May be you can learn from my mistakes
May be you can LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES if you are a new gardener like me.
I am a new hobby container gardener, I do not know about gardening and plants' life. I cannot provide anything educational but may be you can learn from my mistakes.
I am very impressed about this forum. Many of the forum members' willingness to help the other members are remarkable.
I did overwinter about 10 habanero none of them survived :(. Because I did not know how to do it, at least I should have BASIC knowledge and materials for overwinter.
When I found something on the internet, just I tried, I love practice, and without practice theory is nothing to me.
As a hobby container gardener I should do a little bit research before I started, that can save my time, money and will prevent unnecessary minor problems. I never knew/thought about the possible problems of insects, pests and fungus when we moved the plants indoors and its precautionary measures too.
1. Selection of containers is one of the keys to success container gardening I think. Without a good container a good container soil is almost useless it does not give anything good to my plants. What is a good container, I think you knew very well. It will be a long explanation but in short a good container should have drainage hole whether it is self-watering or not. All my containers are self-watering without drainage holes; I did not know proper use of self watering containers too. It was my FIRST BIG MISTAKE.
2. I used peat moss, I do not know exactly what it is but considered it as peat moss. I am 100% sure it is not the container soil our expert forum members talked about. I do not see any perlite, vermiculite, pine bark but it has sign of compost. I have some plants already have grown on the said soil. I started to know the important of mixed soil for the container gardening. So I have bought pine bark and perlite. Then I mixed the soil and started replacing by digging around the plants. It damaged the roots and gave a lot of stress to the plants. It was my SECOND BIG MISTAKE.
3. I have changed the soil just I said. However my plants could not get any improvement. I have checked some of the containers and found that too much soil that were compacting and suffocating the roots. It was my THIRD BIG MISTAKE.
4. I have repotted and fertilized the plants with the new mixed soil. I ignored the dose of concentrated fertilizer to mix in the water. I did fertilize very often in the soil and on the leaves too. As a result the plants got problems. It was my FOURTH BIG MISTAKE.
5. I got aphids and fungus gnats. I have applied insecticide, pesticide, fungicide and homemade remedy. It was killing my healthy plants, because I used too much without following the instructions. A few aphids and fungus gnats won't kill the plants and I do not need to apply heavy insecticides, it should be the last option I think (manually I could remove those aphids). It was my FIFTH BIG MISTAKE.
6. I did overwater due to the unreasonable self watering containers' water level indicators and incorrect use of self-watering containers. It was my SIXTH BIG MISTAKE.
7. Lighting, I use modified "energy daylight" without the white plastic protector it is powerful. I haven't used it when I started to grow these plants. I have started to use it after my plants have grown about 3-4 inches tall. I used too much instead of using gradually increase the time of lighting. It was my SEVENTH BIG MISTAKE.
Now I have about 40 superhot baby chilies, the next season is going to be very hot season for me. I will avoid the mistakes I have made before and prepare for the new problems. Please do not make mistake like me. You may say I am foolish and crazy, that's OK :))