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Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Posted by habjolokia none (zellmarkj@yahoo.com) on
Sun, Mar 18, 12 at 13:41

Reposting your question on new thread the old thred has reached its 150 limit http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pepper/msg010108437206.html?150

Posted by marclocas (My Page) on Sun, Mar 18, 12 at 12:39
I bought today some liquid fertilizer (plant food) : 10=10-10 Nitrogen - phosphoric acid - soluble potash. Sounds any good?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Thank you habjolokia!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

No problem, I will have to let someone else assist on answering your question since I am not familiar with the mix you currently are using. I use MG Orchid mixed with MG Organic potting soil which has frets for 3 months and I supplement later with Alaska fish fert 5-1-1 and Epsom Salt when needed.

Mark


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I use Miracle Grow All Purpose Plant Food on mine. Its a 24-8-16 mix with all the micro nutrients (zinc, copper, manganese, etc). I dilute it down to half what it recommends even for potted plants and use it every 3-4 waterings (so every couple of weeks).

I tried fish emulsion, but holy cow, I needed something I could use without gagging.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I use MG 24-8-16 as well but be aware of missing Mg and Ca which is usually added by dolomite and/or water. I found using rain water I had to add some epsom salts. I also used weak fertilizer with every watering. This allows more uptake of both water and nutrients. Less convenient for the grower but saves the plant the stress of high and low nutrient levels and avoids lockout issues.

Does your 10-10-10 include micronutrients? 10-10-10 would likely be more suited to the fruiting stage, as a higher nitrogen ratio is needed during vegetative growth. Although I used the 24-8-16 until harvest, a lower nitrogen ratio during fruiting probably would have worked.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I use a diluted 20-8-20 fert (with micro nutes). It's readily avvaailable, it's primarily used in forestry but works great with peppers as well. I get my supply from a local grower who buys 60 kilo bags of the stuff.

24-8-16 would work great as well.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Marclocas: On the previous page you made a comment on being scared of chemicals. I may be opening up a can of worms discussing this, but let me make a couple of points.

First of all, plants don't care whether nutrients are synthetic or byproducts of organic processes. The chemicals they uptake are basically the same.

The big issue with synthetic ferts is their mass use on farmer's fields, without replenishing the soil with organic matter. There are a couple of problems with this, first is the structure of the soil degrades, which makes it require more fertilizers to stay productive. Secondly, the mass amount of fertilizer laid down on soil with little organic matter in it makes it easy for the the chemicals to leach into both groundwater and surface water causing problems elsewhere.

As far as pots, it is much more difficult to produce well in pots organically. It's much easier to use a well draining soil less mix and synthetic ferts. The amount of fertilizer lost is minimal, and the effect on the environment is minimal.

Personally, I use mostly organic methods first in my gardens in the ground. I do occasionally add things like epsom salts when the compost doesn't supply sufficient nutrients. I live on very sandy soil, so sometimes nutrients wash away, but I try to minimize that. I also try to minimize inputs by creating massive amounts of compost in my yard by reusing as much waste, leaves and grass as possible.

In pots, I only do synthetics. The benefits are just too great, and the impact on the environment is minimal. I think it's a good balance.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Capoman, well said, well explained.

The commercial grower I skim my synthetic ferts from only uses them in pots in the greenhouses etc. When it comes to their fields, it's organic only. They understand how precious good farming soil is.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Nice, thanks guys! Good point Capoman , well explained. and It's not written on the fert. box if there is micronutrients included....

I will keep my 10-10-10 solution for maturity time, and try to find some 20-8-20 or 24-8-16 that include micronutrients....Thanks again and sorry again for the noob questions, it's nice to see that people take time to answer them!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Thanks for the answer! I'll try your mix


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

If it doesn't say it has micronutrients, it probably doesn't. You can buy separate micronutrient mixes, but unless you're an experienced gardener, best to stick with all in one fertilizer mixes.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yeah, when you look at the fertilizer, turn it around and find the ingredient list.

If it has micronutrients, you should see a laundry list of things like Boron, Copper, Iron, Zinc, etc under the big three, in concentrations around 0.05% or 0.01%, really small numbers (hence why they're referred to as micro-nutrients).

I mean, some of these are so trace, like the copper, you could get enough in your tap water by having copper pipes to feed the plant with (don't do that though, the fluorine and other chemicals in there that are good for you are not so great for your plants), but it is very important to have them none-the-less.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yeah, there is definately no micronutrients in the 10-10-10 I bought.... I'll keep this one for later....


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

FWIW, I mix topsoil and manure (either cow or chicken) at a 3:1 rate, and *all* my pepper plants (from sweet bells to extreme-heat ghosts) produce excellent yields.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

There you go, I finally made my choice : Promix Bx with dried chicken manure.... Easy enough for me! Hpe it works! Thanks for your help and advice guys....


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

You're off. Let's hope for a great growing season in Zone 5A!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yeah thank you ottawapepper! You're off ?(je suis dans le champs)? Or I'm off = good to go? Let's hope for really long sunny days!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

d�sol� ;-)) no, you are not in the fields. Bon d'aller!

