Tokyo summer 2021: Tent and AC, because 35C is not fun.

Welcome to the next episode of some half-witted fish neglecting pepper plants in Japan! While my wife will be keeping two of my off-season plants outside (KS Lemon Starrburst and Nanbu), the indoor stuff is -- aside from the SR Peach -- entirely new to me in terms of growing. So I'm hoping to get both some fun new flavors, particularly from the Casados, and a pod I'm absolutely in love with thanks to PaulG in the Jamaican red habanero. I expect this to be an excellent season for sauce.
 
The main characters were started in mini Kratky bottles based on Khang Starr's method for intentionally root-binding plants in small containers to force them to pod up quickly. Unfortunately, this did not work for me at all, so now I have a fun variety of adolescent plants that clearly have no intention of setting fruit until they get upgraded. I was going to be a couple of 1-gallon bags short, but I got those ordered and they came in right on time. Unfortunately, I failed to check on my coir stock, soooo everyone got a shallow grave temporarily while I waited two days for that shipment to come in. Starting off strong!
 
Using 1 gallon bags, with the size of my tent, 5 plants per shelf has been somewhere between ideal and a bit too much. Since I didn't manage to get the mini Kratky thing to work the way I wanted, I think I'll probably stick to the six plants I have, possibly four on top and two on the bottom; the Casados in particular seems to be quite the vine, so perhaps that and one other on the bottom, with the weaker light, and four up top with the better one. I am set to get some new seeds from a couple of pepper people in Japan, but if I end up starting anything, I suspect it'll be in small containers of coir, but that's a while off.
 
This is what we're starting with, and if everything puts out pods in reasonable quantity, I think it should be a smooth and easy season.
 
newbies.jpg
 

Edmick

Staff Member
Moderator
Extreme Member
That setup will more than likely leave you with poor results unfortunately. They're all in poor condition.
 
Good luck 'fish
 
Question for you - what about the mini Kratky didn't work for you? I'm having trouble getting my Chinenses to set fruit (or even flower in one case) and I'm thinking about trying something similar - small container, fast-track the growth phase and see if that yields different results than what I'm currently getting with 5 gal Kratkys. 
 
Edmick said:
That setup will more than likely leave you with poor results unfortunately. They're all in poor condition.
 
They're pretty leggy and previously had some nutrition issues (hence the foliage loss), but I expect them to shape up well enough. Unfortunately, starting over from scratch is not really an option, given the lack of good seed vendors here (and the fact that it's illegal to import them without phytosanitary certificates).
 
Since at least I know now that I'm unlikely to get the mini Kratky method right, if I can at least get pods from these (several of which are from the last seeds of their type that I have), I can think about starting another round in coir and hopefully getting a better start on the next plants.
 
HeatMiser said:
Good luck 'fish
 
Question for you - what about the mini Kratky didn't work for you? I'm having trouble getting my Chinenses to set fruit (or even flower in one case) and I'm thinking about trying something similar - small container, fast-track the growth phase and see if that yields different results than what I'm currently getting with 5 gal Kratkys. 
 
Thanks! While this batch didn't have root rot to the extent I've gotten before, as you can see here, they got way larger than I wanted/expected before any of them started budding. I'm sure I've screwed up in at least one or two significant ways, but I've gotten closer and closer to exactly what Khang Starr does, and the results just aren't vaguely similar. I'd definitely suggest giving it a shot yourself, though.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
You know our seed connection is strong, 'Fish.
Hit me up!
 
Your plants look like they are off to a good start.
Looking forward to see how the Lemon Starburst
and Nanbu do this summer.
 
PaulG said:
You know our seed connection is strong, 'Fish.
Hit me up!
 
Your plants look like they are off to a good start.
Looking forward to see how the Lemon Starburst
and Nanbu do this summer.
 
Thanks, Paul! I was going through my little vault picking out seeds to send to a new Japan pepper friend, and I found out I actually do still have some JA Red Hab and Sugar Rush Peach seeds! So I'm pretty stoked about that. But the new tent plants seem to be doing pretty well, so I'm not too concerned about this season at the moment. I still need to get the Starrburst and Nanbu out of their coir and into some dirt. Perhaps I'll recruit my wife to help with that when the boy goes down for a nap today.
 
