Help with Thai Hot Peppers

centexan254 zone 8 Temple, TxMarch 31, 2014

I have been holding off on this post due to the fact that this is my first year to start from seed with lights. A local Master Gardener gave me the start cells with dirt, and seeds sewn. All I had to do was pour in half a cup of luke warm water, and put them in a baggie in my closet. I put them under lights after they sprouted. Well that was 10 weeks ago.

I babied them. Each had its own lamp. (Cheapo flex lamp with 65 watt GE Grow Light. I kept the lamps less than 5 inches, but over 3 inches from the plants. After the second set of true leaves I started fertilizing with Bonnie Plants 8-4-4 at half strength. The mix in the cell held water enough that I only had to water them once a week. I used the fertilizer to water them.

Each had a half hour of a small fan on low a day from weeks 3 till 5. A full hour a day from 5 till 8 on medium. Week 9 they went outside in the shade during the day. They got tons of wind. I forgot to put them out one day, and am very grateful that I did as there was a bad hail storm that day. (It beat the crap out of my garden.) Week 10 I increased sun till they could go all day without the leaves drooping at all. Also they have been outside at night for the past week as well. Lows have been over 48 mostly in the the mid 50's.

Well now it is time to plant them outside. I have two that are bushy as all get out at a whopping 4 and half inches or so tall. One is going into a container. (12 inch tall x 14 inch wide. Using MG potting mix because I have a bag that was given to me for free) The other is going into the ground in my raised bed.

My question is how big do they average for height to width, and is the container I am using going to be big enough?

For reference I am in Central Texas in zone 8. It is warm here now. My hunch is it is going to be a long hot summer. I am thinking that it will be above 100 for highs by mid June at the latest.

Here is a pic of the seedling I am transplanting.

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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

This is a pic of the hail storm I had them protected from.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:18PM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

This is a pic of my post beat down garden. The storm was not nice. I am hoping that everything recovers in a couple of weeks. I have some back up plants going now for just in case.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:21PM
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I live over here in Bastrop County, just east of Webberville. We got some hail too, but not quite as much as you did. I've never grown Thai Hot's in a container, only in the ground, and mine got 4'X4', with one a little larger. When you put'em out, stake the plants and tie loosely with some twine to protect from the wind.
If you're not successful, I've got plenty of Thai starts, and many others if you need more. Email me and we can hook up.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 6:03AM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

Hello Tom. I am bit north of you in Bell County a literal rock throw from I 35. I have one staked. I use nylon from a material that is like panty hose. They have boxes of them in the shoe aisle at Wal Mart for trying on shoes. I grabbed up a hand full of them last year. My 4'x4' is already full with 5 tomatoes, and 4 peppers. Some onions in there as well.

The large 6'x12' is starting to fill as well. with the way things are looking I may end up replanting a lot. I am not so sure everything is going to recover from the hail damage. The 'maters were looking good till the storm. Now they are showing signs of shock. There was some kind of dirt in the rain, and it seems to have caused some kind of leaf spots.

Last year was awful for me I replanted several times, It was the first week of June before I had any vegetable seedling that were not killed by weather events. Just as things were looking up in late September it froze the first week of October.

Here is a pic of the 4x4 bed after the storm passed.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:52PM
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My experience with Thai Hot is they tend to grow between 8 to 12 inches high and bush out up to 16 inches. The pot you have selected is perfect for 1 Thai Hot plant.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:02PM
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That 4X4 looks a little crowded to me. I'd put no more than 2 'mater plants in that bed. You need air circulation around the 'maters so you won't get early blight and other nasty fungal diseases.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 6:06AM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

Tom if they were not dwarf bush hybrids I would only have a max of two with other things like basil, and other herbs planted in with them.

The one on the bottom right is just about as big as it going to get. The center is a Husky Cherry Red. It will get near to what the bottom right will for size. The one in the middle is a Patio hybrid. Top right is Arkansas Traveler. In the past the ones I have grown get tall, and not that busy, though the trade off is some tasty 'maters that will ripen in the heat here. Top left is a Black Prince while it is classified as indeterm. In this area they tend to get about 4 to 5 feet tall, and not real bushy. Though I will prune if necessary. If the bed becomes crowded I will be doing back flips down the block.(LOL)

As for air flow the wind is a constant here. 20 mph is a light breeze most days. There tends to be calm for about an hour just before dawn most times. If the wind is not blowing in the day get to cover because it is going to rain hard and fast.

The peppers in there are compact Gypsy peppers. They get to about 3 to 4 feet tall, and are pretty compact. The ones that get evening shade here will still set peppers if night time lows are below the mid 80's proving they get the evening shade they will set even if the day time highs get to the triple digits. They were the only peppers I grew last year that I got peppers off of all summer. The 4 hail storms had them to the bare stems. Two weeks later they were covered in leaves again.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 3:59PM
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