Isn't the English language funny, you're off can mean; on your way or out in left field.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 27, 12 at 16:51

And "out in left field" can mean you play for the Yankees.
Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I would assume he meant "You're off" as in "And they're off!", the phrase typically said at the beginning of a horse race as the riders leave the starting gate.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Hahaha, sometimes it can get confusing to communicate in another language! Thanks again guys!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Most people 'round these parts have a hard enough time communicating in one language. ;P


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I speak English. I also speak a little bit of pepper.

Bhut's are finicky about growing once you get them germinated. Mine are barely an inch tall and I need to set them in the garden in 2 weeks. The greenhouse is warm enough, they just haven't made their minds up to start growing yet.

DarJones


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

marclocas, don't worry about it. I've had my face slapped asking women for directions in french a few times ;-))

Edymnion, I have the same problem with my girlfriend!

DarJones, I respectfully disagree that they're finicky. If you start them early enough inside and they establish good roots they grow fine, albeit slower than most C. chinense.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yeah, I found that bhuts are like most other peppers. Finicky to get growing, but once they do, nothing short of weed killer will stop them. I mean, I make bonsais out of my peppers at the end of the season, so "cut them down practically to the ground, rip them out of the dirt, chop off their roots, and stick them in gravel" isn't enough to even slow them down.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I'm trying to grow bhut jolokias from seed. This is my first attempt. I have grown jalapenos, but they started as seedlings. I have a very amateur setup. I have about 10 seeds in biodegradable starter pots. They are in miracle grow potting soil. I have them in a clear plastic container with a lid. I keep the lid on, and I have a heating pad underneath. I give them about a teaspoon of water every 2 days. It's already been in the 80s several days here, so I try to put the container out in the sun from about 12pm to 6pm when it's hot enough. I planted the seeds about 10 days ago. I still don't have any sprouts. My question is, should I be concerned, and also do you guys have any suggestions for my setup. I also have a standard desk lamp that I use to help bring the temperature up in the box, but only a few hours a day. Thanks in advance!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Well, for one I'd ditch the plastic cover. Those things have always been more trouble than they were worth for me. Too easy to bake things in them, the high humidity in there promotes fungi and mold growth, just all around not nice stuff. But especially by the time they do sprout, get rid of it. Those domes will kill your sprouts fairly quickly.

For heat, as long as you're keeping the seeds at 70+ they'll germinate. They like 80-85 degrees best though. If its getting in the 80's outside, just set the container out in the sun (again, ditch the lid, you don't need it) and they'll get plenty warm enough. Then just bring them back inside at night.

As for water, I wouldn't bother with set amounts at set intervals as seeds. Just keep the soil moist but not wet.

And no, 10 days with no sprouts is nothing for a superhot like a bhut. Those things can take over a month to sprout even in ideal conditions, sometimes upwards of 2 months if things get rough on them. Basic rule of thumb is that the hotter the pepper is, the longer it takes to germinate, and there isn't a lot out there that is hotter than a bhut.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

My rule of thumb is that most superhot peppers should begin germinating within 14 days. I had some Chocolate Habanero's that took 21 days with bottom heat and maintaining soil temp above 80 degrees. Trinidad Scorpion Moruga germinated 16 out of 20 with most of them emerging on the 12th day. Bhut Jolokia was a problem, my seed was 3 years old and even with extra care, I wound up with only 4 plants out of about 30 seed. Fortunately, I wanted exactly 4 plants!

DarJones


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

@peppernovice : In 3 weeks I would start to worry about germination but until then, anything is possible.

As Edtminion says, keep soil damp but not wet, it might kill the embryo inside the seeds.

Try to keep your soil warm : Some people put seedling tray on an old refrigerator. Or even on a numeric-tv terminal.... anything warm will work!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Wow! I didn't expect this much attention. You guys are awesome! I checked back hoping 1 person had answered. Thanks for the advice.
@Edymnion Do you typically grow your seedlings without a dome? I have the box inside the house where the average air temperature is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I have a standard heating pad(couldn't find a germinating pad locally) underneath. Do you think this will be hot enough to germinate?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yes, I never use domes anymore after losing too many plants due to the complications they create.

Especially now at this time of year I will transplant them as soon as they sprout and put them outside. A new sprout will not be sunburned, and the light and wind and natural conditions will do them the most good. Growing them sheltered and indoors just makes for weak plants, they need the day to day stress of being outdoors to be strong.

As for using a standard heating pad, I would be careful with those for a couple of reasons. One, if it isn't specifically made to be waterproof, the moisture leeching out of the starter mix could cause a short and start a fire. Even if they are waterproof, you need to put a thermometer on it to see just how hot it actually gets. Remember, body temperature is 98.6 degrees, so most medical heating pads are going to start out at 100+ degrees. Depending on the size of your starters, that could be okay, or it could be cooking your seeds like a crock pot.

Honestly, I would recommend you ditch the heating pad, ditch the domes, and try sprouting in a much more hands-off method. Because really, the more attention you give a plant, especially a seedling, the more likely you are to kill it.

Hit your local walmart, or home supply store, anywhere that sells gardening stuff. Look for one of the self watering seed starter kits. Should be nothing more than some plastic tray cells, a container to set them in, a piece of felt like cloth, and some coco coir. You just fill it with water, wet the coir so it expands, and put your seeds in. Then you set it somewhere naturally warm (like a windowsill that gets direct sunlight) and then leave it alone.

