resolutejc
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Advice for determinate Gold Nugget Tomatoes, Early Jalapenos

Hello! I am a first-time indoor gardener with beginner/intermediate knowledge from reading several books and browsing on this website. I started all of my plants from seed and transplanted them 3 times into larger containers as needed. Apartment temperature ranges from 70-80 F. I should use a fan, but I never managed to buy one. I want this to be 100% indoors and I’m not interested in transplanting outside, even in the Summer.

My current watering schedule is once every 2-3 days, or when the first inch or so of soil feels dry. I also mist the leaves on occasion with plain filtered water or a mixture of filtered water and kelp/potash (listed below). I'm unsure how much water to add for each plant. I'm also unsure how much fertilizer to add for the bi-weekly feeding. I've been eyeballing the amount of water and fertilizer, but I want to be more consistent and was hoping for some answers. For green, leafy growth, I used the 4-3-3 fertilizer and gave the plants 16 hours of light/day. For flowering, I’m using the 2-4-1 fertilizer with 12 hours of light/day.

I think I did pretty well for a first-time grower, but I welcome your advice to do it better next time. I would appreciate some tips on pruning as well. I’ve read about people snipping their 6 inch plants to 3 inches and their 12 inch plants to 6 inches. Is this necessary? My tomato plant is very leggy, and weak unless supported by bamboo. The plant itself is massive and it has several fruits. On occasion, I’ll get withered, dead leaves which I snip of from the shoot. My habanero plants are bushy and stout with a lot of flowers that die off instead of providing fruit. Every now and then, some of the bottom leaves fall off as well. My jalapeno plant is short, but healthy. The blossoms have given 2 to 3 jalapenos so far. How can I increase these numbers?

My Fruits/Vegetables:

Early Jalapeno (70-100 days from germination)
[url]https://www.parkseed.com/gardening/PD/5856/[/url]

Gold Nugget Tomato (100-140 days from germination)
[url]https://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7930-gold-nugget-og.aspx[/url]

Orange Habanero (100-140 days from germination)
[url]https://www.parkseed.com/gardening/store/TextSearch?storeId=10101&SearchUnion=Y&CustSearchText=habanero[/url]

[img]https://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af355/resolutejc/GoldNuggetTomatoPlant.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af355/resolutejc/1Jalapenoplantand2HabaneroPlants.jpg[/img]

My Lighting Unit:

4-Ft Tek Light - High Output T5 - 10,000 Lumens
-1 Blue Fluorescent Bulb - 54 Watt - 5,000 Lumens - 6500 Kelvin
-1 Red Fluorescent Bulb - 54 Watt - 5,000 Lumens - 3000 Kelvin
[url]https://www.yardlover.com/sun-system-tek-light-t5-high-output-fluorescent-lighting[/url]

My Potting Mix:

Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix and Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix (sphagnum peat moss, forest products and composted bark) mixed with enough Perlite so the soil drains easily and doesn't clump up into a ball. I know Miracle Gro is not recommended, but this was the most convenient option for me at the time. I lack the tools and space to make good compost.

My Fertilizers:

Neptune's Harvest Organic Hydrolyzed Fish Fertilizer, 2-4-1
[url]https://www.yardlover.com/neptunes-harvest-organic-fish-fertilizer-pint[/url]

Aggrand Organic Liquid Fertilizer, 4-3-3
Aggrand Natural Liquid Kelp & Sulfate of Potash, 0-0-8
Aggrand Natural Liquid Lime, with Magnesium & Calcium (pH +)
Aggrand Organic Liquid Bonemeal, 0-12-0
[url]https://www.aggrand.com/index.aspx[/url]

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Kisal
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I grow tomatoes in containers, but outdoors. For one thing, tomato plants, except when very young, don't stand up by themselves. They always require staking, caging, or support of one sort or another. Their natural growth habit is to sprawl on the ground, and in fact are sometimes allowed to grow that way. I think it would take up a lot of space indoors, though, but that's JMO.

