Feeding Calcium to Cinense - SmokeMaster

chilliwin(EU DK 7)July 2, 2013

I have been looking for useful information to feed C.Chinense and I found a tip from SmokeMaster I would like to share it. The progress of our plants' growth need different NPK ratio I think. A different NPK ratio may give different result to our plants.

Tips from SmokeMaster:
"I use a mix of Dolomite Lime and vinegar.
It makes Calcium Acetate which the plant doesn't have to wait for it to break down to use.
It's the stuff in Blossom set spray for tomatoes etc.
Not just Scorpions need extra Calcium.All chinense like extra calucium.
I use dolomite lime because it also has magnesium in it so my plants get both at the same time.

I just put an inch of lime powder in a cottage cheese container and fill it with white vinegar(5%).
Don't tightly cap it or the top will pop off from the gas it puts out when it reacts.
I add more vinegar as I use it up.
Unflavored tums worked but doesn't have the magnesium in it."

I have garden lime with magnesium but it is not powder and would like to try this tips.

If you are interested share your experiences ;-)

Enjoy it or trash it.


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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Interesting. I wonder if lawn lime is sufficiently close to dolomitic lime to accomplish the same thing?

smokie, how much to give the guys? Does it need to be buffered?

This post was edited by DMForcier on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 19:33

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 4:46PM
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He says about 2 oz per gallon. Also, don't use it right away. let it stop bubbling. I wait until the next day.

I wonder why he said no Mg in Tums. I thought that Mg was the main ingredient in most antacid.

Caelian: Mine isn't powder either, but the granules work. One reason why I wait until the next day. I also use a piece of wood to crush up the granules some as it's fizzing.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:21PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

The garden lime I have to use is called Perlekalk

Lawn, flower beds and vegetable garden
Contains 5% magnesium
Effective dust-free granulated lime
Prevents moss in the lawn
Easy to disperse
Fast-dissolving / acting
Raises soil pH

SmokeMaster thank you for your contribution to the forum :-)


Here is a link that might be useful: Agriculture Lime vs. Dolomite lime

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:26PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Kevin, I will make it powder before I use it. You also mentioned about "wood ashes" in other thread but I do not have pure wood ashes but I have barbecue grill ashes. I keep it to use as insecticide. In fact I do not have obvious sign of Calcium deficiency. Just I am gathering information to use when it needed.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:39PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Kevin, I do not need to make powder, just right now I made a very small amount the lime dissolved very well. It is wonderful :-)


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:50PM
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"All chinense like extra calucium."
What does "extra" mean?
I think calcium & magnesium supplements are way over rated unless your growing medium is sorely lacking in these.

Tums does nothing... read about it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:51PM
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By more Calcium,I mean't C.Chinense seem to use more than other pepper varieties.

The reason I use Calcium Acetate was years ago I had tons of wrinkled leaves and bud drop on my C.Chinense where the Annuums and Baccatums were fine in the same soil mix.
I use something similar to the 5-1-1 soil mix.
Basically Hydroponics type nutes are needed...small doses in pots often...

Small doses of Fish Emultion and Seaweed Extract are what every time i water ,I use with Witches Brew too(vinegar and Dolomite lime).

Chinense seem to like extra calcium/mag. in my experiences.
I've had bad stuff happen when using just Epsom salts.
I assume it was a salt build up or since Mag. and Ca. are used by the plants by the same receptors they were fighting each other for position in the plant.

With witches brew I don't have to worry about PH etc.

Acetate is supposed to be able to be obsorbed by the plant as a soil drench or spray on the buds and leaves.

It works for the way I grow my plants over the years.
Your mileage may vary....

I also think most of the teas used as plant sprays aren't doing anything as a foliage spray.
The nitrogen run off into the soil is what is making their soil give the plant what it needs.
Leaves are designed to turn light into energy,not do what roots are designed to do.
Great soil = Great plants.
I know too many people who,the first year in the ground LOVED teas.
The second year their compost or worm farms supplied every amendment the soil needed and the teas did basically nothing for their plants.
Some got a nitrogen overdose.