Seriously, just don't touch it. The self watering tray will make sure they get the right amount of water, and the best thing you can do is to completely ignore it. Check in on it every day or two, see if anything has sprouted, but other than that pretend it doesn't exist.

I really can't stress that enough. The more you mess with your plants, the more likely you are to kill them. They're not human babies, they don't need constant attention. They do best when left to do their own thing by themselves. Any attempt to hurry them up or "help them along" is just going to set them back.

Its kind of zen, really. You make sure they have what they need, and then you do nothing.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Ok...that almost seems too easy. I've read so much in the last 2 weeks about how hard it is to grow bhut jolokias. I guess you have to be careful who you listen to. I've always found that you can't get any better advice than from a person who has actually done it! I'll try to upgrade my set up on the next go round. I'm afraid to change too much at this point. I already have 10 days invested. Thanks again for all the advice. I'm sure I'll need a whole lot more!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Not sure I agree with Edymnion. I had a flat of peppers this year, including two year old seed of Bhuts germinate at 97% in 4-10 days. I used a heat mat with controller set at 26C (79F) and a flat with a covered dome under T5HO lights. I took the dome off once the first seedlings opened their cotyledons. Dome was only on for 4 days. No fungi or rot. All seedlings survived, and I had two seedlings per cell and clipped the second seedling once it was obvious which one was stronger. I still have all the remaining plants which have been transplanted weeks ago.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 11:13

Edymnion is right. However, I use a dome just until the peppers sprout. The reason I use it is that it maintains the dampness of the soil and there is no reason to water during that time. It takes away the chance of over watering while they are germinating. But definitely remove the lid soon after they sprout. As Edymnion says, you can "cook" your seedlings if they get any direct sunlight with that lid on. You could put them outside on a 40 degree day and if the sun is hitting that, it could rise to 100 inside there in no time. Also, the high humidity will be a haven for mold, damping off fungus and all manner of pepper problems. You don't need heat but it is nice. The key is controlling it. If you don't use plant germinating heat mats, then you are best off just finding a warm area indoors that you can keep the seed tray. Last year I did not use them and it took 11 days for my bhuts to sprout. This year, I used heating mats and nearly all my seeds sprouted in 7-8 days. I didn't grow Bhuts this year but I did grow some Trinidad Scorpion Butch T's and some of them came up in 5 days. But the heat mats are controlled and I also employ a second thermometer to make sure the heat mat controller is working correctly. 80-85 is good for germination, but if you get too much higher, you run the risk of cooking the seeds.

If you follow Edymnion's advice, you will do just fine this year. One of the biggest pitfalls for new growers seems to be overwatering the seedlings. If you can force yourself to let the little guys dry out between waterings, your peppers will love you.

Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Edymnion was basically saying to dump the dome and the heat mat. I believe both are needed for the most success. I would not do it outdoors anyway because there are too many variables. I agree the dome should not be on any longer then required.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

But he's not using a plant heat mat, he's using a heating pad designed to go on sore backs. I did some quick googling, and found that it seems the average low temperature setting on those things is 110 degrees. He's also putting a dome on them and putting them outside in direct sunlight on 80 degree days. Those are both more likely to cook the seeds than they are to sprout them.

Domes and heating mats are tools you use when you don't have optimal conditions outside. They're very useful when you're trying to sprout things in February, but the OP is in the same zone I am. Around here at least it is absolutely perfect weather outside to be sprouting anything you could possibly want.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I assumed when he said heating pad he meant heating mat. I can't tell for sure that's the case, but if it really is a heating pad for a back, I agree, that's the wrong tool. I also agree that if you are germinating outside, it's best not to use heat and domes. Is it the best method though, even in your climate? I'm not so sure. Thing is, outside has too many variables, and I believe that seeds prefer a consistent moisture level and temperature to germinate the best. My germination rates are a testament to that, as I've controlled all factors better each year then in the past, and getting better results. If a person doesn't care if they get fast, near 100% germination, then yes, outside will do. But if you want the best results, then you need to control all factors optimally. You can't do that outside.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

From his earlier post:
I have a standard heating pad (couldn't find a germinating pad locally) underneath.

But anyway, you're talking about near laboratory control conditions. Yes, you can get faster and more reliable germination if you can control every last aspect of the environment. But that requires skill, space, and an array of equipment. It is the most complex, most complicated method of doing things.

Its not for beginners.

We don't want newbies thinking you need a biotech lab and a PhD just to get a pepper to sprout. They're seeds. Mother nature knows what she's doing a heck of a lot better than we do. All the heating pads and domes and controlled conditions are only used to trick the seed into thinking its time to grow when it really isn't. Long as conditions are right for the plant to grow, it will.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 16:33

Damnit: Edymnion, now I suppose you are telling me I should cancel my order for the "ACME do-it-yourself Bio-Tech Lab". Arrrggghhh, and I might as well cancel my application for my PHD in PPS (Pepper Propagation Sciences) from the Nigerian Institute of Pepper Technology.

