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Tokyo off-season 2021-2022: More Tent Fun

OK! As we get rolling on the next phase of this ongoing series of marginal successes and impressive failures, let's take stock.

Currently happy, healthy, and producing fruit:
  • Casados
  • Sugar Rush Peach
Recently rooted via coffee filters and just planted in coir:
  • Jamaican Red Hab (hi Paul!)
  • Sugar Rush Cream (hi Paul!)
  • Zapotec jalapeno (hi Mr. White!)
  • Huacho Amarillo (hi... whoever sent me this as an extra on an order!)
No hooks yet:
  • Carolina Reaper (hi Alejandro!)
  • Caribe (see Huacho Amarillo above)
Below you have today's work. There are five seeds in each one, and all but a few have hooks, so the prospects seem pretty good for healthy plants, and probably extras for some more fruitless (mwahahaha) experiments besides. There's even a Sugar Rush Cream that put its cotys out before I even knew anything had happened, so that's an impressively ambitious little guy. We will watch his career with great interest.


Yes, I know you can see my sexy leg in this picture. Control yourselves! I'm married!

I was expecting to wait longer for these seeds to get started, as all of them are several years old, but they've been very enthusiastic; I'm not concerned about the reapers yet, as those take forever to do anything, and I think the Caribe is one I've tried to sprout from this batch before and might just not be viable. But we'll see.

As is tradition, I'll leave you with a completely irrelevant photo. A friend of my wife's recently gave me my first Gundam model; here it is, in all of its 13-cm-tall glory.

The Japan I remember was hot and damp. This looks different 🏂⛄

Yeah, Tokyo in summer sucks sweaty nuts. 'Winter' here is mostly just single digits Celsius with a little bit of snow maybe once or twice a year. And the only livable seasons are fall and spring, since there's no damn insulation and no central climate control. Sooo the weather is definitely not one of the reasons I stay here.
I've been waiting for my Casados to ripen fully, but they don't seem to want to; since they're actually starting to dry out on the vine, I picked them, as well as the nice little batch of SR Peach that's been waiting patiently. The latter still has a bunch of pods that are green, so hopefully this'll get them in gear.


With the relatively small jars I use, this is easily two ferments' worth (which is probably 6+ bottles of sauce), so that's rather exciting. Last time I went with just straight pods, and that wasn't great, so this time it's back to a full bulb of garlic in each jar.

The new kids continue to grow well; I really need to pot them up, but haven't made the time yet...


The jalapeno in particular is flowering, and I think at least one of these may be fertilized.


It seems like this is going to be a big, aggressive plant. The others are nice and squat, and also budding, but not close to opening flowers yet.

Today's non sequitur: Japan loves KitKat, and we get occasionally awesome but always odd and interesting flavors. The latest one I've found is pistachio. It's not very strongly flavored at all, and mostly just OK, but still better than the standard variety.

Glad to hear another voice in favor! I've never actually grown jalapenos; very pleased to have gotten these to germinate this time around.

Looking forward to a significantly greater variety in general, as my sauces have really stagnated with only two plants producing for... what, almost the least year, I think.
@internationalfish - I think your grow is progressing
nicely, my friend. How are Alejandro's plants doing?

Thanks, Paul! @Alejandro is giving his a bit of time; it's hard to keep them warm around here right now without a tent.

Mine are still doing well, and I'm hoping to get them potted up this weekend (if I don't, there's likely to be a riot in the tent). For now, though, the only update is that I finally got around to starting a couple ferments. I thought I had a bigger jar than these, but nope; so now it's two anemic ones.


Ah well. To Lactobacillus and beyond! 🚀
Ok... I've always wanted to try some fermentation myself but I don't want to buy any special equipment, at least not before I know it is worth it 🙂

I think it's absolutely worth it, especially now that there are way more cheap options. Hot sauce, sauerkraut, garlic in honey; lots of good stuff to make.

[edit: I love using this imgur post as a hot sauce fermentation reference.]
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While throwing together those two jars of potential hot sauce, I pulled some seeds from my favorite pods, and now they're all dried and ready to hurry up and wait.


Unrelated, but... kind of related: I started some cabbage fermenting for kraut, and also a couple preserved lemons, which I've never tried making or using before. So that might be interesting... in a few months.


Most importantly, though, today saw the tent's elders retire to Florida the bottom shelf...


...while the new kids finally got their own bags and took over the top of the tent!


They're all looking a whole hell of a lot better than the last batch did at this point, thanks in no small part to starting off with much better nutrients and not being... well, basically tortured with late Kratky-to-coir transplants. The Z. jalapeno and the SR Cream (in back, right and left respectively) have already set a single pod each, so that's exciting.