There is NO substitute for GREAT soil,no matter what the pot forums say or what the going THING that year is.

Take my opinion/Posts for exactly what you paid for them. $.00.
If it works for you,great.

If not,I only know what works for me,my grow.

Everyone tells me my 1 watt LEDS won't work.

Nobody sent my plants the Memo...I use 5mm LEDS for verticle light that branches plants really out early.

My grow doesn't work for everyone in any given setup.
Just works MAYBE for my grow.

YA ,sometimes you have to adapt to what plants like and your specific grow.
Do what works for YOUR grow.

NOBODY is an expert for what conditions your grow shelf needs or your garden needs.

Try stuff,if it doesn't work try something else.

Mother Nature will always win.
Gotta kiss her backside once in a while...Let her do her thing when she wants to.
If she isn't ready it doesn't matter what magic potent you use,you'll still be screwed.

As a side note,I know people who use well water and it has Sulfur,Ca. and others minerals in HIGH doses.
As I said,use what works in your grow.
Witches brew would be a waste or worse when using some well waters.
My parents have a well in Tahachapi that has so many minerals in the water they have to filter it before it hits the house of everything gets so messed up from deposites it screws everything up.
I'd never use Ca. Mag on their garden plants...
They use Donkey manure composted with pine chips and scrub oak.
Soil is highly acid and decomposed granite mostly.
Their Bandini Mountain aditives seems to be great for their garden.
There is also a lot of straw/hay and Alfalfa in the darn stall stuff they add to the pile on Bandini Mountain.
(Bandini Mountain might be showing my age.Commercials for Bandini products used to have a Mountain of compost with a guy skiing down the mountain of compost.)

This post was edited by smokemaster_2007 on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 5:14

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 12:05AM
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have been running many test with some new tricks i have learned and also been reading up on alot of new stuff ....need to get another coffee grinder that will be used to turn powder random things that will be used in a couple few chosen pots . like egg shells and many other natural things that hold valuable micro organisms and nutrients also Dry Pet food is another ..

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 12:53AM
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Caelian: I believe I mentioned wood ashes in regards to your 3.5 ph reading. Wood ashes are just a well-known amendment to raise ph, but you have to be careful -- a little goes a long way.

Lime will also raise it. Not sure what smokemaster's calcium acetate does to ph. Your plants looked awesome with the 5.0 readings... how was/is pod production at that reading? Maybe you can keep some statistics to see if we all should be lowering our ph levels for peppers. I'm going to keep numbers for different soil media I am using this year -- so maybe we can compare this winter. By the way, I'm not sure about charcoal ashes. I think it may have to depend on what that charcoal was made out of to begin with. If you're just looking to raise ph and you have dolomite or even oyster shell flour, it's probably easiest to go that way. Of course, since you are strictly a container grower, oyster shells probably won't help since they take a while to break down to usable form.

Smokemaster: the calcium acetate -- is that in addition to the normal 1TB of dolomite that the standard 5-1-1 recipe(s) call for or do you not add lime to your mix at the beginning?


    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:06AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Caelian, I am wondering if you 'water' your plants with this mixture. I would be very hesitant to put anything containing vinegar to the roots of my plants. How are they doing?

Some years ago, some of my pepper plants (scotch bonnet) had quite crinkly leaves. I posted the problem on one of the forums and I was told that was a result of a lack of calcium. I got a Cal/Mag concentrated blend from a hydroponic shop and I have been using that since, and the problem cleared up. The crinkly leaves did not seem to have any negative effect on the plant or production, but the plants looked weird. I would be hesitant to add any chemicals to my plants unless they seemed stressed. Your plants are probably fine as they are.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 3:44AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Kevin, you are right about the wood ashes. Some of the pods in pH 5.0 soil are big. The future of my plants are depend on the weather here :-) Since last few days the weather is not so good, rain, cloudy, windy and cold.