Oh well, I can just buy another CHIA Pet with the refund.
Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I guessed I missed that part about the standard heating pad, although I suspect even that would work with a mat controller. But having a heating mat, temp/humidity guage, controller, dome and flourescent lights are hardly expensive or lab conditions. I also don't think you need "perfect" control, but just be within a range. I think that extremely variable conditions such as outdoors can be real hard for a beginner to deal with. Mature plants are a different story as they are much hardier, but seeds are very tender. The less variable the better.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I hesitate to throw my two cents in here because I don't want you folks thinking zone 5a guys are ganging up but, I agree with Capoman. If a new grower is really interested in growing peppers from seed, suggesting a heating mat with a tray and dome isn't that much of a stretch. Heck, if funds aren't available for a proper mat, suggesting sitting a tray on a cable box will improve germination time and rate.

Like I said, just my two cents.

Bill

Note to self: stop using cents, our illustrious Prime Minister's (or Darth Harper's) government just killed the penny in the budget today.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 18:34

Wish they would down here as well. It takes 400 of them to buy a gallon of gas.
Bruce


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Takes 492 of them up here today for a gallon. Of course once the penny's gone they'll round it up to $5... just to do us simple folk a favour.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

WOW! I did not intend to set off a heated debate. You guys are truly awesome. I have never felt so welcome, or that people actually cared so much about helping, as I do here. I have awesome news though, I came home today and I have 2 sprouts. I have removed the dome and the heating pad. The first sprout is actually standing straight up, while the second is still curved with the top under the soil. At this juncture, do you guys have advice concerning amount of water, temp, and location. I have an average of 72degrees F in my house. Is that acceptable now that the seeds are sprouting? Also, do I need to water everyday? Once again, I can not thank you guys enough for all the help!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

LOL, not a heated debate, just friendly banter ;-)

At this point, lighting should be your focus. If your climate isn't conducive to sitting the tray out in a shaded area during the day right now, you'll need to add supplemental lighting. If the tray is just sitting in a sunny window your sprouts will still get leggy. A cheap CFL kept far enough away so it doesn't bake the plant will suffice if other options aren't available. They should be getting at least 12 hours a day of light.

JMHO,

Bill


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Words of wisdom ottawapepper.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 21:32

Yep, you could keep the heat on for a couple more days. It wont hurt. It should help the new sprouts with root growth and will definitely help the ones that haven't popped up yet.

Definitely get them light at this stage as Ottawa stated. If you have just a few plants, a good high wattage CFL will work great. If you have several plants, you may want to pick up a $10 shoplight and buy two 6500K 40W bulbs for it. You can fit several containers under one of those.

As far as watering goes, DO NOT water every day. Especially after they sprout. Let the soil get mostly dry before watering again.
Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Thanks Bruce. You guys are all a true asset to this community! I appreciate all the advice you offer!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Hey! If we are talking about Bhut Jolokia's, it is a "heated debate". Anybody wants to argue the point has to eat 3 of my Bhut Jolokia peppers.

My superhots are starting to grow finally. I saw several of them with 4 leaves as of today.

DarJones


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Oh heck no. I was stupid enough to taste a bhut once. No way on Earth I'm doing that again! =D


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

DarJones Does it count as long as I make them into a sauce to eat as least 3 of your Bhuts or would I have to eat them raw?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

@Bruce...or anyone else willing to answer. I went to my local Lowes(hardware store) looking for the lighting you guys described. The strongest 6500k cfl bulb I could find was 13watts. I assume this will be too small considering you suggested 40 watts. Is this correct, or do you think 13 watts would be sufficient for a few plants?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

This would be a shoplight 40 W 6500K, he mentioned CFL before that in his comment, few plants CFL would do, more than a few shop light would be a better choice.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

A 13 watt CFL has an equivalent replacement value of a 60 watt incandescent. For a few plants, it should suffice. That being said, don't try to use a 60 watt incandescent, they throw off too much heat. CFLs run cooler.

More than a few plants, as others have suggested, a shop light.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Okay thanks guys. I looked at WalMart and they list a 26w 6500k cfl. I think I'm going to try that. I think if I use 2, it would probably work for 5 to 10 plants. I shouldn't have to use it for very long. As I mentioned before, it's been unusually warm this year. I should be able to start hardening them off(assuming they grow at a decent rate) and have them outside in a month.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Went to Walmart and found a 48" shop light for $11 USD and 2 40 W 6500K F bulbs for $10 USD. $21 bucks and I have exactly what I needed. Now I just have to figure a box/shelf system.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 31, 12 at 0:43

That sounds like a good solution. You might want to find a way to reflect the light back down to the plants. Maybe make a dome over the lights out of aluminum foil. Otherwise you lose a lot of the light. It doesn't have to be anything complicated. But just two 26W bulbs are plenty just as is.

Good luck.
Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Does anybody have suggestions for a cheap cabinet/shelf? I drew up some plans for building a cabinet that would hold my shop light. I will use 1" pvc and it will be a basic box design with bars across the top to hold my light, and bars on the second level to set a shelf. That way on the first floor I could set seeds on a heat mat. The second floor would hold seedlings and the ceiling would support the light. My cost for this project would be about $26 USD. The only other expense would be for foil, mylar wrap, or whatever I wrapped around outside. You guys have any better ideas for around that price range?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 31, 12 at 11:41

peppernovice:
PVC is a great building material. I use PVC for my lights. I just have two brackets that I hang my lights from. they sit on top of a table. Very simple. Yours sound more intricate with shelves and all.
Photobucket

Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

@esox07....that's a nice looking set up.I was trying to make something similar to that, but without the table. That's why I was going to put a shelf in the middle and set the mat on the floor. That way it would be a stand alone, and take up less space. Your's looks nice though and I may lean closer to what your using. Thanks!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

@esox07...is that 3/4" pipe you're using?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 31, 12 at 13:25

Yep, 3/4" SCH 40 PVC.