However, indoor plants that are "leggy" and "weak" are almost always suffering from lack of sufficient light.

You may find some useful information in this Extension Service article:

https://www.extension.org/article/18647
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

resolutejc
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Location: NJ

Thank you, Kisal. My plants are on a 4 1/4-ft. long kitchen cart with a light overhead. Space is only an issue if I try growing more than 5 mature plants at a time. I have the jalapeno plant propped up between the two habanero plants because it is shorter than both of them and I knew it needed to be closer to the light.

The link you provided says, "Staking systems are usually installed 2-3 weeks after transplanting or when plants reach a height of 12-15 inches. Determinant varieties will require about 3-4 ft. stakes, although the growth habit of your specific variety will help determine stake length. At the same time, plants are usually pruned to reduce vegetative growth and to encourage strong fruit production."

My tomato plant has been staked since that height. I know I used the term leggy, but my tomato plant is quite strong and is producing many fruits. But I don't like how there's a foot of weak, bare stem underneath the leaf growth. Light is not an issue since my unit is quite powerful.

I will definitely read the tips about pruning! :)

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Kisal
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Again, I don't grow tomatoes indoors, so perhaps someone else will be able to give you better advice.

Tomatoes really need a lot of light though, and what may seem like a lot indoors, may not truly compare with 6 or more hours worth of full sunlight outdoors on a summers day.

One thing I notice in your photos is that the light is pretty much all at the tops of your plants. If they received light from the sides, as well, some branches and leaves might sprout on the lower stems. Perhaps some reflectors would help? Just a thought. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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applestar
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I agree with Kisal. My impression is that these are not getting enough light. What you're getting is a "canopy" effect -- the upper leaves forming an umbrella. Fluorescent lights are usually kept at 2~4 inches from the leaves. Unless you adjusted your camera, at correct distance, we should be seeing a white-out effect from overexposure where it's brightest to be seeing the lower stems in the shadows so clearly.

If you are growing them by the wall, lining the wall with aluminum foil, etc. would help, as well as positioning an aluminum-lined cardboard box around them -- unless they're getting direct sunlight as well, in which case, leave the window-side exposed. Some people position fluorescent tube light fixtures vertically on the wall.

By outdoor standards, your tomato plant stem looks somewhat weak. An oscillating fan would definitely help strengthen the stems. You could also try gently shaking the entire plant. I believe that when I'm growing plants by the window, since I turn them a quarter turn every day, THAT physical disturbance helps to toughen them up as well.

As for your peppers, I think I answered a similar question in this thread:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=106699#106699

Also, you didn't say how big the containers are -- I believe you'd want a container the size of a 5-gal bucket for the tomato, and at least 2-gal bucket for the Jalapeno. I don't know how big Habanero peppers get so I can't give you an estimate on that one.

If you decide to up-pot the tomato, put about 1" of soil in the bottom of the new pot, then put the root ball in the bottom and bury the stem so it can grow more roots.

Oh, one more thing -- I'm not knowledgeable in this regard, but your lighting schedule didn't seem right to me... In the height of the summer when tomatoes bloom and fruit, don't we usually have 14~16 hrs daylight? Especially if you're lighting is inadequate, it seems to me that you should be giving them even longer period of light...?

Oops, noticed something else -- if you used orchid mix, it might have been a bit lower in pH than tomatoes prefer. Maybe a bit of lime/calcium? Quickest may be sterilized eggshells ground up (in a coffee grinder, mortar/pestle, or with a jar bottom in a plastic tub).

resolutejc
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Hi applestar! The light I'm using is not a standard shop light. It's a much stronger high-output fluorescent so the same rules don't apply. Yes, the canopy may be a problem, but the bottom half was always bare through all stages of growth. I would fare better with a vertical light supplement, but I have no space or money for that. I'll try adding mylar.

I agree it looks a bit weak for outdoor standards. I need some tips for more horizontal growth and more of a bushy plant that's closer to the soil line. I was hoping that pruning would be an option. Next time, I will include a fan to stimulate stem strength. I still need some tips on properly administering my fertilizers.

