alfredosuarez
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I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, please?

Ok so I'm growing Carolina reapers, and jalapenos indoors. The jalapenos we planted outside in the spring, and transplanted 4 days ago for winter. The reapers I sowed as seeds, and they're now sprouted and about 1in tall. I want to know as much information as possible on what to do and what works while on a budget (seriously you can't give me too much info). I'd also appreciate some constructive criticism on my setup, so I'll post that below:)

My setup:
1x 2' 7800k fluorescent lamp (about 3' above plants)

2x 250w red heat lamps (about 4' up and off to either side)

Foil lined the walls around to reflect as much light as possible

Timer outlet (set to go on at 5am and off at 9pm, total of 16 hours)

Basic potting soil (info on what and when to feed would be much appreciated)

Jalapeño plant is fully matured, was watered outside by sprinklers before, but now just water 1 1/3 cups of water every morning ( no real reason why 1 1/3 just figured that was a good starting point)

Reapers are in soil in a cup that has a hole in the bottom, and that cup is inside another cup (I pour water into the bigger cup and the put the soil cup with the hole in the bottom into that first cup and let the soil get pretty moist, then I dump out the excess water out of the first cup. I do that once every morning)

Also I was wondering will those red heat lamps provide enough red light spectrum to promote fruiting, or will I eventually need to get to get another light to get more red in there?

Which is better for growing lights fluorescent or LED?

Thanks a ton, any and all info is appreciated!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

RE: 1x 2' 7800k fluorescent lamp (about 3' above plants) Nope. Your fluorescent light needs to be no more than three INCHES above your plants, hung so it can be raised as the plants grow. Light intensity varies by the square of the distance. So if you have a light hung at 3 " (inches) and you move it twice as far to 6" it is now getting one quarter the light intensity. If you move it twelve times as far to 3 ' (feet), it is now getting 1/144 the light intensity or less than one percent.

I'm not sure the heat lamps are good for the plants, too hot and drying, but you have cancelled that out by having them so far away. So now they are just useless, not harmful. If you need heat for the plants, get a heat mat to put the trays on.

I don't know about LED's. Some people swear by them. I used them for the first time this spring for seed starting and got very bad results. Other people have written in here and said the same thing. But it may depend on what kind. There's a whole ton of different kinds of LED's out there at a huge range of prices, from very cheap to extremely expensive. I tried to research it and it was all very confusing. Maybe if you have someone to help you that really understands the different LED's and how to get the right one.
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applestar
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

I overwinter jalapeño plant(s) every year. Mature jalapeños are very forgiving. How big is your plant and what size container did you plant it in? What kind of potting mix? They need well-drained soil.

I put the jalapeño on my SE-facing kitchen window bench with one supplemental 10-inch clamp-on utility lamp fitted with a socket extender and a Y socket to hold TWO 6500K and 5000K 26W-23W CFL's. Winter sun rises SE so it gets direct sun from sunrise until it moves around past the window. The lamp is turned on in the morning and turned off at bed time. This is sufficient for the fruits that started in the garden outside to mature and for the plant to continue to bloom and set fruits (I do use electric toothbrush to encourage fruit set).

The plant takes a break during the coldest/darkest (shortest days) weeks -- usually sometime in December until late January -- when even the house temp drops pretty low due to the energy-saving night-time heat setting. But this will probsbly depend on where you are located and how cold it gets. If you are using artificial light and extra heat, it may not -- whether it is better for them to have a winter break for ultimate longevity of the plant is another question, though.

I haven't tried Carolina Reaper -- mature plants are said to get to be 5 ft tall? -- but I believe habanero (C.chinense) -types are a bit more sensitive to cold vs. jalapeño. You may need to consider differentiating their care. I kept my mature Bhut-cross in the Family Room counter-level (higher than the windowsilll) window-side work/plant-bench with an overhead 48 inch 4-tube shop light (which is left on at all hours of the day and naght depending on how the room is being used) where we use a space heater in the coldest months. If I remember correctly, After it finished fruiting and ripening -- which took quite a while -- it dropped all its leaves for the remainder of the winter... as documented in last winter's pepper (or maybe tomato and pepper?) thread.

