And they grow...

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And some more growing...

mini bell peppers age 4.5 weeks mini bell peppers age 5.5 weeks buds, age 5.5 weeks

Age 4.5 weeks.

They've gotten yellow, especially the red mini stuffing pepper, to left. From here on, I've added a dab of Flora Gro liquid nutrients to cut down on the yellowing. The plant on the right - mini red bell, not a "stuffing" pepper - suffers the yellowing a lot less than the other two. But the nutrient mix, using old semi-molten "Large" tablets from an AG 1-season Master Gardener kit, really weren't quite right for these plants. For water, I've mostly used distilled or collected rainwater. (I'm writing this in late October, not copying everything from the original glog.)

 Age 5.5 weeks: looking better greenwise.

At this point they have buds!

Unfortunately, I did not prune them at age 5 weeks, thinking they were such small plants, they probably wouldn't need it. They did... So I got advice at age 6.5 weeks, and then pruned lightly.

Age 6.5 weeks: before and after light pruning (thanks to PVtx for advice!) This is ~45 days, and these were possibly advertised as harvest in ~60 days.

6.5 weeks before pruning 6.5 weeks, flower closeup 6.5 weeks, branching closeup 6.5 weeks, lightly pruned

 Age 7.5 weeks: Alas, most of those flowers didn't set fruit. I decided they needed a heavier pruning, which set me back quite a ways budwise. Though I later realized two flowers on the left plant did take and I just couldn't see them yet. Very frustrating to cut off all the buds, just when the plants were setting fruit.

2 peppers, smaller than a fingertip

Age 8.5 weeks: got very unhappy with the pruning setback and started the reflective draping experiment. Here they've grown back, but just putting buds right back in the lights again.And the middle plant wasn't growing back very quickly. At this point, I had them growing inside the reflective drapes most of the time for only about 2 days.

It turns out two of the flowers did set peppers before the great pruning, though:

Age 9.5 weeks: I took all but one side's reflective drape down, because the most stunted pepper plant (the one in the middle) was getting very curly-topped, and sort of ingrowing instead of going up. So the extra light helped a lot, but so much draping somehow didn't. Probably too much heat & lack of air circulation. Finally has buds developing again...

Closeup of the two pepper fruits. They're only supposed to grow to 1-2", so they're maybe nearing full size. But I want them to turn red, because I only had about 5 of each of these seeds, and need to save some mature seeds from them. Saving pepper seeds is apparently very easy.

age 10.5 weeks, new Deluxe 10.5 weeks, biggest peppers

Age 10.5 weeks: Having gotten thoroughly sick of the pruning game, I ordered an Aerogarden Deluxe. It arrived this week and I moved the whole pepperplex (plants, grow surface, bowl) into the new Deluxe base+lights. They're happier, I'm happier. The middle yellow pepper is still playing catch-up - it has a flower, but still no peppers. In fact, it's thinned-out in-a-pot not-enough-light brother already has 3-4 peppers set... But, the bigger red peppers have set several more fruit each, and everyone has flowers.

The oldest fruit are probably at their final size, but I want to pick them red (mature), so I can save seeds, and possibly mail them back to the kind persons who gave these hard-to-get seeds to me in trade.

The next day, I had to strip the bowl because the pump had conked out. (Man, it is a pain to work on the pump with 3 full-grown plants on the deck... Broke a lot of roots.) This is a new ceramic-core pump AG sent me in July, to replace a dead original-style plastic core pump. Got that going again, though its thin plastic axle is worryingly bent.

But replaced the water/nutrients with a new GH Flora series formulation. (See forum post.) I think this'll work better. I'd been growing these up to now with AG Master Gardener Large tablets. But - the mini stuffing pepper leaves kept yellowing, so I was always adding a teaspoon of Flora Grow here and there to green up the leaves. Which I believe was exacerbating the need-to-prune problem - regardless of how far down the stem a new branch was formed, the dratted things only bud when they get right back up to the top of the plant. I may even cut the grow/micro component even further next time I replace the nutrients, depending.

 

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Ginger
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I wonder how long peppers

I wonder how long peppers will keep - outside the refrigerator. One of the more useful things I learned this summer from my first grand adventure in growing tomatoes :  never refrigerate them. Makes them go bad faster and taste mealy. Any peppers you buy in a 50 lb sack have been sitting around for quite a while before you bought em...

Nice that your Anaheim is back in production.

Looking forward to the grow tent update!