As for the lighting schedule, I read that I should be simulating the long days of summer for green, leafy growth (16 hrs/day along with more nitrogen) and the short days of winter for flower/fruit production (12 hrs/day and more phosphorous). That is what I have been doing. 4-3-3 initally, now 2-4-1 with the bonemeal supplement and an occasional treatment of liquid lime to give my plants calcium and magneisum.

My Pot Sizes:

Jalapeno: 7-in wide by 5-in deep
Habanero: 8-in wide by 8-in deep
Tomato: 11-in wide by 9-in deep

The only one that I would one up for indoor use would be the jalapeno plant.

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Sage Hermit
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:) Somoene who shares the indoor vision

Originally posted by resolutejc
I agree it looks a bit weak for outdoor standards. I need some tips for more horizontal growth and more of a bushy plant that's closer to the soil line. I was hoping that pruning would be an option. Next time, I will include a fan to stimulate stem strength. I still need some tips on properly administering my fertilizers.
Listen to applestar. What you need is the right pH and light set up. Your light is perfect. It needs reflectors and proper schedualing as mentioned however. I would suggest using ordinary tin foil for economy. Mirrors can also work if you have one but I have not tested this. In theory its the same as mylar.

Add the eggshels and what not. Put a couple worms in there. Applestar is a genius and I think it was him or some one else who said they have the one worm per container rule. And maybe it will become a mutant worm from all the chemicals in your soil and your synthetic fertilizer but here at least he will give you castings for natural fertilizer. :evil:

Tomato 70 - 80°F, pH 6 - 7, row 12 - 18'', full sun

The other thing which is very important is to cover as many hairs on the stem as possible with dirt and mulch. Each pot probably needs more soil formed in a mound reaching up the stem.

My soil is comprised of low pH natural earth I dug up in my city. Over the Years its become self fertilizing due to all the insect activity that goes on in each container. All the light I have comes from the sun and I leave a light on at night but I own a fan. My plants probably would not win any awards but they fruit and seed and flower and thats good enough for me.
It doesn't take much to please the Sage Hermit.. mmm sage.

Its good to have you on the forums and I can make you a hip Image for your account too, just ask and tell me what suites you. Check my [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12527&start=0]thread[/url] on indoor growing from when I first joined up. :) You will meet HG soon and he is the true Sage Hermit.

Also if you have any seeds you wanna swap let me know. I could trade you for some jalapenios thats if you have extra ones down the road. I manage to collect a great deal of seeds all year long and still need to inventory and trade around with my friends here. Hope your plants are doing well. Bye
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

resolutejc
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Sage Hermit - Thank you for the advice and the consideration. I'm a true Southern Mexican/Caribbean cuisine lover. I'm actually a culinary graduate who is now working in a restaurant, so any type of produce that suits these cuisines is of great interest to me, particularly anything native to the Yucatan.

On your advice... I read that I shouldn’t be fooled by Mylar imitations, and that foil and mirrors don’t really help. They create hot spots and gibe off very uneven reflections. But if two of you are advising that it may help, I’ll give it a shot.

I don’t think I need eggshells since I have liquid lime. It supplies essentially the same nutrients, if not more. My tomatoes are growing in the conditions you have described. I’m confused by your fertilizer statement however. My fertilizer is natural and organic. It’s not compost, but it’s not man-made 15-15-15 either. Using the fish fert and bonemeal now since im concentrating on flowering, with an occasional lime & kelp treatment as well.

How long do you think a worm per pot would survive in indoor plastic containers? Wouldn’t they creep out of the pots and onto my countertop?

In closing, my tomatoes are turning yellow and more have arrived :)

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applestar
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Hey Sage Hermit, I was going to just let it pass and smile and nod and hope everyone would buy it, but then I got to thinking that someone else might point out your misconception about the one and, thereby, raise doubts as to your assumption of the other (though I thank you for the compliment) so....