I went back over the nutrient suggestions for the Flora series, and somehow I got them way out of whack and have been overfeeding the larger plants pretty significantly. Fortunately, instead of killing them, it appears to have given them super powers, as evidenced by the flood of pods on that Sugar Rush Peach. :shocked:

Not much else to report on the plant front. Lately I've been using my wife's pressure cooker quite a lot; today I'm thawing a beef roast, and I'll be picking up approximately 1.5 shitloads of mushrooms to grind up and make some comically easy shredded beef and mushroom stew. 🐮
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Those new kids look beautiful and healthy!

Thanks! Definitely feeling a lot better about this 'season.' Of course, even the two scraggly buggers I've been growing have been producing more hot sauce than I can use, so it seems like we're in for a lot of overabundance if they keep doing well. I suppose I'm OK with this problem. :)
You are going to love those SRC, my friend.
Probably the sweetest pepper I've tried. No.
Not probably, definitely.
Progress! Quite a bit, actually. :)


While the SRP is still balls to the wall on pod growth, everyone else is at least trying. We'll start with the big guy, though; credit where it's due.


You'll see they're all having some foliage issues. About the only thing I'm actually set up to handle would be a cal/mag deficiency, so I've just treated them with that; hopefully it helps.

Got a few lovely, dark little Zapotec jalapenos on the way. This plant is, unsurprisingly, the gangliest of the bunch, but it hasn't gotten out of hand with judicious pruning.


Most importantly: The Jamaican red habs are coming in! They're very light pods, and seem like they're on track to be fairly small, but perhaps that's just how they start. This isn't a great picture of the pods, but the leaf deformation sure comes through... oh well...


Finally, the Huacho Amarillo, which I thought were supposed to start black, are starting green. Maybe it's green-black-yellow, not black-green-yellow? Also, more leaf issues. Not the healthiest little farm, but at least it's better than last time, I guess (and those are still pumping out pods, despite the fact that I've never figured out half of their issues).


This week I'm harvesting the last (massive) batch of pods from the old SF Peach and handing that and my beloved Casados off to my buddy Alejandro. The pods will be going into my first attempt at a mash fermentation, just because I've never tried that before.

The previous fermentation went in two directions, since I had two medium jars. The first had an orange blended into it, and turned out way better than expected. The second got a bunch of tomato paste and seasonings and ended up as BBQ sauce. Not as impressive as the orange batch, but still good, and I think both are notably better than my previous sauces. So that's two steps in different right directions.

Also, the sauerkraut turned out quite well. I didn't know what to expect, since it's not one I've ever successfully done before, but given a little more experience than I had on previous tries, it was easy and worked well. Next time I'll definitely add a bit of heat and probably some spices.

THEN there are the new hooks. ;)

I started some seeds in coffee filters two weeks ago.
  • Thunder Mountain Longhorn
    This is a fun one for novelty, and because I have a little Groot planter that's empty, and I want to give him spicy dreadlocks. Four of these have hooks, so I should have spares for whatever shenanigans I want to get up to.
  • Carolina Reaper
    I only had four seeds left; one has put out a tiny hook. I'll give it a shot, but thus far it's the same situation as last time, so I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't make it once it hits coir.
  • Cayenne
    It's Pepper Joe's from a trade, so... mystery meat. No hooks so far anyway, and I'm not exactly holding my breath.
Turns out it's a good thing the Longhorns are coming through in spades. I'd wanted to groom a Reaper into a spiral bonchi (long-term goal, I know, but I have an actual bonsai that's not doing well, and I'll be looking to replace it eventually), but since I'm not expecting the Reaper to pull through, that may fall to one of the Longhorns.

This means I should end up with, at most:
  • Six one-gallon bags (SR cream, Z. jalapeno, Huacho Amarillo, JA red hab, Reaper, and Longhorn)
  • One baby Groot (Longhorn)
  • One restricted-space bonchi candidate (Reaper or Longhorn)
Since the four current bags are looking pretty comfortable on the top shelf, and the bottom shelf will be empty when the SR peach and Casados cycle out, the bottom will be hosting one or two one-gallon planters as well as my smaller experiments. More than enough room.

As the actual season should be changing here soon, I'm keeping an eye out for basil and possibly sage seedlings to add to the bottom shelf as well. I picked up a small planter to add them to the bottom-shelf grow when they come around (after, of course, a complete wash and transplant to coir). I'd love to get a little basil generation station going and have the occasional tiny batch of pesto, the way I used to when I had a lot more space to play with.

To leave you with a thought: We recently took the guppy out for Korean food, which he loved. That's my boy.