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

BB (not verified)
Thanks for the link, I

Thanks for the link, I learned a lot and wouldn't mind having a subscription to the newsletter.. NM's chile crop is different every year depending on temp and moisture and it's a crap shoot how the chiles are going to taste every year. I can usually tell where a chile was grown just by taste but some years it makes little difference. Chile connoisseurs like green chile from Hatch, NM and red chile from Chimayo, NM. I discovered a 6" Anaheim  chile on a plant I had little hope for! Guess it was giving its all for that one chile. Now they're all covered with flowers and chiles.

I need to get off my butt and update my grow tent glog, it's pretty impressive I think.I'm in a delimma about roasting them. I'm used to buying them in 50# sacks, having them roasted and sealed in a trash bag for 12 hours or so to steam then portioning them into meal size servings and freezing them. Roasting one or two chiles a day over the stove just doesn't turn me on.

 

Ginger
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Park Seed has started doing a

Park Seed has started doing a weekly newsletter, "Know Before You Grow". This week's episode was an interesting piece on growing peppers. Yes, they try to sell their goods. But there were a number of things in there I'd never heard before, like that peppers actually thrive on crowding, and withholding water makes them hotter.

I assume there's a way to sign up for their newsletter without ordering from them, though I get it because I've bought seeds.

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They are still producing so I

They are still producing so I think I will stick with them, perhaps see how long this plant will grow?

I did wonder about pulling it tonight, perhaps try other ideas out. Just could not do it, they have been around for so long now.

Ginger
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Heh. You're right - the

Heh. You're right - the grandchild aphids probably enjoyed that bath far more than the peppers and I did.

How long are you going to keep going with the tomatoes? You must like them!

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Glad the aphids have gone

Glad the aphids have gone using insecticide, much better than giving them a bath - which they probably enjoyed, a nice clean plant to breed on.

 My old toms have been going for 29 weeks now, and show no signs of stopping. It understand what you mean by 'end of an era', this is my longest grow and the kitchen corner will feel rather barren once I retire them; this plant has become part of the fixtures and fittings.

Looking forward to the new grow.

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20.5 weeks : Peppers delenda

20.5 weeks : Peppers delenda est. Aw... I needed the Deluxe for my tomato / eggplant garden, and I thought the peppers would be done by now, so... They're done.

20.5 weeks : peppers RIP 20.5 weeks: even now, budding new branches everywhere... 20.5 weeks : last pepper harvest

No new aphids since Peat finally talked me into using insecticide. (No way I was doing the bathtub treatment again...) I cleaned thoroughly anyway, of course.

After the horrific pruning I did to persuade them to ripen their last, these plants were still trying to crank out new branches, to keep going. Outdoors, I would've approved. Indoors, they've gone on long enough.

The pruning worked well to get it to ripen stuff, though. I removed even more branches this week, and kept lowering the lights. Light directly on the fruit really does seem to make the fruit ripen, even way undersized.

Germination tests:  A few of the mini red bell seeds eventually germinated, from the first pepper whose seeds I dried. I think two things went wrong with that batch:

  1. The pepper wasn't ripe enough.
  2. The seeds got too much light. Wrapped in wet white napkin, in a transparent plastic tub, on the pro100 deck for warmth, they also got too much light. They only sprouted after I dumped a zucchini seed test on top of them.

So, I'm trying another pepper's seeds, with a coaster over the container for shade. If that doesn't do any better, eh. The last batch of seeds will do...

Kinda feels like the end of an era, ending a long-term AG garden, huh?

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Peat
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Ditto that with the peppers,

Ditto that with the peppers, nice idea and they look good.

Blimey, lots of posts to catchup on. Have a few days away from the site and I seem to be weeks behind, I'd better get back to reading then.

 

Ginger
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Thanks re the Christmas

Thanks re the Christmas peppers. Yeah, these plants would still be setting more fruit if I let them. Even after that radical haircut yesterday, the dratted things are just cranking out new leafbuds today. It worked, though - a couple more peppers started ripening. I can't tell yet if the undersized ones are getting bigger.

I thought the mini red bells were heirloom, but who knows... I must have dried seeds from an under-ripe pepper.

Big crop from your super peppers! And more peppers in your grow tent! When you take out these peppers, what are you going to grow next?

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

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Your stuffed pepper Christmas

Your stuffed pepper Christmas tray looks like a work of art! Very nice. Can't believe these guys are still hanging in there, seems like when you want them to go they crank it up. You think the right side peppers are so hybrid they won't germinate? Is that possible, like mules?

I need to test some of my super pepper seeds, I've eaten a dozen or so and have about 40 in the freezer and 20 or so still ripening and.... I'm starting to get new flowers! I thought they were just about done for. I love them in small doses but Maere won't even touch one so it's to the point of tearing out perfectly good plants and starting over. Decisions, decisions.

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