I'm a Mom. :wink:

@resolutejc, the worms are usually content to stay in my containers unless I over/under water. I've found one or two near-drowned worms in the saucers after flooding. I occasionally see them migrating from one pot to adjacent pot, especially if I'm poking around in the pot, but they usually move around at night (they don't like the light).

I will admit that once or twice, have found dried up worms who took a wrong turn and ended up on the floor the next day. But usually, they are more likely to stay UNDER the container where it's dark and damp if they get lost. If you use chemical fertilizers, it might hurt them, make them uncomfortable, or kill them.

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Sage Hermit
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She is a genius! Is that the only misconception?


I go by the 2 + worm rule. I found one mammoth of a worm surface in my sage pot. I put carros srapings banansa peels frenchfries and all kinds of greens in the soil. They eat it up in only a few daysthen I stir and add more.

There are centipedes in there but the worm I saw in there was maybe 150 x bigger. it shocked me that the y got so big. When I saw it I just covered it with some mulch and put some greens near it misted taking away any reason to esccape o feel uncomfortable.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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applestar
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:>

resolutejc
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Found this tip in regard to using mirrors/foil vs. mylar/white paint:

1) Many people use mirrors or tin foil to line their grow area. This is NOT good. MIRRORS ABSORB LIGHT. This means that only a small amount of your light is reflected back towards your plant. What you need is something white. White is the best color for reflecting light, period. Not shiny glossy white, just plain ‘flat’ white. A white wall will reflect more useable light than a mirror will. What is even better is "Mylar". And don't be fooled by the imitations; only Mylar will reflect the greatest majority of useable light back to your plants.

Found this tip in regard to using 16 hrs light/day vs. 12 hrs light/day:

2a) Short-day plants flower when the night is longer than a critical length. In general, short-day (i.e. long-night) plants flower as days grow shorter (and nights grow longer) after 21 June in the Northern Hemisphere, which is during summer or fall. This period usually accounts for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours of light per day. Some short-day plants are: Poinsettias, Strawberries, Coffee, Marijuana, Cotton, Rice.

2b) A long-day plant requires fewer than a certain number of hours of darkness in each 24-hour period to induce flowering. These plants typically flower in the northern hemisphere during late spring or early summer as days are getting longer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year is on or about 21 June (solstice). This period usually accounts for anywhere between 14 to 18 hours of light per day. Some long-day plants are: Peas, Lettuce, Turnip, Carnation, Oat.

2c) Day-neutral plants, such as Cucumbers, Roses and Tomatoes, do not initiate flowering based on photoperiodism at all; they flower regardless of the night length. They may initiate flowering after attaining a certain overall developmental stage or age, or in response to alternative environmental stimuli, such as vernalization (a period of low temperature), rather than in response to photoperiod.

Which leaves me with the question: Are Capsicum's short-day, long-day or day-neutral plants?


I'm still waiting on some answers to my initial questions from you veterans :D

cynthia_h
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resolutejc wrote:Found this tip in regard to using mirrors/foil vs. mylar/white paint:

1) Many people use mirrors or tin foil to line their grow area. This is NOT good. MIRRORS ABSORB LIGHT.
Can you give more information on this phenomenon, or maybe a source where more info is available? Thank you! :)

Cynthia
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resolutejc
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Mirrors have limitations. The most important is that they waste energy, absorbing a small fraction of the light that falls on them. That is because when light, which, like radio waves, is a form of electromagnetic radiation, strikes a mirror the electrons in the metal move just as they do when a radio signal strikes an antenna. Pushing electrons around takes energy, which dims the reflected image.

The reflective surface of a mirror is on the back of the glass. So light must pass through the glass, get reflected, then pass through the glass again on the way out. All of this absorbs too much light to attain optimal reflection of light for plants. For a comparison, light will simply bounce off of flat white paint; nothing really gets absorbed.

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rainbowgardener
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When you are posting info from somewhere else, we ask that you give the citation info.

The photoperiodism stuff you put in about short day/ long day plants is a wikipedia article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoperiodism

You sound like you have done your homework and know a lot about your subject.

