My pepper plants are coming along. I looked at some video for around this time last year, and this year’s plants seem a little behind in size in production. I think having them in small cups before plant out, and taking longer to set up them up with a constant nutrient feed, set them back a little. They should catch up and the harvests will just be a little later in the season.
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I want to see if restricting the root size to a reasonable area will encourage early fruiting, or if the plant will stay in extended veg mode. Last year I grew two plants in a 27-gallon tote, and they took forever to fruit, and the yield, although good, was not great. There were a lot of green pods on them at the very end of the season when it was turning cold. So eventually they would have produced more.
This year I’m using the same 27-gallon tote, but with one plant, and that is in a 5-gallon bucket insert. The bucket has small holes at the bottom and larger ones at the top (for air flow). The idea is, the roots will mostly be confined to the smaller container, while still having access to all the nutrients in the large tote. Andrew Higgenbottom did a similar experiment but used a much smaller inner container. I’m hoping the 5-gallon size will mitigate the issues he ran into. This isn’t a perfect experiment, as I’m not growing the same kind of plant side by side as a control, but I’m just comparing against what I saw last season. Last year I grew a StarrRacha Bonnet and a KhangSta Red in the same tote , both were in the extended veg mode most of the season. This year, in the root restricted setup, I’m growing what is supposed to be a KhangSta Red but is producing yellow pods. It’s from the same seed stock that Khang sent me, but I think it’s either crossed or just a yellow mutation of KhangSta Red since it’s still a little unstable.
I’m using Dyna-Gro 7-9-5 at just over 1 tsp/gallon, with ppm around 500. The tote has a float valve already installed, and I can hook up a reservoir later when needed to maintain a static nutrient level.
I set up two large Kratky hydroponic systems. One is in a 60-gallon pickle barrel, and the other in a 45-gallon trashcan. Here’s a video preview. I’ll post a more in-depth video showing the setup and the all the details of what I used, in about 30 days.
My son and I tried the Firewalker Running with the Reaper hot sauce. It wasn’t nearly Reaper hot but does have a nice flavor. It is a bit hotter than their original hot sauce, which is more habanero based.
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I’m getting very close to putting these out on the drip system. I still haven’t decided which kind of container setups I’m going to use this year. I’m leaning toward going back to Osmocote 14-14-14 for a while, just because I have a bunch of it already, would save some money. Then later in the season, switch them back to Dyna-Gro 7-9-5.
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Sansi has sent me the second version of their 15-watt full spectrum grow light. In the video below, I show the unboxing and setup, as well as power and light tests. I have it set up over some succulents and will post a follow-up video showing the progress, after 30 days.