Photobucket

Bruce


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yeah,I noticed that right after I asked. :)


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I will toss in that the height of the lights above the seedlings should be 4 inches or less. When you get 18 inches above the seedlings, 80% or more of the light is going off sideways.

DarJones


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I seem to have lost a seedling today. I only had 2 pop up so far. The first has seemed very strong from the beginning. The second never quite straightened up. It was never very straight or tall. I put my 2 seedlings outside today. The temperature was mid to high 70s, and a mix of clouds and sun. The first looks great, while the second seems to have withered and is laying down on the dirt. Any advice. I think it's still alive, but barely!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Flat white paint works well. My peppers are relegated to one side of a double closet. I have two shelves that are 2x4'. They are open ended, and I have fans blow fresh air through. They are painted with flat white, including the door. It's quite bright. I have two T5HOs on each shelf, and I am able to put four trays on each shelf. The whole "box" is reflective enough to cover all the plants without actually having a reflector on the bare T5HO bulbs. I actually have some peppers flowering as we speak in this set up. Even the plants on the edges seem to get lots of light. Although the lights are adjustable, the top box is meant for seed starting and has a 20x48 heat mat and controller. I have smaller mats for times I just want to heat one or two flats only. The second shelf is higher and is not heated. That is where my starts go when they get too tall for the seedling shelf.


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RE: a little nervous now!

I seem to have broken a cardinal rule. I ordered my bhut seeds off ebay. I have used ebay for years and had great success. I didn't realize it wasn't safe for peppers. I'm thinking if anyone here has some good bhut jolokia seeds, I would appreciate a chance to purchase them. I would like to get some good seeds and get them started asap. I know I'm a new guy here, but I promise to pay it forward. Thanks!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Pepper Joe's is a great source for all super hots in the US. I didn't save any seed this year but did overwinter a cutting from my favorite. I may try to isolate them this year to be reasonably sure of true plants.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

peppernovice,

You won't really know if you got lucky and ordered seeds from a knowledgeable/reputable ebay seller until you grow them out.

You don't have an email option on your profile. Send me a note. I can set you up with some Bhut and Bih (very close relative) seed in case this season doesn't work out.


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great community

Thanks guys! I love this place.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Dar - if that offer still stands, I'll say this was not "heated" at all... Would love to have some pods to munch on while mine are still growing...

Peppernovice: I can't speak for everywhere... But here in Sunny FL, from experience, I can tell you if I were to put a seedling, and a hook outside, they would be killed, or badly injured by the sun/wind/weather in general. There is a whole process called hardening off, where you take them outside for increasing intervals...

I have been able to avoid much of that hassle by putting my growing opperation in the garage, in a south facing window... They get a lot of sun, and have a shop light to extend the day a bit. There is also a fan that forces them to strengthen their stems a bit... It is on a timer with a fan. A buddy of mine on another forum is running an experiment where he varies the amount of light: 1 week 16hrs (current best practice), 1 week 14hrs, and 1 week 12hrs. He was doing a time lapse photography shoot of his growing plants, and noticed that around the 12 hr mark whether the plants quit responding to the sun and showed a bit of wilt... He is one of those that has a biotec lab in his basement, and has spared no expense tricking out his setup with the ideal stuff... So he's going to see if that additional 4 hours causes additional growth, or not... He plans to measure them for width and height, and diameter at the start and conclusion of each week of his experiment, and document all of it in time lapse... Exciting stuff :).

Bhuts IIRC have a tendency to plateau as well... They grow for a while, and pause, then grow for a while, and then pause again. Mine are in the ground, and are about 8 inches tall IIRC. They have been 8 inches tall for two weeks. I gave them some bone meal fert two days ago before the rain, so we'll see if they take off again... But the soil they are in is 2:2:1:1 peat:composted black cow:coarse vermiculite:original soil... I brought in hundreds of lbs of black cow.... Tilled it all together... Seems to work well. Last year my peppers were more or less in composted black cow. As a matter of fact, they were all in 4" of composted black cow, on top of a painters drop cloth, on top of the ground... I almost never watered, though after one particularly heavy rain I had to take a pitch fork, and punch holes through the plastic. That was before I knew anything about preparing soil, or what a pepper plant needs and wants. Especially for a climate where you can overwinter them outside.

Any way, ebay seeds are evil.

I /might/ have some extra superhot seeds... I'll have to take an inventory.

I know I will in a couple months when my plants have ripe pods :D So if these don't grow true, email me and I'll send you a good variety... I have 111 varieties growing this year, and am planning on having about ~400 plants (50 varieties in the ground, and 200 plants at the moment).

If you count inadvertent hybrids from not isolating my first years seed, I have a few more than 111 I suppose... Including an awesome Thai Sun x something cross... 1.5" pods that are quite round, with 4 discreet lobes AND a jal/cayenne mix that is making cayenne peppers with the width and thickness of a Jalapeno.