I have lots of gardening experience, but none at trying to grow things to fruition indoors. I start hundreds of seedlings under lights each winter to have ready for spring, but just grow them until it's warm enough to move them out. As you have already found out that's a very different thing than trying to grow mature plants inside and get good fruiting.

Here's your original questions again:

I’ve read about people snipping their 6 inch plants to 3 inches and their 12 inch plants to 6 inches. Is this necessary? My tomato plant is very leggy, and weak unless supported by bamboo. The plant itself is massive and it has several fruits. On occasion, I’ll get withered, dead leaves which I snip of from the shoot. My habanero plants are bushy and stout with a lot of flowers that die off instead of providing fruit. Every now and then, some of the bottom leaves fall off as well. My jalapeno plant is short, but healthy. The blossoms have given 2 to 3 jalapenos so far. How can I increase these numbers?

"I'm still waiting on some answers to my initial questions from you veterans"

I think you've been getting answers. Applestar's link was to a nice answer about the peppers. To elaborate on it just a bit, blossom drop (shedding flowers without setting fruit) either is lack of pollination or it is a sign of stress in the plant. A variety of things can cause that stress. As AS noted most commonly that is temperatures. Night time temps below 60 or above 75 can lead to blossom drop. But under or over watering can also cause it. Or anything else that stresses the plant enough for it to go into survival mode.

I can say from growing outdoor tomatoes that it is pretty typical for the old leaves at the bottom to die back, doesn't mean there's a problem. Tomatoes are vines, but the ones I grow outdoors do have thicker stouter stems than yours, which do appear leggy and weak. I would guess a combination of not enough light and perhaps overfertilized? Growing too tall and leafy vs. good stem and root production. And as AS also said physical disturbance helps .

You didn't answer Apple's question about container size and the pictures don't show it, but from the way all those tomato stems come together at the bottom, it looks like you have a whole bunch of tomato plants crowded together into one smallish container. At that point what you are doing is closer to hydroponics than regular growing -- you are attempting to provide all the nutrients for the plants from added supplements, rather than from the soil. I don't think tomatoes are the easiest material for hydroponics, though anything can be grown that way. But the crowding could be one piece of the problems you are having.

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applestar
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Whew!! :o Been surfin' the web. I just couldn't be convinced about the white surface being better than the mirror, or that mirrors somehow absorb light.

See, I would've said mirrors reflect light perfectly without distorting it. That's why you can see your reflection in it: Your eye's perceive light. HOW could a mirror not reflect light as well as a white painted surface or mylar or aluminum foil? Only possible light loss I could think of was through the pane/plane of glass to the edges, like fiber optics. Well, according to a discussion on another forum, mirrors are bad for plants because they don't diffuse light and create hot spots. But I don't think this would apply for us since we're talking about using fluorescent lights.

Well, I found the source for your quote:

https://phys.lsu.edu/~jdowling/mit.html
Mirrors come in two basic varieties. The most common are metallic mirrors like those found on the walls of Versailles or on medicine cabinets. Metallic mirrors work pretty well, but they have limitations. The most important is that they waste energy, absorbing a small fraction of the light that falls on them. That is because when light, which, like radio waves, is a form of electromagnetic radiation, strikes a metallic mirror the electrons in the metal move just as they do when a radio signal strikes an antenna. Pushing electrons around takes energy, which dims the reflected image. So metallic mirrors cannot be used in applications like communications and high-powered lasers, where minimizing energy loss is important.
Based on what is said in this article, I'm thinking both aluminum and mylar conducts electricity, so they would have similar energy-wasting limitation as an ordinary mirror.

If it took the scientists until 1998 to figure out that they can make a better mirror, I think I can be excused for my misconception, but I wasn't convinced that a white surface is better than a mirror for providing MORE light....

Then, I found a white vs. mirror discussion here:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=79737
Another thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=180788 said:

If a smooth white surface reflects all light, then why isn't my mirror basically a white surface?
How come a white surface act as a mirror?

