How to properly mix ‘MasterBlend’ 4-18-38 tomato fertilizer

Mixing 4-18-38 tomato fertilizer
Mixing 4-18-38 tomato fertilizer

In the title, I put ‘MasterBlend’ in quotes, because in my video I’m using a different brand of 4-18-38 tomato fertilizer, partly because that is what I have on hand at the moment, but to also demonstrate that you don’t have to have the name brand of the product. Also, it mixes exactly the same way and yields the same results, so if you have the name brand version of the product, these steps will work fine.

Also, for a written guide, see the article I wrote called Everything you need for mixing MasterBlend.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through the following links. This is at no extra cost to you.

Tools and materials needed for mixing MasterBlend, or other brands of 4-18-38 tomato fertilizer:

Masterblend/Calcium Nitrate/Epsom Salthttps://amzn.to/2Q7FU6D
Gram scaleshttps://amzn.to/2YvRVpy
Calibration weighthttps://amzn.to/2HkCTgr
Plastic funnelhttps://amzn.to/2Q4srMR
pH meterhttps://amzn.to/2Q7giqz
Probe storage solutionhttps://amzn.to/35iYIHd
ppm/EC meterhttps://amzn.to/2Q4EERP

Also, check my other related videos:

How to Pre-mix Concentrated MasterBlend Hydroponic Nutrients

Apera Instruments pH Meter

How to make a Sriracha style pepper spice blend (StanRacha)

Tube of StanRacha powder
StanRacha powder

Some of the links below will direct you to Amazon, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

Follow in instructions in the video below to see how to make a Sriracha style powder from frozen peppers. I call this StanRacha, the ‘Days Gone By’ blend because I used preserved frozen peppers that were over four years old.

This is a recipe and process for using vacuum sealed frozen pepper pods to make a sriracha type spice blend but could be adapted for any kind of pepper spice blend. This process could also be used from fresh pepper pods. You can adjust the recipe to taste of course, but this will give you a starting point. I also show tips on working with frozen peppers, how to dehydrate them and store for short term use and long term preservation.

For reference, here are the ratios I used, adjust according to taste:

Per 10 grams of dried peppers

  • 1/4 tsp citric acid
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp unrefined cane sugar

Items mentioned or shown in the video:
Pepper storage tubes – https://amzn.to/2laBT5U
Food dehydrator – https://amzn.to/2jN8v5n
Funnel – https://amzn.to/2lgkclD
Blender – https://amzn.to/2ldFTmc
Vacuum Sealer – https://amzn.to/2jNgUpp
Jar-sealer attachment – https://amzn.to/2lggTed
Weber Grill – https://amzn.to/2leF4tt
Charcoal Chimney – https://amzn.to/2lgd2he

Other videos I’ve made on pepper food preservation:
How to dehydrate peppers and make powder – https://youtu.be/7N8oyvRkkQ8
How to preserve peppers – https://youtu.be/thyMpy0xZiI
How to vacuum seal dehydrated peppers – https://youtu.be/VsHPi189TDA
Preserving dehydrated peppers long term – https://youtu.be/O32gsdaqpCk

27 gallon Kratky tote – restricted root experiment

27 gallon tote restricted root setup
27 gallon tote restricted root setup

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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.

5-gal bucket with holes
5-gal bucket with holes
KhangSta Yellow plant
KhangSta Yellow plant
Bucket inserted into tote
Bucket inserted into tote

Large 60-gallon Kratky system preview

60-gallon Kratky system
60-gallon Kratky system

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.

Easy, cheap, DIY wicking cups

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This year I’ve transplanted most of my sprouts from the AeroGarden Bounty and my DIY system, into Styrofoam wicking cups. These are super easy and quick to make. They are nice intermediate vessels for the plants until being moved to their final location. These setups also provide more flexibility than standard double cups do. For instance, you could remove them from the bottom cup and set in something larger for the plant/s to drink from.

Watch my video below to see how I make them.

