ungerminated-seed-containing clod of Jiffy pellet along with the loner on the unlikely hope that the seeds, even having already rehydrated and been introduced to soil fungus and such, would survive the second drying out and rehydration to germinate on a second go round.

I’m surprised it worked, but sure enough this little guy popped up two days ago. It will be interesting to see if it also experiences slowed growth or if it managed to stay in or return to dormancy and dodge the drought.

Let’s check in:

1648169280878.jpeg


As you can see, the Habanero Oxcutzcab seed which germinated after it and its already-germinated sibling had their media dry out (in the right pot) has, indeed, survived the mock drought and turned its tardiness to vigorous advantage. Meanwhile, the Habanero Oxcutzcabs in the left pot were sown a full 32 days later and have nearly caught up.

But you’re wondering, “Is Jigsaw still gorgeous?”

1648169706393.jpeg


I need to find a fair to enter this thing in!
 
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First to flower is Romanian Rainbow (aka Antohi Romanian), about 50 days since germination.

1649528132446.jpeg


I think the slightly distorted new growth evident here is calcium deficiency, but this is the sort of thing where my lack of vegetable growing experience gives me pause. Nonetheless, I deployed a modest amount of calcium ammonium nitrate today, along with the usual feeding. We shall see if that helps.
 
Everything is growing pretty well at the moment, so there hasn’t been much to make note of lately. A good opportunity to post a couple wide angle shots of the grow overall and take stock. These are increasingly disorganized as they get shuffled around to accommodate new foliage…

1649614047977.jpeg

1649614077481.jpeg


I kept y’all mostly up to date with additions and subtractions to the grow in the germination phase, but a few went unposted and in any case it hasn’t been all in one post for a while. These are all fairly healthy plants at this point, so (🤞) the list shouldn’t change much from here.

C. chinense
NuMex Trick-or-Treat
Habanero Oxkutzcabense
Scotch Bonnet TFM
Habanero Marobie
Naga Smooky Rainbow
Ají Jobito
Ají Dulce Margariteño Yellow
Datil
Ají Charapita
Freeport Orange
Pimenta Luna
Ají Dulce Rojo
Frontera Sweet
Biquinho Red
Bahamian Goat

C. annuum
Quadrato d’Asti Giallo
Romanian Rainbow
NuMex Heritage Big Jim
Jalapeño Zapotec
Chiltepin Hermosillo Dwarf
Bird’s Eye Baby
Pequin Yellow
Chinese Five Color
Jigsaw

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

C. frutescens
Ají Caballero
CGN 22184 (interspecific with chinense)

C. pubescens
Rocoto Mini Olive

The saddest omission for me is Bolivian Rainbow. The one I had been growing, from The Hippy Seed Company, wasn’t the phenotype I wanted for Bolivian Rainbow. Theirs is white-flowered with longer pods, compared to purple-flowered with stubbier pods; it’s right there in their photos, so it’s on me not THSC.

I got rid of those and ordered it from the vendor whose photos attracted me in the first place, Fatalii Seeds. I’ve become single-minded about growing this particular rainbow type, so I got four packs of seeds. I planted two (18 seeds; often a bit short from FS, but oh well) to try again this year and kept two for next. That was 23 days ago, and no action! I’m beginning to give up hope for this year, and next year looks dodgy if I rely on the remaining two packets.

I have to say, I thought sticking to vendors generally lauded (at least for seed quality) by the community would avoid these instances of zero germination. I guess time and more experience will tell if I’m doing something wrong or what.
 

Bou

Extreme Member
The saddest omission for me is Bolivian Rainbow. The one I had been growing, from The Hippy Seed Company, wasn’t the phenotype I wanted for Bolivian Rainbow. Theirs is white-flowered with longer pods, compared to purple-flowered with stubbier pods; it’s right there in their photos, so it’s on me not THSC.

I got rid of those and ordered it from the vendor whose photos attracted me in the first place, Fatalii Seeds. I’ve become single-minded about growing this particular rainbow type, so I got four packs of seeds. I planted two (18 seeds; often a bit short from FS, but oh well) to try again this year and kept two for next. That was 23 days ago, and no action! I’m beginning to give up hope for this year, and next year looks dodgy if I rely on the remaining two packets.

I have to say, I thought sticking to vendors generally lauded (at least for seed quality) by the community would avoid these instances of zero germination. I guess time and more experience will tell if I’m doing something wrong or what.
You should try to contact the vendor (Jukka) and ask if he performed a germination test before releasing the BR seeds and if so, what was the expected germination rate. Some seeds are quite lazy, hopefully you'll see sprouts within the next few days🤞
 
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