It’s getting close to plant out time, and I need to strategize how to get everything hardened off and systems ready for outdoor growing. I want to have everything outside by first week of May, but could probably go earlier if it’s possible. I have about five plants on the porch now. Those I hardened off with the 400 watt CMH light. They are doing well.
I’ve been prepping outside, sifting out last year’s potting mix. I’m going to reuse my old poly grow bags too. I need to get some plastic and reassemble my drip irrigation system. I also need to few things to setup the fertilizer injector. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks.
This update is for all my peppers, herbs, and other edibles as of April 2, 2017. I currently have plants outside on the porch, in my kitchen and in the basement. The plants continue to do well a few issues but I’m managing it.
The three plants on the porch are Yellow Chiltepin, in a Kratky container, Thai Dragon and Tien Tsin, both in self-watering buckets. They are doing fine, the Thai Dragaon and Tien Tsin look a little rough, partly do to high winds blowing them over, and adjusting to outdoors. Overall they look good, both have pods. The pods on the Thai Dragon are ripening.
The kitchen plants look great, except having some issues with the Aji Painapple mother plant. I think the problem is over-fertilization. I changed out the solution with weaker strength nutrients. I also added an air stone (although probably unnecessary). The Jay’s Red Ghost Scorpion cross/mutation? f2 is looking awesome. The plant from last year was one of the largest and most fruitful of any I grew. The pods were rounder with short tails, looked more like Scorpion, almost resembled Butch T Scorpion. I’m going to keep growing it out as it was one of my favorites of 2016.
The basement plants look good. The ones currently under the 400 watt CMH are the Jamaican Hot Chocolate and two White Devil’s Tails, each in a different version of 5 gallon wick system. There are also a couple small wick cups placed on one of the buckets, a Malagheta and Aji Painapple cone. The ones in the grow tent are doing well. Most are wick cups that are wicking from solution in a 10 gallon tote. There are a few others placed around in self-contained wicking cups. Mostly peppers, but there are a few cukes, a Sour Gherkin, and a tomato.
The Jamaican Hot Chocolate, Thai Dragon and Yellow Chiltepin look great. The Helios Hab in the low-pressure aeroponics system has grown a lot in the last two weeks. I’m planning to move it from the grow tent, and place under the 400 watt CMH light. Not sure what I’ll put in the grow tent, maybe another round of lettuce.
The AeroGarden Sprout still has the seed starting deck, I planted some non-pepper seeds last week, and some have come up. Two cukes, Lemon and Teshcha F1, Sungold tomato, Sour Gerkin, and Tiny Tim tomato have sprouted. Waiting on golden yellow squash and Gretel Eggplant.
The AeroGarden Bounty only has the Aji Painapple, which is starting to produce fruit.
The AeroGarden Classic 7 has more Painapple clones, and had a Black Bhut, which has transplanted to a wick cup. It also has a few small pepper sprouts.
About half of the plants transferred to cups are using the double-cup method, and the rest are in cup wick systems. The wick method cups seem to be performing a little better, and don’t have to be filled as often.
I started six Tiny Tim Tomatoes in a Kratky coffee container. Also made a Kratky herb garden, which has Cinnamon Basil, Italian Basil, Catnip, Sage, White Sage, Rosemary, Mugwort and Lemon Balm.
The Jamaican Hot Chocolate, Tien Tsin, Yellow Chilltepin and Thai Dragon look great. The JHC is starting to block light on the other plants, so I’ll prune that back some today or tomorrow.
The Helios Has in the improved low-pressure aeroponics system is starting to take off. I recently changed out the nutrients for a stronger formula. I also switched off the interval timer so the pump and fan run continuously now. I couldn’t tell that 5 minutes intervals was helping. I will post a video on how I made that soon.
I moved my rack upstairs and have a bunch of the potted up peppers, some Kratky containers, my DWC seed starter and one of the AeroGardens. I’m still working on setting that up. I’ll add two more shop lights to in the next day or so. I also have plans to make a small Kratky herb container which will sit on there as well.
D3’s Aji Painapple f2 is doing really well. It’s growing at least 5 times faster than everything else. I’ve taken a few cuttings for cloning and all the ones that were put in the AeroGarden have produced roots. I have another that I put in a Kratky bottle. I haven’t seen any roots come out of the sponge yet, but it’s probably just taking a little longer. From the top side it looks just as good as the others. My AeroGarden Sprout with the seed start deck is working great for starts. I have have several new peppers and various herbs coming up in it now. There are a lot of Kratky bottles of different sizes around the AeroGardens that are doing well. Some have peppers, and some herbs.