A white surface reflects light in all directions ([url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffuse_reflection]diffuse reflection[/url]), whereas a mirror reflects light in the same direction at every point ([url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specular_reflection]specular reflection[/url]). The white surface is not really that smooth.
I still have to say, though, for ease of use, you can't beat aluminum foil and re-purposed aluminum containers, and this matter of energy loss may be an insignificant/moot point.... And I did see someone say that amount of light a white surface can reflect can vary from 60% to 90% depending on the material and pigment used. I'm off to read about diffuse and specular reflection. :wink:
Last edited by applestar on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Kisal
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If your question is "Are Capsicum's short-day, long-day or day-neutral plants," I would say they're long-day. In non-tropical areas, they're usually grown as summer annuals. JMO. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

resolutejc
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Thank you, rainbowgardener. Cynthia_h asked me to, "give more information on this phenomenon, or maybe a source where more info is available." I did give more information, but for future reference, I will cite for clarification.

The problem is not the light or the temperatures, but it may be watering and fertilizer schedules. I try to be as consistent as possible, watering every 2 to 3 days and fertilizing every 2 weeks. My problem is that I don't know whether 1/2 cup of water is enough for one plant or 2 cups for another, likewise with fertilizer. How much is enough? I'm not diluting gallons of this at a time as the instructions on the bottle say. I found that it can become quite stinky and stale so I mix this in small batches. I tend to eyeball it, which I know is wrong but I'm not using more than a capful or two at a time. I need a proper kit to test N-P-K and pH levels.

In regard to the tomato inquiry, you are seeing one tomato plant from one seed. The stem is V-shaped near the soil line and splits in two. The other sticks you see are bamboo, not tomato vines. My jalapeno and two habanero plants are so close together because the jalapeno plant is in a smaller pot, thus making it shorter in height. I had to prop it between the two habanero plants so that it would receive adequate light. This also doesn't hurt in terms of supplying humidity.

My unanswered questions involved pruning to increase fruit production, fertilizer and water application. I haven't come across a source yet that explains the fertilizer/h20 amounts needed per container plant. I know the fertilizer application depends on the N-P-K and that is why I listed them above. I was hoping a veteran could take one glance and it and know exactly how I should be applying it for the given plants through each stage. Maybe my requests were too tall.

I did in fact list my container sizes in response to applestar in my Feb 5th post. Here is the section:

My Pot Sizes:

Jalapeno: 7-in wide by 5-in deep
Habanero: 8-in wide by 8-in deep
Tomato: 11-in wide by 9-in deep

Thank you, Kisal for the long-day answer.

resolutejc
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Nevertheless, I still don't see any justification for use of mirrors or foil over mylar or flat white paint. Hot spots and wasted light are two things that I want to avoid.

Useable reflection of light (in percentages):

Foylon 94-95
Reflective Mylar 90-95
Flat white paint 85-93
Semi-gloss white 75-80
Flat yellow 70-80
Aluminum foil 70-75
Black < 10

I'd imagine mirrors reflect light somewhere around flat white paint. The only difference is that flat white paint doesn't create hot spots or waste energy.

Another question: Assuming they are all the same height, is 10,000 lumens enough for 4 closely positioned plants in 10-12 inch diameter pots?

I just want to thank everyone that has contributed thus far. I really appreciate it. Let's keep it going!

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applestar
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So what WAS your source :?: Is it the same as the list of % reflection?

The simplest ways to tell if your indoor plants are getting enough light is to observe whether the new and overall growth are stretching/leaning towards the light, and by the normal vs. elongated internodes between leaves and/or side shoots as compared to healthy, stocky/sturdy plants.

resolutejc
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applestar wrote:So what WAS your source :?: Is it the same as the list of % reflection?

