1ST Post! 1st hot pepper attempt!

WHTZOMB(9-Peoria)April 16, 2012

Hey GW!

I have been reading this forum for a few years. I have read as far back as possible and I love this site. I read about the proper A1 soil mix and I have read all the answers for my questions for many years. I have grown container plants before, this will be my first pepper plant adventure and I am looking forward to it.

I live in Peoria AZ and I am a chili head. I have been getting my fresh Buht from this guy in HI and he recently stopped selling his product. After I got over being sad, I searched all over for a replacement source. Now that y spice rack is getting low I am in need of peppers! Hesitant to buy over the web again I have decided to grow my own....hopefully! Please help where you can as I am ready to heat things up again.

A list of what I have and my plan of action:

7 Pot

7 Pot Douglah

Buht Jolokia

Devils Tongue

Chocolate Hab

Red Savina Hab

Trinidad Scorpion

Trinidad Perfume

A regular Habanero from Home depot

I am not quite ready for the A1 gritty mix as I am not too sure how it will hold up in this AZ heat. So, I have gone with the 1 bag of FF Ocean Forest, 1 bag FF Happy frog and 2 additional small bags of perlite. As far as Ferts, I have used the FF line and have a lot remaining.

I am using 1 gallon container inside 3 gallon containers with red cedar being used outside the 1 gallon and inside the 3 gallon as a type of double potted with mulch system. I may get an urge to just get more soil and go the 3 gallon route because I have read many comparisons stating "The Bigger the pot, The Bigger the crop!"

I have a 7ft x 3ft shade structure with Alumi-net for shade.

A few of my others!





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Yes WHTZOMB, we've been watching you lurk and read for the past few years.

Just kidding, Welcome.

Looks like you're well on your way. Just curious, why only one gallon pots and why are you placing them in three gallons surrounded by cedar? Curious, is it for heat insulation in your climate?

One gallon pots will suffice and produce OK with the right feeding regiment but personally, I grow mine in at least 5 gallon post for larger plants/production.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:09PM
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I planted in the 1 gallon 1st and I got the 3 gallon after they were transplanted. I picked up some pine chips and am contemplating getting some more perlite and soil to go the 3 gallon route and just fence in it and lay the cedar mulch around the pots. The cedar is to cool the pots and act as a pest deterrent.

I read a few studies form PA County extensions office, I believe it was PA, there studies shown that it keeps the bugs at bay and using cedar as a 5-6 inch layer atop the soil will help retain moisture while not affecting plant growth. We will see.

It will hit 100 this weekend, I figure anything will help. If I do not get any peppers I am ok with that and will just over winter them and get a head start on next year. I am a patient man!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:33PM
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I think one gallon is too small. Use 3 gallon minimum, and if you need to double pot, do it with a larger pot if it helps in your climate. Also, consider using Tapla's 5:1:1 rather then gritty mix for peppers. Gritty is intended for multi-year use, whereas 5:1:1 is best for shorter term use.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:42AM
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So cooling is part of the reasoning for pot within pot of mulch. Interesting, let us know how well it works.

I agree with Capoman that three gallon is the smallest you should go. I know someone who has success using one and two gallon pots but as I mentioned, you need the right feeding regiment to get results. More work and trouble than it's worth in my opinion.

Since you've invested the time and effort to get the plants to where they are, why not re-pot to 3 gallon and as suggested, double pot in a larger pot. You'll improve your chances of a better crop.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Aside from the size issue with pots smaller than 3 gallons, I would think they would be prone to tipping over at even light winds. I can't imagine 3' tall and 3' wide plants being very stable in a 1 gallon or 2 gallon pot.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Capoman: I keep thinking about getting more soil and I drive by the store every day. I don't think I will sleep right till I do pot up to the 3 gallon. Going to stop there later! And as far as the 511 mix. I am scouring my local shops to see what I can scrounge up..not going good. Thanks for chiming in.

Bill: The summers get brutal here and I also picked up some lava sand to top mulch and then cover with pine chips. Just getting ready for the summer and trying to slow down evaporation. Everything helps and since I am planning on moving sometime around August, containers are my only option.

Bruce: I guess I have to get out of the bonsai mindset. I am in the habit of root and top pruning my other plants because they are in containers as well. The bonchi fascinates me. With the 1 gallon and soon the 3 gallon containers, my plan was to use the thick green gardening steaks punctured through the bottom drain holes of the pots in an attempt to steak down the plants and use the bamboo with green gardeners tape to create a mock tomato cage style holding pattern to some what control the growth.

I do not mind doing the additional work. My Espaliered trees require a lot of work so it is a nice break to get to play around with the pepper plants! :-)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:17PM
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If you can't find pine bark, fir bark will also do the trick. Reptibark (found in pet stores) is probably available to you, but is quite expensive. Fir bark is often available in areas that pine bark isn't.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Yep, The Reptibark is a great product. However, as Capoman says, it is quite expensive. TO the point that the average guy would go broke fill a half dozen 5 gallon containers with a mix of that stuff. IMO, it really isn't an alternative unless you are just growing a couple of plants and don't want to mess around looking for something more reasonably priced.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:02PM
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I should mention, composted pine bark fines are not usually sold as such. Many times it is sold as either as pine bark mulch, or soil conditioner. Don't make the mistake of getting those large uncomposted pine bark chips. It should be almost black, fine, and not too much wood in it, and no dyes.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Yesterday I grabbed a bag of Happy Frog and a bag of Ocean Forest and mixed them up, filled up the 3 gallon containers and watered them. This AM I potted up! :-)


One of My Bhut plants must have missed the crumble process because the plant has been looking SAD for over a week. Which made me sad and come to find out, the roots never broke through the shape of the old container. All the others were properly broken up and the roots were shooting down about 6 inches in the 1 gallon pots and held the soil together the way I expected. The Bhut pepper was not getting water because the top of the soil and its original shape of the old container were completely dry. 6 inches below the soil was nice and moist.

The Buht is the sad looking one on the bottom right.

Here is my soil:

This is the group shot!

On the bottom of the group shot is the Alumi-Net I used to cover the plants last week when the Temp got in the 40's at night. Keeping the sun off the black pots.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:51PM
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they look good come next week in those small containers be ready to waters at least twice a day and if you can bury the pots to keep the heat from cooking the roots good news is all u have to do is nurse them through the summer and get ready cause here in az our best of the 2 crops we get is in the fall around thanksgiving and even if they freeze in the winter they usually come back from the roots mine are now going on their 3rd year. i have chiltepin, chili pequin, chile do arbol, carribean red, wenk's yellow, nu mex big jim, serano, anaheim, jalapeno, thai hot, and thai dragon..... except for the chiltepin all are in full sun all year round but planted in the ground not in pots no fancy mix i use cheap hd garden soil mixed in out native soil 50/50 then i side dress with coffee grounds every couple weeks for acidity and then add jobes tomato stake every couple months and miracle grow every 2 weeks.....till it gets real hot then i switch to just the coffee grounds till the end of august....

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 6:35PM
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