• Blog your pepper progress. The first image in your first post will be used to represent your Glog.

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
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
I notice a fused leaf now and then, as well,
and fasciated stems. Just seems that out of
40-60 plants every season, there are bound
to be some of those anomalies. Makes the
growing more interesting!

That pic is a good example!
 
First to flower is Romanian Rainbow (aka Antohi Romanian), about 50 days since germination.

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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.

A couple of things to note on this individual. First, the youngest leaf shown in the photo above, slightly warped, is visible as an older leaf in the bottom left, below…

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As you can see, the new growth doesn’t show the same deformity and as such I think my diagnosis of calcium deficiency was correct. Too many variables to be certain, of course. New growth looks decent; maybe a little “pillowy” for an annuum and compared to older growth, though?

Second, I was trying to capture the difference in leaf gloss between old and new growth in a photo and managed it fairly clearly above; it’s more dramatic in person! That represents when I added Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, a silica supplement, to my maintenance feed (soil only, no foliage application). That it adds a nice, shiny cuticle is difficult to dispute! I hope it also helps protect from temperature extremes, as claimed.
 
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It seems like it’ll never happen, and then it does! On Sunday, the ten-day forecast looked good enough to move everything onto the porch for hardening off.

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The porch faces south (top-right in the photo) and gets full sun dawn to dusk, so we put 50% shade cloth in front to cut back just the midday sun; that’ll stay up a week or two. The porch is very gusty, so everything else is clustered around the seedlings for protection.

The wide angle lens makes it look more manageable than it felt, getting it all outside! 85 nursery pots with two individuals per pot (plus the succulents, of course).

All that said, it’s supposed to get down to 40 F tonight… is that too dodgy? It’d be annoying to bring them back in, but now that the shelves are clear of succulents, there’s plenty of lit room inside. After tonight, lows are solidly 50-60s F.
 
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PaulG

Extreme Member
Quite a menagerie there, TB!

40˚F is marginal, but the plants should be okay. Some
of mine have been outside under the deck canopy
for a couple of weeks, and we've had several nights
at 40-41. Not ideal, but as OWs they are hanging in
there.
 
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I’ve been mixing soil, filling bags, transplanting seedlings, mulching, and watering in since Friday! I’ve still got a third or so to go. I’ll post a larger update when everything is in place, but I wanted to celebrate the first pod set!

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It’s on one of the Romanian Rainbows, a bell pepper type said to be very early. 🎊
 
My first plant out is complete!

My soil composition wound up being dictated by local availability and price, more than anything. It’s about two thirds peat and one third pine bark soil conditioner. I started composting this year, but its months away from done, so for feed I’m sticking with what I know: dilute liquid nutrients with every watering.

Here are the pepper locations…

Back Yard, Back Fence
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Back Yard, Side Fence
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Side Porch
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Front Porch
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The grow bags are 5+ gallons and 3+ gallons, the blue buckets are 2 gallons.

The back fence gets full sun all day long and represents my biggest worry. The side fence gets morning shade in the corner and extends into full sun as it goes along. The side porch gets some afternoon shade. The front porch gets a little morning shade. I suspect I’ll see some sun burns…

Two individuals per container, except for bonsai candidates (Chiltepin Hermosillo Dwarf, Bird’s Eye Baby, Ají Charapita); I want to maximize stem girth for them, but genetic diversity for everything else.

70 containers, 33 varieties, 5 species. I’m really happy.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Good work, TB! Your 'green fences' will look
awesome when Summer gets here. You must
be pushing 150 plants?
 
Let’s take a look at my primary bonsai candidates, Chiltepin Hermosillo Dwarf and Bird’s Eye Baby (a dwarf pequin). A few weeks ago, the chiltepin had my eye with early evidence of basal branching… but it has remained evidence only, so far:

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I expect growth will take off at some point, but until then the pequin has more than caught up:

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They were both sown at the same time.
 
As expected with my exposure levels, sunburn has been an issue. Here’s a couple examples (Naga Smooky Rainbow and Habanero Marobie):

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They should recover. Fortunately, a few varieties have stepped up as Unburnable, so I’ve been able to shuffle things around to accommodate exposure tolerance. For example, here’s how NuMex Trick-or-Treat has responded to the harshest light in the yard:

1652141499103.jpeg


With productivity under the sun like this, you’d think it was bred by a New Mexican university! 😉

I’m keeping notes on all of this and, next year, should be able to plan for light tolerance from the beginning, at least for known varieties.
 
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PaulG

Extreme Member
Looks like the Naga Smooky is going to be
a great producer. Looking forward to seeing
the pods that develop as I'm not familiar with
this variety.
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I noticed an issue affecting just the new growth on certain of the baccatum and the pubescens, while watering today.

A baccatum:
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And pubescens:
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To me, it looks like a nutrient issue. I would have guessed calcium again, but additional calcium (in the form of Calcium Ammonium Nitrate) has been part of their regular watering since last time I suspected that. Last time was new growth warping off to one side on a fast growing annuum, however, and it did seem corrected by the CAN. This time the annuums, still fast growers, are notably unaffected. A few of the chinense are maaaybe showing this same thing, but not to any concerning degree.

Anyone seen the same thing or have a good guess?
 
I’m worried it could be a nutrient uptake issue. I haven’t measured the soil pH, but the composition is just peat and a pine bark conditioner for drainage, so it’s sure to be low… but low enough to cause issues? Hm.
 
This is focusing on issues as related to plastic mulching, but it seems relevant. By using calcium ammonium nitrate instead of calcium nitrate, I may have been making things yet more acid, causing yet less calcium uptake!

I’m going to pick up some garden lime tomorrow and see what I can do…
 
Just finished my attempt at a quick remedy. I applied between two and six tablespoons of pelletized garden lime, depending on size, to the gravel mulch in each container and watered it in just a touch with plain hose water.

If my guess is correct, I should see results by tomorrow.🤞
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Good luck with that, @thoroughburro!

I like using Botanicare Cal-Mag for supplementing, along
with a decent dose of bone meal when planting out.
 
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The new growth has relaxed those tight edges a bit, and I think things are on the right track… still a bit early to say for sure. I want to see fresh growth coming in without issue first.
 
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