Everything’s doing really well. Many of the AeroGarden and diy dwc plants need to be transplanted to cups. I’ve done seven so far. D3’s Aji Painapple f2 is the fastest grower so far. I’m attempting to clone it by taking cuttings. I put one in a Kratky bottle, and two back in the AeroGarden. I’ll probably do at least a couple more. It looks like this plant is going to be a beast. I’m leaving the parent plant in the AeroGarden, and if the cuttings root I’ll put them outside in a combination of kratky and self watering containers. I’m hope the pods taste as good as the f1. They were awesome.
All of my pepper seeds have germinated in hydro (mostly AeroGardens), except for White Bhut W Strain. I’m going to start some more of those soon to see if I can get one to come up. I also will start a few more different types. I built the new version of my low-pressure aeroponics (sprayaponics) system, and moved my Helios Hab to it. It is in my 24″ x 24″ grow tent under the 216 watt (actual 65) UFO LED. I have a fan mounted at the top. The pump and fan are both on a minute cycle timer running 5 minutes on/off. I potted up 5 of the largest plants from the AeroGardens, putting then in 20 oz Styrofoam cups, using Fox Farm Light Warrior. Three of the potted up plants are in the grow tent with the Helios Hab. The ones that were potted up were El Scorponero f2, Puerto Rican Yellow Hab, Reaper x Moruga f3, Brazilian Red Olive and Peach Moruga Scorpion. I shot a lot of video on the build process of the low-pressure aeroponic system and will post it in a couple of weeks. It is an improved design from the one I made last year. It has a double bucket system which allows for a deeper reservoir. The design allows for easy change of nutrients without ever having to disturb the roots. The pump is accessible from outside the growing chamber.
The following video shows an update on my 2017 pepper starts, as well as circulating and non-circulating hydroponic lettuce grows. Also my DWC Jamaican Hot Chocolate and self-watering containers housing the Thai Dragon and Tien Tsin peppers.
This year I’m starting my seeds directly in the AeroGardens or in my DIY AeroGarden that I made.
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I’m currently running three AeroGardens (one is at work not shown). The two I have at home are an AeroGarden Bounty Elite and an old AeroGarden Classic 7. The seven has only herbs in it now, and they are doing well for the most part. The Bounty Elite has four pepper plants; a crossed Peach Lightning Hab, a crossed eximium and two Aji Pineapple. The roots are so massive they are starting to push the plant pods out. I plan to yank those prior to starting seeds for the 2017 grow season. I’ll start nine plants, and move eight of the sprouts to different hydroponic systems. I’ll keep one in there to grow to maturity. I also have an AeroGarden Sprout that I plan to start soon with lettuce. I’ll show how to start lettuce seeds without needing to buy the pre-seeded pods from AeroGrow. I’m going to run this at the same time as my Kratky lettuce experiment and compare the grows.
Since my outdoor grow for this season has ended, I have time to fix some much needed issues with my indoor setup. The main problems were improper spacing between the CMH light and plants, and neglect of the DWC hydroponic setup for my Jamaican Hot Chocolate.
I rearranged the light so it is suspended from the ceiling now instead of the top of the shelving unit. For the hyrdo, I setup a two bucket design. The inner bucket, which the net pot lid fits on, contains the tubing and air stone and has holes in the bottom and sides. The outer bucket contains the nutrient solution. This way I can easily replace the nutrients by moving the inner bucket to a bucket container that has fresh solution. This makes the process quicker and easier, and also prevents disturbing the roots. I also started a calendar to remind me when I need to change the nutrients. I’m going to do this every two weeks, but will add nutrients/water if needed between nutrient solution refreshes.
The new lighting arrangement should help my Thai Dragon and Chiltepin plants also. The Thai Dragon is in a two gallon self-watering system that I built. It was outside, and has been doing really well. Also have a Chiltepin in a Kratky setup, but it has depleted its solution. I added some to give me a little time to figure out a more long term solution. I pruned all the plants back too, which will help new growth.
I’ll post updates every week or two showing how it does. I plan on adding a Kratky setup with some lettuce to the rack soon also. I’ll do a comparison grow between that and same type lettuce growing in an AeroGarden.
Pulled a bunch of peppers over the last couple of days. This is probably one of the last updates for the 2016 growing season. Our first frost should be here any day now so I’m trying to get these picked and put up as soon as possible. I forgot to mention the Kraken Scorpion and Super Hot Beast I picked, had a pretty good harvest on those as well.