The simplest ways to tell if your indoor plants are getting enough light is to observe whether the new and overall growth are stretching/leaning towards the light, and by the normal vs. elongated internodes between leaves and/or side shoots as compared to healthy, stocky/sturdy plants.
Not sure since I was doing lots of random surfing like you were on the subject. The source for the list of reflection was different. My plants are getting plenty of light; it's the fertilizer application rates and pruning practices for specific plants that are confusing me at the moment. These are two subjects I need to delve into.

OldThymer
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OK I have been growing indoors for about 20 years or so. I have a few points.

A white surface is far superior to a reflective surface. I don't have scientific evidence but I do have experience and experience of my peers.

Peppers do great indoors. If flowers are dropping you have not watered enough, the heat is too high (with not enough humidity) or the nitrogen levels are too high. Nitrogen that is too high will not allow peppers to fruit.

As far as tomatoes. I use a 5 gallon bucket when I grow them indoors. One thing I will say is that i usually have to water every day or every other day. I also feed with each watering. Tomatoes need a lot of nutrients, more than any other fruit/vegetable I've grown indoors.

For each I simply have fans in my grow rooms and those fans provide enough air movement to pollinate the plants. I use two 600W HPS (digital) lights in my flower room and two 6X2' T5 lights in my veg room. Also I put my lettuce in my flower. Oh, I also have some LED lights for supplemental lighting. I find that the HPS lights (with a flat white paint on the walls) provides more than enough light and it penetrates the canopy enough.

With that said, a flat white paint will be better than a glossy paint.

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applestar
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FANTASTIC! So, as stated above, the likely reason would be the light scattering effect of the flat white painted surface vs. directed reflection of the reflective surface that, overall, supplies even light exposure?
:idea:) No hot spots <=> no shaded spots? :cool:
... :?: No natural sunlight at all in your grow rooms?

Wait! What if you INTENTIONALLY wanted to direct/reflect the light?

I guess everyone's agreed on 5-gal bucket as a sort of an ideal tomato-growing container. :wink: What do you use for drip trays?

I've been surprised by how well my pepper experiments are holding up, and I guess what you said bears this out. I'm going to push a little further and start "some" hot peppers this year that hopefully, I'll be able to keep year-to-year: Czechoslovakian Black, Royal Black, Fish, Aji Dulce, Tepin, two kinds of Jalapenos and two kinds of NuMex Anaheims.
(Any input you have on them would be greatly appreciated. :D)

Pollination -- so both tomatoes and peppers? Just the fan, huh? I guess the tendency *is* to try to overthink it and fuss too much. :lol:

Do you have any insect problems? ... or after 20 years, no insect dares to step their tiny toes inside? :P

... :shock: :oops: Wow, is there even a single paragraph in this entire post in which I didn't ask you a question? :>

OldThymer
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I have zero natural light in the rooms. I'll have to post pictures some day. For drip trays I use the trays you put under your washer machine. Two fit side-by-side in each room with about a foot to spare on all sides.

I grow sweetheart, flavorburst, jalopeno (2-3 kinds), anaheim, cayanne, and habanero. Yes, just a fan sitting on a shelf. I have it directed towards a corner so the wind goes around to room. To verify this I stood in the room with the door closed and ensured that wind was getting to every part of the room. Once in a while I will tap a flower but I don't think it is necessary.

I had one issue with spider mites but that was because I put plants from Wal-mart into my room. I have since learned. I also had an issue with fungus gnats but that is because the soil I bought from Home Depot was tainted with them.

If you want to direct light I would point a light. I do not like using reflective surfaces to direct light because it could cause hot spots. Now I do have two walls that have a reflective surface. I am using Reflectix Insulation. https://www.homedepot.com/Reflectix/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ19nZ1xr5/R-100020855/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1

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applestar
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:D Thanks for answering my inquisitive post! A photo or two or three.. would be great! I'll be looking forward to that. :wink:

The standard size for the washing machine pan seems to be 28"x30" so I guess you can put 4 5gal buckets, which measure 12"D at the top, on each. 8)
Your "rooms" sounds about the size of a walk-in closet or a powder room. Hmm. 8) Nah, DH will never go for that. :lol:

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