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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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.

BB (not verified)
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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OK, is it just hype that you

OK, is it just hype that you need to use a soap rather than a detergent? My local big hydro store has all sorts of critter killers including soaps but no 35% h2o2, BTW. How about taking the deck outside or to the bathtub and giving them a good spray?

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Yeah, it's cold for them up

Yeah, it's cold for them up here now. One or two must have gotten in before the freezes set in. Ants do herd them, yes. But I haven't seen any ants. The potted eggplant I was trying to grow succumbed to aphids, out on my balcony. One of them must have hitched a ride in.... That was a few weeks ago, though.

I just use plain dish detergent in water on aphids. It's just not very effective indoors... Since they have no predators indoors, you miss one or two aphids (and how, pray tell, might you not miss one or two baby aphids...) and you're back to infested in a week. When they've hit my lettuce AG's, I've usually just given up after round 3 or so. But - lettuce grows back a whole lot faster... But, peppers seem a bit more aphid-resistant. I hope.

Peat said 35% peroxide was a hydroponic supply?

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

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Ain't it fun? Where could

Ain't it fun? Where could they have come from, isn't it a little cold for them up there? I think I may have some sort of white fungus brought in with a pinch of oregano and it's starting to spread. What kind of soap mix are you using? I understand it has to be a certain kind and, you or Peat, where can I find 35% peroxide? All I can find is 3%, the pharmacist 'bout had a heart attack when I asked about 35%.

How about a half pound of lady bugs? We used to scrape them by the box full off the McDonald observatory a couple weeks a year.... Nah, not a good idea unless you're really into bugs. Ants? Some of them herd aphids. Got it!! A little .05 mm machine gun would be a lot of fun.

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Aphids. Just after I wrote

Aphids. Just after I wrote all those picture-entries, I noticed aphids on my greens outriders, and yup, they're on the peppers, too.... First detergent water spraying done... Well, that may be part of why they've been looking peaked.

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Ginger
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 15.5 weeks: Nothing

15.5 weeks: maybe 45-50 peppers set 15.5 weeks: Nothing exciting. Many many (45-50?) peppers on board, none particularly close to ripe. Replaced all the liquids on Monday, and they've got a bit more light underneath from the $10 Walmart growlight (on the windowsill left). After I took this picture, I put the lights down a notch. Which puts them very close to the top leaves, but, the plants will get more light that way...

Next step is giving up on liquid nutrients for this and going back to AG Large nutes + liquid enrichment as needed. But, it hasn't been a week yet since their last flush & fill.

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

Ginger
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Heh. You got me to look it

Heh. You got me to look it up. I spelled Caribbean correctly. I actually pronounce it both ways, depending...

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How'd you find out your

How'd you find out your chiles were Caribbean peppers, anyway? Did I miss that story? I recall they were awfully short for what you thought they were, though.

Isn't it funny how Caribbean/Carribean is spelled and pronounced? When I lived in San Juan I was determined to speak the language and pronounce things properly, it was definitely not Tex-Mex. Even there half the people pronounce it Ca' ri be an and half pronounce it Ca rib' ean.

Ginger
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LOL, Bruce! How'd you find

LOL, Bruce!

How'd you find out your chiles were Caribbean peppers, anyway? Did I miss that story? I recall they were awfully short for what you thought they were, though.

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

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