I am also interested to see the result of your different soil media. I'd post the result of soil pH related information about my plants here.

Still I am looking for more information of feeding Chinense. I have seen many pictures of chinense with wrinkle and deformed leaves some of us accepted as normal but I think it is related to the soil we use and the nutrients we are feeding to our plants.

I used NPK 5-1-2 before I used it a bit longer so as a result some of my plants have less flowers and pods but a lot of leaves. I am not an expert so my observation might be wrong. I got some advice to use less nitrogen when the plants getting flowers and pods. Now I use NPK 3.1.4.

Thank you all for your opinions and still very interested on feeding chinense.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:12AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Northerner, this morning I applied a small amount of this mixture with water to my three containers.

I love new experiment to do something better :-) if it works I'd use it otherwise I don't have to. As a beginner I am very much willing to try so many new things. When I have read something and then I'd like to do practically. Sometimes I got good result sometimes not.

I have heard about the hydroponics fertilizer for container plants but I never tried. We have some hydroponics online shop I would try to get some information about their products.

Thank you for your opinion.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:35AM
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I don't think the amount of witches brew I use effects soil PH.
I'm only adding an Oz. or 2 to 2 gal. of water to 100 or so #15 pots.
Ca. and Mag. are only trace elements used by plants in general.
I think most/a lot of people treat it the same as Nitrogen etc.\Plants will take what they need in general.

Ca. and Mag. are only needed in small amounts compared to most nutes.
My soil mix is basically acid anyway.
Probably even more acid as the bark sucks up nitrogen as it breaks down.
I HAVE noticed that the second year the bark mixes seen to be a LOT better.
Plants are a lot happier.
I think the bark sucks up what it wants to a certain extent then becomes a sort of time release nute type thing.
I don't re pot every year with bark based mixes.
Just top them off as the soil breaks down every few years.
Bark mixes last me at least 5 yrs.

Even in my Hydro stuff indoors I don't mess with PH or measuring the nute balance.
I mix nutes according to the label and change the water every few weeks.
I think a lot of people aren't happy unless they mess with stuff constantly.

I use Dyna grow in my hydro setups with witches brew every so often.
Dyna grow is cheaper than most HYDRO specific ferts.
Works fine for me with peppers.Including a C. Galopagoense.

Link is to a hydro setup that I bought 35+ years ago.
It's 20in. X 11in. X 9in.
Plant was 5+ft tall X 9+ft wide.
It filled a Scion van from front seat to back when I gave it to a friend of mine.

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by smokemaster_2007 on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 8:30

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:46AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Smokemaster, thank you for your time and well explained posts.

I do not have much problems now only would like to learn about feeding chinense and dealing with pests/insects.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:56AM
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One of the fastest ways of providing available Calcium is to use gypsum. The ordinary stuff used in plastering drywalling. It has the correct charge and is not locked up in the soil.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:23AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

I'd worry about decreasing the average particle size by using a non-soluble powder. Too much makes the soil act like a sponge and peppers hate wet feet.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 2:58PM
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DMForcier, thats a non-issue and would only become one at rates that would be detrimental to your plants.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 2:17AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

I have heard about Gypsum but never tried to find out detail because it is probably unavailable here. Today I read a little bit about it, really I am interested. I am so careless and learn so slow :-(

Thanks, SeanFr, I will try to find out something similar to Gypsum.


Here is a link that might be useful: USA Gypsum

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 4:11AM
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Gypsum is good stuff, but it takes a while to break down. Many use it here in their gardens. But, I wouldn't just break up a sheet of drywall -- there's other additives in drywall that probably aren't too great for the soil.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Kevin, I'll agree with that. Use the pure gypsum for plastering, not a sheet of drywall.

Caelian, that is a really great link, and sums up the benefits gypsum very nicely.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:07PM
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