Be careful of the dreaded fungus gnat while your jiffy greenhouse is outside and uncovered... Their larva love to eat seeds, and roots. By the time you see one of them, you've already got a problem... Best answer is letting the top couple of inches of soil dry out in between each watering. Sevin Dust/spray/concentrate works too... but I prefer not to have to use poisons if at all possible.

I grow in my garage - as I've mentioned - and being in florida the humidity is intense. I tried everything I could to get rid of the Fgnats (without resorting to poison) and failed. I ended up covering the surface of the greenhouse with dry peat, and then made it look like there had been a sevin dust blizzard in the jiffy green house. Within a few days, no more gnats.

ymmv due to climate etc. Sevin is ~3$ for a shaker tube deally... One would use it outside, but not near any bodies of water, or in a strong wind (it is after all a powder). First good rain washes it away, and the plants do not absorb it. The bottle says its safe to harvest and eat fruit 3 days after application.

I'm with Edyminion about not using a heating pad, and keeping the lid off as much as possible once your seedlings pop though. The alternative (if you want to keep the lid on) is removing your seedlings every morning and putting them in a solo cup/whatever. Just be carefull of the temps. The optimal range is 80-85 as was said before. Hotter and you'll kill some of the seeds, colder and germination takes longer (and you run the risk of complications due to the longer germ times). For your first year though, plant all 10 seeds, and if you get 5 or 6 plants, consider it a success :). Next year when you decide you need a couple hundred pounds of peppers for sauce, powder, ristras, or whatever, then focus on micromanagement. There are a number of people on other forums that go outside, sow their seeds in the garden directly, and call it good (of course, they wouldn't be from zone 5a).

Appropriate levels of neglect are important... Someone said give them what they need, and then ignore them. That is great advice.

Hmm... Most of all have fun with it... If it becomes so complicated that you find your self stressing more than enjoying the process, then you are working too hard. Its a hobby/passion, and so who cares if you have 100% germination rates if you don't find enjoyment in the process.


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Thanks

@Jsschrstrcks.....Wow,thanks for all that information. This is my first year growing super hots, but not my first time having a garden. I grow jalapenos and many other vegetables. I'm very familiar with Sevens Dust. I've used it many times. I've always bought seedlings, but wanted to start from scratch with my bhut jolokias. I will need help from everyone here, so I REALLY appreciate all the advice you guys are giving me. I talked to Ottawapepper and he's going to send some seeds. I really appreciate the offer though. I'm in NC so our climates are similar to each other. You probably have higher temps and humidity. I planted 20 seedlings and only 2 germinated so far. I've haven't gave up on the other 18. I still have them on a mat.(hoping) My first seedling looks good. I think it's going to be strong. I just hope it's a true bhut.


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Hardening off

I have been trying to get my seedlings in the sun in the middle of the day. i don't leave them out over night, or after the sun starts getting low. I bring them in as soon as the temp gets under 70 or so. I was trying to put them outside as much as I could. I was told true sunlight was the best thing for them. Is this too soon? Should i keep them inside completely until they get a certain size? Thanks!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yes, I think it's too soon. Now that you have flourescent lights, keep them there until a week or two before you are ready to plant out to harden them, or put them in a window where the light is filtered by the glass. You'll notice most of us prefer to keep them indoors for the first few weeks. Jsschrstrcks is correct about humidity. Now that you have light, try to keep humidity between 40 and 60% if possible. A bit drier is no big deal, you can water more to compensate. The big problems happen when humidity gets too high. This is when you get fungus, pest (aphid, whitefly, fungus gnats) and edema issues. One thing that helps ALOT is to have a fan blowing lightly across them. You can get a small fan for less then $10 at any superstore. Both fungus and pests have a hard time establishing on plants that have a fan blowing lightly on them.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

It is ALWAYS best to have your plants in direct sunlight so long as they are properly prepared for the intense light. All newly emerged seedlings are able to tolerate direct sunlight. Direct sunlight has one effect that you need to consider. It suppresses growth of the leaves because the plant does not need more leaf surface area to provide photosynthate. What the plant does instead is grow more roots. So a plant grown in direct sun may be tiny above the soil but have a huge root system below. You can emphasize this growth pattern by letting your plants dry out until they start to wilt before watering. The plant interprets the lack of water as a stimulus to grow more roots, therefore it makes a huge root system but has a relatively small top. This is actually a very good thing because a plant that has developed a huge root system will produce a much larger crop than a plant with a large top and a small root system. You can look this up online, there were several studies published back in the 1950's and 1960's.

What about growing under lights? The plants tend to make more leaves and to have a larger above ground presence. This is usually because grow lights don't quite supply all the light the plant would normally receive. The result is that more effort is put into growing the above ground plant and relatively less on the root system. This looks good giving a nice pretty plant, but it brings on the problem of hardening off and if carried too far, can result in significantly reduced fruit production.

In other words, babying your plants too much has the opposite effect of what you intended. This is why I deliberately mistreat my plants to some extent. I let them get dry and wilt. Then I give them water. I want my plants to be like junk yard dogs, able to handle anything that hits them. I will add that I start my plants indoors under lights and keep them there about 4 weeks before moving them to the greenhouse. By the time they have the first true leaves, they are in direct sun.

DarJones


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

As you can see peppernovice, there is more then one way to skin a cat. You have to decide what works for you. All of the posters here have had success with peppers, often in different ways.