Alejandro (is it possible to sort of @-mention people on this forum?) stopped by to pick up three plants I was otherwise going to throw away...
 
plant-wrap-supreme.jpg

 
...and, in addition to some Reaper seeds, he brought me beer! So he's definitely OK in my book.  ;)
 
alejandro-beer.jpg

 
While most of the current tent plants are budding or flowering, this viney Casados is wasting absolutely no time, and already has three pods.
 
casados-fruiting.jpg
 
Alejandro said:
sure you can tag me.
Thanks for the plants, just in time for rainy season, placed some compost over them and seem to be adapting well to soil.

Your sauce is awesome too, will bring you more bottles , mead and cider almost ready.
 
My pleasure; glad they're doing well! :)
 
Ooh, definitely looking forward to that.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Good that you found a home for those plants.
And a new pepperhead friend to boot. Who makes
cider and mead? Bonus!  :party:
 
PaulG said:
Good that you found a home for those plants.
And a new pepperhead friend to boot. Who makes
cider and mead? Bonus!  :party:
 
Yep, agreed on all counts. :D
 
The KSLSB and Nanbu that I put outside are probably going the way of the dodo, as we haven't had any time to repot them in soil (I just closed on an apartment this morning and am starting a new job next Monday, so things have been just a little busy) and they're pretty clearly out of nutrients in their coir. Oh well; it'll just be a slow couple months for sauce, and they'd have stalled in the heat for the next month or so anyway.
 
The tent plants are doing better than expected; the ones on the bottom look great. Problem: They're budding like crazy, but the only one that's flowering is the Casados. The other two are droppin' 'em like it's hot... which may actually be part of the problem. Tokyo summer finally set in, and while it's nice in my office during the day, at night when the AC is off it gets hot. I don't know how hot, as I haven't really been paying attention, so today I reset the thermometers and tomorrow I'll be able to see how bad it gets (they record max and min). I also opened up the tent vents as far as possible and added an exhaust fan at the top, so hopefully that helps.
 
Hopefully that's also the source of the issue with the top shelf plants: They're also growing well enough, but the leaf curl is almost constant, and it's pretty severe. If it's temperature and/or humidity, the changes should help. If not, I'll have to turn to you guys for your seasoned advice. :)
 
Finally, as I'm about to run out of my generic hydroponic nutrients, and the results I've gotten with them have been just so-so, I bit the bullet and switched to the popular General Hydroponics trinity. It's more expensive than the stuff I usually use, but not excessively so. Maybe that'll help too; as long as it doesn't hurt, though, it's not a big deal.
 
Well, following the announcements forum on the old site never worked for me, so I had no idea the site was going down... at first I assumed it was another April Fools' 'joke,' but not this time. Oh well.

My wife, my son, and I all caught COVID right around the same time, right before the site got bucked in the futt; we just came out of quarantine. It was... extremely unpleasant. My sense of taste is around 75%, and smell is more like 25%. I guess it's good they're at least coming back, as that can apparently take six months to a year for some people.

It also kind of screwed me on the job front, as I started a new one one week before this took hold. Fortunately, they've been extremely understanding, but I'm so far behind on figuring out their internal processes and tools that it's way more stressful than it would normally be.

Since I couldn't taste anything for almost two weeks, I ended up leaving my two Casados on the vine a little long so I'd be able to use them fresh-ish rather than having them dry out, but they should still be OK. Haven't tried them yet, planning to make something with them today.

casados.jpg


Unfortunately, while it looks like there are some other pods starting on the Casados, nothing else is setting fruit at all. I haven't had the energy to try and do anything about it -- still sleeping from about 8PM to 7AM, not exactly entirely well yet -- but I'm going to try and get pictures up soon to get some sage advice from you people.

Glad we're back up and running.
 
Sorry you guys had to go through that 'fish, but glad to hear you're on the mend. Hope you're back to baseline soon.

