How to identify and eliminate broad mites

I just posted a video on identifying and getting rid of broad mites. I basically cut off the affected leaves, and spray the plants with a mixture of sulfur and water. I show in the video how to look for signs of broad mite infestation, and how to use magnification to see them.

I earn commissions from purchases made through the following links:

Materials needed for ending broad mites:

Sulfur –
Sprayer –
Jeweler’s Loupe –

Some of the plants shown in the video were in one of my AutoPot systems. For 10% off your order through AutoPot USA, use the discount coupon code pepperdactyl10 or follow this link

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How to make a self-watering container for growing peppers – DIY step-by-step guide

How to make a self-watering container - step by step guide

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How to make a self-watering container for growing peppers – DIY step-by-step guide.

In the video below, I show step by step, how to build a self-watering container. These are also known as sub-irrigated planters. The bucket-in-bucket setup is a very common self-watering container design. They work similarly to the Earth Box and the GroBucket systems. They are a bit time-consuming to make. For an easier, simpler option, check out the GroBucket.

Materials needed:
– 2 x 5-gallon buckets –
– Drill –
– 3-inch hole saw –
– 1 1/4 inch hold saw –
– 5/16 inch drill bit –
– 2 x 3-inch net cups –
– Zip ties –
– 3 feet of 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe –

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Easy container mix for peppers – 2021 recipe

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Easy container mix for peppers – 2021 recipe.  This is what I’m using with my drip system pepper and tomato plants for the 2021 growing season.

The base container mix is composed of:

  • 1 x 2.8 cu-ft bag of well-draining commercial potting mix (I used Sungrow commercial potting mix, aka Fafard 3b)
  • 1 x 1 cu-ft bag of compost manure (I used Black Kow) – This provides a small amount of fertilizer, mostly Nitrogen, to help the plant along until the slow-release kicks in.
  • About a large colander full of extra perlite – This offsets the added density from adding the compost manure.

    After adding to the 5 gal bucket, I add:

  • 1 x 1/2 cup of bonemeal
  • 5 x Tbsp of Osmocote 14-14-14 (or slow-release macronutrient of choice)
  • 5 x tsp of Essential Minor Elements (or micronutrient of choice)

I install the plant, water it in, and set it up on my drip system. The drip system runs for 15 minutes, twice a day. Each 5-gal container has 2 x 1/2 gal/hour emitters.

Also, take a look at how I set up my drip system.
Drip System Basics –

Also, these links will provide information, but you might want to source them locally. The cost of Amazon is a lot higher. They are probably factoring in shipping costs.

Osmocote 14-14-14 –
Black Kow
Essential Minor Elements –

Video showing how it is mixed:

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Easy DIY wicking systems you can easily make at home

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In this video, I show an easy way to test and make wicking systems from household materials. I show two easy DIY methods for installing wicks, and a way to test wicking material to make sure that it works properly. For the demonstration, I use a Basil plant and a propagated pepper clone.

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through the following links.

Nylon rope for wicking: 1/8″ –
3/8″ (for larger setups) –
Coco Coir – Nursery pots – Masterblend –
Calcium Nitrate –
Epsom Salt –
How to mix Masterblend –

How to change nutrients on large Kratky systems

This video shows how to change nutrients on large Kratky systems. The same principles apply though, to small Kratky systems. My Bih Jolokia in the 45-gallon trash gan was starting to show some nutrient deficiencies. The solution had dropped down by 2/3 the original volume and pH and dropped to 4.1. I replaced with fresh nutrients keeping the same level as before.

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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.

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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 Salt
Gram scales
Calibration weight
Plastic funnel
pH meter
Probe storage solution
ppm/EC meter

Also, check my other related videos:

How to Pre-mix Concentrated MasterBlend Hydroponic Nutrients

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Apera Instruments pH Meter

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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 –
Food dehydrator –
Funnel –
Blender –
Vacuum Sealer –
Jar-sealer attachment –
Weber Grill –
Charcoal Chimney –

Other videos I’ve made on pepper food preservation:
How to dehydrate peppers and make powder –
How to preserve peppers –
How to vacuum seal dehydrated peppers –
Preserving dehydrated peppers long term –

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27 gallon Kratky tote – restricted root experiment

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

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 efforts to provide content.

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
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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.

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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.

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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) –
– Microfiber clothes –
– HLG-100 grow light –
– 48″ x 48″ x 80″ grow tent –
– Coco coir –
– Perlite –
– Dyna-Grp 7-9-5 –