Darjones: one question though. 4 weeks for your first true leaves is a long time??? I usually have second set of leaves by the two week mark or so after planting. At 6 weeks the plants are showing flowers. I've never had an issue with plants not being tough enough or producing enough (in containers). I agree you can start hardening them earlier, but I'd rather wait until the plant is a few inches tall with a few leaves first. I don't really get any hardening off shock either, or lack of production. I do agree a healthy root system is important, but I've found the best way to do that is with a well drained, bark based soil (right from the first transplant). Having bright light and a fan blowing on them indoors is really the first true step in hardening off a plant.


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Thank you!

I appreciate all advice, regardless of whether it is conflicting or not. I'm just glad you guys are willing to take time out of your day to teach others!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

It depends on what your priorities are. I personally, prefer to get maximum germination rates and yields and have fruit at the earliest time possible, since I live in a climate that has a short season, and limited indoor space. I also want what I do to be heavily automated and consistent. Indoors is best for that.

But as we also have posters in warmer climates that would prefer to be outside on a nice day rather then stuck indoors with fluorescent lights. I get that. I probably would too, although I do think it's harder to germinate seeds outside, which I have also done with shorter season plants. Variable wind, sun, rain, temperature and humidity outside, means you will have to watch your seeds/seedlings like a hawk as they can burn dry to a crisp or get flooded very quickly. This is very hard to do, especially if you work during the day and can't move seedlings out of the rain or sun at a moment's notice. But if you have the time to watch your plant's carefully when outside, you can be successful. It just depends on your situation.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

It also helps if you have a greenhouse. I expect my seedlings to germinate in 7 to 14 days, then 1 to 2 weeks under lights indoors, then pot them up to cell trays and put them in the greenhouse. Start to finish, it is about 4 weeks for most superhot peppers since they tend to germinate in about 12 days on average.

Please note that I start seed in bulk cells with up to 100 seed in a 3 inch cell. This is part of my process of growing seedlings. I'm growing about 10,000 pepper seedlings this year so you can see that I have to adapt a bit to get that much volume.

DarJones


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

10,000 is an awful lot of plants.

I'll have about 400 with an option to grow another thousand or so for a seed co. Mostly all were started in jiffy greenhouses - outside (well... mostly... In my garage in the south facing window).

Of course, I have the time to monitor them like a hawk.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

A greenhouse definitely helps a lot if you are outside, although not everyone has that option. It filters sunlight somewhat, it eliminates the wind and rain variables, and reduces humidity variables. I also use a greenhouse now to get plants out sooner. I usually assume someone doesn't have that option when they ask questions and doesn't mention having one. I also move my heat mats outside and put flats on them, rather then trying to use a heater in the greenhouse. I've found that keeping the roots warm is the most important thing to do when the temps drop overnight.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

How bout some pics Dar!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Hey all,

This is my first year planting a bhut and I'm going to be using a 5-7 gallon container for it. I will be moving it outside in a week or so into promix bx. My question is regarding fertilizing. I currently have an organic fert called Wegener's Liquid 8-6-6 which I have been using at 25% strength every few weeks. Would this suffice once the bhut is in it's final home outside? I also have a mixture of 5 different types of compost and manures leftover from my square foot garden. Which would be more beneficial? 8-6-6 organic or mixture of compost/manure? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Steve


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I failed to mention what some of the ingredients were in the 8-6-6 fert.
8% nitrogen
-2% ammoniacal nitrogen
-1%nitrate nitrogen
-5% water insoluble nitrogen
phosphate - 6%
potash - 6%
calcium - 1.3%
sulphur - 2.7%
cobalt - 0.0010%
molybdenum - 0.0119%
sodium - 0.3%

Derived from: Fish, sugar beet extract. molybdate sulphate, cobalt sulfate.

Ill attach some pictures too.

[IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/5mjro.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/2v9aywz.jpg[/IMG]


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

is it okay to strip all the stems below the branching? I have one stripped and another plant that was stripped new stems are growing from all the nodes. Also how do you directly put a photo on here without the link. I see some who do it?

here are my Bhuts

http://i1071.photobucket.com/albums/u501/darylltx/Picture002.jpg

http://i1071.photobucket.com/albums/u501/darylltx/Picture001.jpg


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Lower leaves tend to feed the roots. Overall plant size is based on the root mass. Removing them may slow growth or at least reduce stretch, however there is the added benefit of increased air circulation into the plant, which is more helpful in high humidity situations.

If you are in a smaller container, and/or are satisfied with the current size/growth of the plant, feel free to remove the lower leaves for air circulation. If you are in a large pot, and want a maximum size plant, leave them be.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Thanks Capoman. I am actually in the ground, no pots. And I am in a high humidity area, Texas; right now 68% humidity outside and 95 degrees.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I'm growing Bhuts for the first time this year; started them in January, and have them growing with some Habs (not the best idea I know, I'm over it). They've had peppers set for about a month and a half, and I was honestly just wondering how long they generally take to ripen?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I just thought I would give you guys an update. Thanks to all the good advice I received, I was able to grow 3 bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) plants. They are all healthy and producing lots of pods. It's night time, but I think you can still see how healthy the plants are. Thanks again for all the help you guys were kind enough to give me. I would never have made it this far if I hadn't found this forum!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

that plant is a beauty I hope one day I can grow one too


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Hello folks,

Sorry to wake this old best of a thread up again. Anyway:

I have a bhut jolokia planted in a pot in my yard in Seattle, in a spot that gets at fair amount of direct sunlight (I think 12 hours or more, not 100% sure). Right now it seems to be pretty happy, it's growing quickly and there are blossoms. Around here the weather warms up around the middle of June but can go down to highs in the low seventies for several days at a time.

