Gardener123
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Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

Just wondering what you think..... Last year my pepper plants were started too late, but it really didn't matter, as the deer ate all of them, basically.

I'm bored, and was thinking about building a small greenhouse in my basement. I have plenty of light for the area I want to create for the greenhouse. Temps run about 68 degrees in the basement, but with the greenhouse, I can get several more degrees.

I guess my real question is, with nothing but artificial light, do you think I can grow these peppers to maturity, while only growing in my basement? I was thinking about growing 10 - 12 plants.

I was also thinking about trying to grow spinach that way, as my daughter and I eat a lot of green smoothies, and use a ton of lettuce and kale.

What do you think?
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applestar
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

As you probably know, pepper seeds need warmth to sprout and grow -- upper 70's to 80's initially, so heating pad or other way to warm soil is essential. To keep them growing, I think mid-60's or above is essential.

Once they are mature enough to bloom, you'll need both daylight/cool 6500K as well as warm color range 2700K lights, especially in the basement without any exposure to direct sun.

...heh... I wrote that, then immediately was confused because I'm spouting what I remember reading. Actually, I've also read in another source that the correct color range for blooming/fruiting is around 4000K.

In fact, I use bulbs that are labeled 6500K, 5500K, 3500K. I don't have any specifically labeled 2700K. :roll: But my blooming/fruiting plants get the VIP locations by the sunniest windows and receive at least a small amount of direct sunlight and indirect natural light. In the garage with no windows, I use all 6500K and some of the smaller Winter Indoor tomatoes that are waiting to be uppotted are blooming there.

One of my other setups is fitted with Coral Reef aquarium light.
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imafan26
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

Great answer Apple. You are the expert at indoor growing.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

What are the lights you have in your basement, Gardener123? I have grown pepper plants indoors under 5,000k 250w MH lights, and had them grow fairly well, but from what I've read, they need 400w or even higher, for MH lighting, to get good growth, and flowering. I started them about the first week in Jan., and they got to about 1 1/2 ft. tall, in about 1 1/2 gal pots by the time I needed the light for my seedlings. So I moved them to the basement, and put them under the only other HID light I had at the time - a 150w HPS, I think 2100k - and those peppers started flowering almost overnight! Problem was, they had so many blossoms, the plant could not support them, esp. with that low wattage bulb - even though I pulled probably more than half of them, the peppers were much smaller than normal, until they went outside, and got planted, and started producing normally, eventually.

I grow greens and herbs under fluorescent lighting - two 32w 5,000k and one 55w 6500k T-5 bulb - and in the hydroponics the lettuce and some of the Asian greens are ready for harvest in less than a month.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

Yeah, the greens will be much easier and are a very common thing to grow hydroponically under lights as well as in soil. Inducing flowering and fruiting is much harder and requires much more intensity of light.
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Gardener123
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

Apple, the bad part of my house is that no windows get much sunlight. Trees block the windows that would, even though the trees are 30' from my back door.

Pepperhead, I would have to see what they are, but I have (2) 5 lamp CF units, plus a 4 lamp unit, and some other single units.

I do have this hydroponic system that someone gave me for Christmas like 10 years ago..... it sits unopened, as it intimidates me. But also because the whole system is not much bigger than one of those big plastic storage bins.
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valley
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

Greetings Chuck, What you're thinking about will work very well. I have a small 5'X 8' well insulated ,greenhouse I'll call it, in the cellar. Haven't used it for a while. I have one bench on which I started plants, peppers only, I have 2 fluorescent light fixtures with two 4' bulbs on a timer[ the only light source] and an electric heater controled by a thermostat. Peppers were started from seed, grew and produced plenty. I think spinach should do fine also.
I hung the fixture by a chain so it can be raised and lowered.
Richard.
Now that I'm reminded , I may move some of the plants I'm over wintering into the Cellar.

Just had a look at the green area, wifey has plastic bins filled with food in there, I'll see if I can relocate her.

I turned on the light and see that I have two 4' light fixtures side by side and one more out from there.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

Yeah, I have a seed starting area in my basement. Two 8' shelves one over the other, each with 8 fluorescent tubes (4 shop light fixtures) over it, hung on chains so they can be raised or lowered. It gets no natural light. With heating pads for the things that need it, everything grows fine that way. It's just that I only use it for starting seeds and growing them to transplant size to move out in the garden. I don't try getting things to fruit under my ordinary fluorescent tubes.
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xtgold
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

I use a mix of cfl lites,the cheapo soft white 2700k and the more expensive daylight 6500k on a mechanical timer.I tried a digital timer but it was useless,designed for a resistive load and not that type lighting.

xtgold
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Re: Growing hot peppers from seed... starting NOW?

I have a special outlet/extension cord with a 4"box I wired so that the 2 separate outlets are in series.I use 2 warming trays normally used for food,but since they are only running on 60v they use 1/4 the power.

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