Thanks, CD. We're doing pretty well, certainly on the way back to normal; now to continue fighting for vaccination appointments, which the local government has made obnoxiously difficult. Never let anyone tell you "Japanese efficiency" is a real thing. :rolleyes:
 
Not a lot to update on; one good thing is that the SR Peach on the top shelf, despite looking like crap, is actually fruiting pretty well. I haven't trimmed the plants on the bottom, so it's a bit of a jungle down there, though I don't see any pods just from looking in.

In less neutral news... I overhandled my Casados (I love that freaking viney plant!) and ended up breaking off something like a quarter of it, as it's a lot less flexible at the junctions than I expected. While this made me incredibly sad, the rest of the plant is doing well (and fruiting again, thankfully), and I trimmed the part I busted off way back so I could try getting something out of it. It's currently in water with some rooting agent; if it does well, I'll try sticking it in soil outside. The weather should be OK for this soon enough, just have to watch out for typhoons, which fortunately telegraph their hits.

help-meeeee.jpg
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Looks like you are bouncing back a bit.
Taking cuttings is pretty optimistic.
Wishing you and your family uneventful
recovery, my friend. Keep us posted, buddy😷
 
Rounding out the summer, I'm finally getting around to putting up the problems I've been having. Honestly, I'm right on the edge of getting rid of four out of six of the plants I've got growing, if for no reason other than not having the energy to try and figure out what their damn issue is.

I have two that are fruiting, which is OK... the Casados is still a great plant, and it's fruiting well enough. The SR Peach is also doing OK, but that one always ripens its fruit painfully slowly, so it's not ideal for that to be the other one that's not completely failing.

On the top shelf, the plants all look awful. This is representative; the curl is just off the charts.

top-curly.jpg


Despite the curl, they just keep growing. I'd honestly just ignore it if they were fruiting, which two out of three of them aren't even attempting, so it's an issue. Obviously something is wrong here. The bottom shelf is more frustrating because the plants look a lot healthier but somehow have a completely different collection of issues.

ugh-yellow.jpg


bottom-burn.jpg


bottom-state.jpg


I can't find any bugs on anything. These are all under the same lights I've been using for the last two or three years, using the same nutrients I've been using for just as long, and they're all in the same batch of coir. In addition to everything else that's been going on, even when I've had the time, it's just been too overwhelming to even try to figure out what's going on with these things. So hopefully at least something that's wrong with these plants is really obvious to someone here.

In less unpleasant news, yesterday was my seventh anniversary of moving to Japan, and one of our Japanese friends decided to go all out and get me something appropriate that she knew I'd like. Holy crap, did she ever get it right.

holy-crap-bonsai.jpg
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Hate to see those problems with your plants, @internationalfish.
Very frustrating, indeed. I can understand your thinking it might
be better to pull them, but maybe someone will have a solution
for you. I’m guessing the red Hab is one of the casualties.

On the other hand, love the cool bonsai gift. Have fun nurturing
that one. In a similar vein, have you thought anymore about an
exposed roots bonsai Like the one you tried before?
 
Hate to see those problems with your plants, @internationalfish.
Very frustrating, indeed. I can understand your thinking it might
be better to pull them, but maybe someone will have a solution
for you. I’m guessing the red Hab is one of the casualties.

On the other hand, love the cool bonsai gift. Have fun nurturing
that one. In a similar vein, have you thought anymore about an
exposed roots bonsai Like the one you tried before?

See, that's the thing. The JR Hab in particular I absolutely don't want to get rid of until I can get at least a couple fruits out of it for seed. At least the plants seem to be stable, so I should have time to get to them and actually try to figure out the problem.

I've thought about trying another bonsai like that, yep. I'd like to start with a younger plant, though, so the roots are a bit easier to work with, and I don't really have room for that at the moment (particularly now that I have an unanticipated addition that needs a home). Maybe getting rid of one of the two non-producing Datil is where I should start. Those were intended to provide plenty of bulk for hot sauce, but since they're providing exactly nothing, keeping two of them around isn't seeming like the wisest choice.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Okay, @internationalfish, maybe it's time to send
a little red habanero seed-containing powder?
Meanwhile, good luck getting your plant squared
away.

Sorry about the Datil. That has been a super productive
variety, and pretty darn hot, pepper the seasons I have
grown it.
 
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