Anyway, if am just getting buds now, and the weather is generally decent (but not very hot) through September, does the plant have enough time to ripen fruit? let's assume the bud's don't all drop due to the screwy termparatures and a few fruit set next week.

I know I can't get a huge crop like the folks in warmer areas, but I'll be disappointed if I don't get a few!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I think if it starts putting out pods soon you'll be okay. If you don't get pods for another couple of weeks, you'll be cutting it close. My pods seem to sit for at least 3 to 4 weeks after they reach their full size. Once they start turning red, it can be another week to 10 days. Keep us posted. Good Luck!

Tim


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I've been transplanting my bhuts constntly, so what's the ideal for a final pot size for one plant. It's outgrowing my 3gallon bucket and I can't plant in ground


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

So I have a bunch of bhuts some of which are turning red now, in a very large pot. The planter is waaay too big to move. But the weather is getting cool and damp. The pot has decent drainage as far as Ican tell. Temps are daytime low 60s F, night mid 40s F.

So, is it better to just let the plant stay outside until I have red peppers, or do I need to do something else, like pick the half-ripe peppers and let them ripen inside? Can rain and damp weather ruin the fruit?


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

@ plantslayer ... Peppers, if have reached their full size, may have a chance to get color by sitting on the counter. I have experimented , Green Serrano, Green Pepperoncini, Green Jalapeno, ... get fully red on the counter. AS LONG AS THEY HAVE REACHED FULL SIZE>

But I think a better way, is to pull the plant and hang it upside down, in a place like garage or shack. Some indirect light can also help.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

you could always build a tent over it if you know it's gonna drop really low that night. a tarp and a bit of creativity when it comes to stakes can go a long way. my dad used shovels, a ladder, anything he could think of to hold up the tarp that protected his orchids. if the plant starts looking like it's dying, that's the time to take drastic action. bhuts don't really develop that classic flavor unless they're allowed to ripen fully to red on the plant before picking. I'm no expert, this is my first year and I live in florida. but I grow bhuts and I've eaten them green, and fully red. and the difference is worth waiting for.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Yes, Judo.... that can be done if it was just one night. But if the cold and frost is persistent, and eventually winter is coming, then those efforts will not have substantial pay off. What you described make a real sense in the spring.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Heck, plantslayer is in no trouble now - he's in zone 8. No frost expected for 6 weeks or so. I'd say he can go until Thanksgiving at a stretch, and then pull it inside for a running start for next year.

Start looking for a big pot that is small enough that you can move it. You can trim the plant down before digging, and even trim the root ball. See various Overwintering threads here.

Dennis


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Let me re-phrase my problem here:

I am mainly concerned about getting good fruit, keeping the plant is a secondary issue. If I want ripe fruit, is it better to:

a) leave the plant outside until it gets close to freezing (the fruit will be OK and slowly ripen?)

b) dig the plant out of the massive planter pot, and move it with the fruit into to a smaller pot, which I take inside?

c) pick the fruit when they start to turn and bring them inside. Or, failing that, even pick green fruit if there is a chance the fruit will be ruined by bad weather conditions.

d) some other option (that does not involve making a small greenhouse, which right now could encourage nasty fungus growth in my climate, I am afraid)

Sorry to not be more clear about this, I should have written this out more carefully!


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

I would leave the plant out if you dont have many plants all you will have to do is cover it up with a garbage bag or a sheet of plastic in the evening and pull it off in the morning after the sun sets and thats only on the evenings expecting frost other then that your plant should be ok if you do decide to bring it in i would trim the plant back while its still planted then wait a couple of days before you do the final transplant it will be less of a shock to the plant sometimes if you trim the plant back and transplant it in the same day you can take a chance of losing near all the leafs and possible fruit drop IMO . its just now starting to get chill at night but still trying to push for another month here .


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

The plant needs light. Outside light is better than inside light (unless you already have a high-dollar marijuana farm). Unless you need to dig it to get it to the best light - and that would be a tradeoff anyway - leave it where it is as long as possible.

Option c) is reasonable as the ripening process will continue anywhere once it's started. But it isn't necessary unless a real freeze is on the way. The main danger from frost is to the leaves and that's easily avoided with a cover.

Dennis


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

honestly I'd go with option A. as Dennis pointed out the main danger from frost is to the leaves. and you said it was getting into the 40's at night, which is different from a frost. the cold won't kill the plants, frost will.

as I said, bhuts taste way better if allowed to ripen fully on the plant. much much much better. I'd wait to pick anything until the situation gets serious, to make all your efforts in growing the plant more worthwhile.


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RE: Bhut Jolokia Best Growing Conditions Thread 2

Thanks guys,

Another detail: it is raining like mad right now; basically it rained nonstop for about 3 and a half days recently. They are in a pot, so I think they get OK drainage, but will all that water cause them to crack or otherwise impair ripening/healthy fruit?

Thanks again!


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