Items that are shown or mentioned in the video:

– 20-ounce styrofoam cups ( You can also pick these up in the grocery store or places like WalMart) – https://amzn.to/2Cz2O1m
– Microfiber clothes – https://amzn.to/2WkSLUO
– HLG-100 grow light – https://amzn.to/2HVsCbv
– 48″ x 48″ x 80″ grow tent – https://amzn.to/2U5MxuJ
– Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2TuOi05
– Perlite – https://amzn.to/2uocFm7
– Dyna-Grp 7-9-5 – https://amzn.to/2uqDeH4

Hydroponic DWC seed starting system – DIY AeroGarden

DIY AeroGarden with plants
DIY AeroGarden

I make commissions off purchases made through product links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you and helps support this website.

I built this hydroponic deep water culture system for starting pepper plants. It was very inexpensive and easy to build and works well. It uses a small air pump, air stones, one-inch net cups, AeroGarden sponges (although just about any kind of growing sponge would work, ie BioDome, Rapid Rooter, Root Riot, etc… It has a built-in light stand with a Sansi 30 watt grow light.

Parts showed (or equivalent) in the video:

Commander XL 5 gallon tote – Get at Lowes
Air pump – https://amzn.to/2XNpXpB
Air stones – https://amzn.to/2TtfFfG
Sansi 30 watt grow light – https://amzn.to/2XPc8H7
Dyna-Gro 7-9-5 – https://amzn.to/2XOKz0T
Air tubing – https://amzn.to/2NV3LFI
1-inch net cups – https://amzn.to/2NV06r7
AeroGarden sponges – https://amzn.to/2TqEn0m
or
Rapid Rooter (cut these in quarters the long way) – https://amzn.to/2XOKzxV
1-inch bit – https://amzn.to/2NT804t
1-inch PVC pipe – get at Lowes
1-inch PVC tee – get at Lowes

Here are pics of some of the plants I transplanted out of this system.

Aji Lemon Drop
Aji Lemon Drop
Fish pepper
Fish pepper

How to quickly unclog the AeroGarden Sprout aerator

As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you and helps support my website and YouTube channel.

From time to time, the aerator nozzle on the AeroGarden Sprout gets clogged. The most effective way to fix this is to take it out and clean it, but if you don’t have time for that, this is a quick and easy fix to get the air flowing again. All you need is a bendable dental gum brush.

AeroGarden Sprout – https://amzn.to/2V0bN2k
AeroGarden Sprout seed starting deck – https://amzn.to/2SO61U6
Dental gum Proxabrush – https://amzn.to/2TQ7W7M

How to take apart the AeroGarden grow deck for recirculating models

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It’s important to pop apart the grow deck for recirculating models between gardens. This is because roots can get in the channels and block nutrient flow. It’s very easy to do, but not very intuitive if you’ve never done it before.

Here’s a video showing how to take apart the grow deck on an AeroGarden Bounty model.

How to smoke peppers for the dehydrator

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This is a process I use for adding smoke flavor and aroma to dried peppers. This works for both fresh and frozen peppers. I smoke them first, then add to the dehydrator.

Parts needed

Process

  1. Perforate the bottom of a disposable baking pan with a knife. Wash and de-stem peppers, cut in half, then place in baking pan.
  2. Prepare the grill, setting the bottom and top vents to about a 3/16″ gap, lay a piece of aluminum foil (10 x 12 inch) on one end of the bottom grate. Poke a few holes in the aluminum foil with a knife.
  3. Start a small amount of charcoal, about 10 12 briquettes (easier if you are using another grill for cooking, you can make more).
  4. Place the hot coals on the aluminum foil, and dump a few handfuls of smoking wood on top.
  5. Place the top grate on the grill, and set the baking pan of peppers on top, on the opposite side of the wood chips.
  6. Cover and let smoke for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Remove peppers and place in dehydrator trays.
  8. Dry for 24 – 36 hours, or until peppers are ‘cracker dry’.

Video