ETA -- found it :arrow: Subject: 2015-2016 Winter Indoor Peppers

Also, while in fruit, peppers need a fair amount of water, but when only in foliage, they do not, particularly during the cold months. So be careful not to overwater. Don't randomly water on schedule but learn to feel the soil and heft the containers to determine their water needs. They are pretty drought tolerant. And shouldn't need to be watered every day -- if they do, the containers they are in are too small ...I think I watered twice a week on average.

Aphids and whiteflies -- very common indoor houseplant pests -- can be a problem. I always end up with these due to ants managing to find their way in to flee flooded ground outside, finding my plants, then bringing their overwintering pests to pasture.
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applestar
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

This was a temporary set up, but here's one way to bring tiny seedling size plants up close enough to the lights:
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imafan26
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

LED lights do not have the full spectrum of light needed to grow plants unless there are special LED lamps designed for it. Daylight flourescents work better, as Rainbow said light needs to be close up. LIghts do generate some heat but if the room is comfortable for people it should be comfortable for plants that being said, pepper like it somewhere between 68- 80 degrees. Bhut Jolokia likes it warm not cold 75 degrees would be better than in the 60's. Where do you live? Peppers are warm season plants and do better out in the sun. In Hawaii, I can grow them year round but I cannot germinate them below 68 degrees, 80 degrees for Bhut Jolokia. In the winter months our days are 3 hours shorter ( about 11 hours) and peppers and eggplant don't produce a lot of flowers until the day starts lengthening.
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alfredosuarez
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Thank you all!

So I live in Washington and so sunlight is not reliable during the winter for me. Example: Today incredibly sunny, Tuesday- Friday this week was overcast and rainy, with temperature as high as 68, and dropping in the 40's at night. So indoors is my only option. Thank you for the light advice. I figured the heat lamps wouldn't do much, so I'll probably end up swapping them out. On sunny days like today though, they are close enough to the southern window, so they get sun from about 8-12pm.

Another question, today I took a look at the sprouts, and they were angled towards the window, like 45°. I know plants grow towards the sun (light) but is this something I should be majorly concerned about, or will they straighten up once I get them closer to the light?

Also everything I've read about reapers goes something like "they take 30-90 days to sprout" or something similar, but I pulled them out of a pepper and sowed them on the 9th of October (this month) and they are now close to an inch, Is that normal? And if you see in the picture, one of them sprouted up with the seed shell attached, will that work itself out, or do I need to tweezer it off?
Picture (1).jpg

imafan26
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

Reapers are better than ghost peppers in sprouting. Ghost peppers need for it to be very warm or germination is poor. Your seedling will grow a bit crooked if they harden when they are leaning so turn the plants while they are still soft. When the light comes from above they will not lean as much.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

Yeah, they are getting spindly and leaning toward the light, because they are not getting enough light. Once you get the light right down close to them, they will straighten up. Leave the plant with the seed coat still on alone; it will eventually work its way out.
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alfredosuarez
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

Ok so I moved them closer to the light. They are now 2"-3" away. Also the sprout with the seed coat fell off, as in the whole seed shell was laying in the soil and there is no leaves at the tip of it like that other 2. I'm going to leave it alone, but should I expect it to survive? Or is it a goner?

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applestar
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

I suspect it's a goner. Sometimes the seedcoat traps the seedleaves and they are not strong enough to escape.

Sometimes a shot of weak fertilizer gives them added boost... sometimes a tiny snip in the outer margin of the seedcoat (look with light behind it to find the empty edge) will help. Some people swear by dabbing with a bit of spit -- enzymes in saliva helps to soften/break down and/or keeping the sprouting seedling in higher humidity (I sometimes put a little condiment cup over one).

Some people say it's a way to cull the weak seedlings and better not to help, except maybe for valuable/limited seeds variety.

Some people soak the seeds in various solutions prior to sowing for better odds of success.

This is pretty common in % of pepper as well as tomato and eggplant seedlings. So don't sweat it. :wink:
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alfredosuarez
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Re: I need to know more fundamentals on growing peppers, ple

You guys are awesome, thanks a ton!

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