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Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Posted by Joe1q2w3e none (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 14:20

Hi Folks!

I sowed my Early Jalapeno pepper seeds in early march, they germinated well, but after potting them up, they have been literally doing nothing, not showing the slightest growth at all this three weeks or so. I don't even know whether the first set of true leaves are growing in a good shape by the way. Please help me!!!
Being on low-budget, the potting soil was plain soil, the cheapest one for about 2 bucks for a 50l sack. (i'm from Hungary)
I usually take them outside on sunny days, and move them back in the evenings in order to provide a good amount of light.
I was carried away by a sudden impulse and gave them a little fertilizer yesterday, not sure whether this helps.

I planted a few more varieties in addition to Jalapenos, such as Bell peppers, Jamaican Yellow, Shishito, etc, they are all growing sooo slow... I swear the Habaneros i planted on the 7th March are growing faster, they're on their third set of true leaves. (same soil, but haven't potted them up yet)

I'm looking forward to your assistance, i feel a bit dejected because of this failure, i have been looking so forward to planting them out and seeing they produce fruit...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Another shot of one of my Jalapenos


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Are there holes in the bottoms of those cups?


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Were there any nutrients in that soil, and have you fertilized? The plants look a bit pale....

Ditto to DMForcier's question about drainage.

Josh


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Well, i've tried hardening them off, because the weather was all sunny and warm around 20 C degrees, and as i have no artificial lighting setup, i thought moving them out during daytime would be a great idea. Thus, it could be a minor sunscald.

There are a few holes in the bottom of the cups made by a driller. Water flows through the soil in these cups very quickly, so the drainage could be considered okay.

As for nutrients in the soil, i'll check it tomorrow, but i'm afraid it's rather a poor-quality soil. For safety's sake i gave them some fertilizer yesterday, so i hope the situation will change for the better soon.

Considering the size of my plants, are they underdeveloped for their 3 weeks of lifetime?

Thank you all in advance!


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

you say it's been sunny, but where are you located. Perhaps it's too chilly even in the "sunny" daytime?

Kevin


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

I live in Hungary, near the capital city, Budapest.
Here's the weather forecast starting from today.

Thank you for the reply!

Here is a link that might be useful: Weather Forecast


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

I'd say that they aren't too bad for 3 weeks, but not great. The nutrients in the seed will take the plant to the first true leaves without much contribution from the roots. If growth stops at this point then it is likely because the roots are unable to supply the required nutrients.

Two general options: 1) the roots are damaged or too small, usually because the soil is retaining too much water and drowning them; 2) there are no available nutrients in the soil.

Pop a plant or two out of the cup and see if there is a standing water table, i.e. the soil is acting like a sponge. Also look for root growth; they should be down to the bottom of the cup by now.

If the root condition looks okay, hit the plant again in a few days with more dilute fertilizer. What fert are you using? Please describe.

Dennis


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

I've checked the root-system, and came to the conclusion, they definitely aren't far-developed enough yet to reach to the bottom of the cups, but there are some root growth halfway or deeper on the sides of the soil. Not too much though...

The soil underneath is wet, but not soggy. The surface is dry.

By the way, today someone mentioned it might be a bit too early to move such young seedlings out even for the daytime, what do you think?

As for nutrients, i fertilized them the day before yesterday, it contains Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphates. It's an ordinary fertilizer, it says i can use it on anything.

The soil is ordinary flower soil, although there is no English explanation on it, and the Hungarian version doesn't even list the nutrients being in the soil.. So i've made a shot of the German one.


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

The fertilizer, again, no english explanations.


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Some of my Habanero peppers i potted up today in the foreground, they are doing rather well, better than the Jalapenos, which i potted up earlier. And the Habaneros were constantly being kept indoors as opposed to other varieties.

Other varieties lost their first two leaves due to sunscald, because i was dumb enough to leave them under full sun for a whole day two weeks ago. I thought the sun in March wouldn't be too harsh on them. I was mistaken...

Anyways, thank you for your reply and help!


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Not sure about the soil, but as long as you don't overwater, it probably is fine. Can you lay some out on a sheet of paper or a plate and take a pic? Also, there's usually a list of ingredients on the bag, translate please.

The fertilizer looks to be organic in nature and is probably not what you really want for seedlings because I get the feeling it takes some time to break down and make available to the plants. Get yourself some synthetic soluble All-purpose like Miracle Gro 24-8-16 or Dyna-Gro 9-3-6 with micronutrients. Some of them don't come with Ca and Mg(like Miracle Gro, but that's ok--- there's ways of getting that into the seedling mix. Use weak doses of 1/4-1/2 strength. Let me know what you get so we can talk about the Ca and Mg.

The weather--- imho, would probably be fine for hardening off or 6-8 week old seedlings, but still a bit too cool for real young ones. You mentioned the habs have been inside; why not these also. Do you have a light setup? General rule... 4 sets of true leaves before going outside and hardening unless you live in Florida et al.

For the possible overwatering...easy to prevent it. Take a skewer, stick in soil, if soil comes out on skewer, no need to water. If no soil, water thoroughly. Wait until you get the same results until watering again.

Kevin


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

That fert label reads 2:2:3 NPK ratio. Better would be some multiple of 3:1:2 but yours is better than nothing.

IMO it is too early to put the little guys outside, but they must have some light. Why not try a half hour at a time?

The fact that the roots aren't down to the bottom but do show on the sides indicates to me that the soil is or has been too wet. Suggest you let them go until they wilt, then water *a little* to encourage the roots.

I'd also like to see a shot of the soil, preferably a root ball out of the cup on a light surface, maybe crumbled a bit.

Dennis


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Be careful you don't love those peppers to death :)

I think your biggest problem is impatience. The plants look healthy, just a little small. I think you transplanted them to cups too soon -- the transplant shock is harder the younger the plant. That won't kill them, but it will slow them down a bit. Also, they are far too young to be hardened off for outdoor growing yet. As long as they aren't growing leggy indoors (and they don't appear to be), then let them have some happy time as youngsters in the gentle indoors before exposing them to the harsh sun and wind outside.

Even though I don't think they are lacking nutrients, I do support giving them fertilizer regularly, since those peaty garden mixes can really lock up nutrients.

Anyway, here's my plants for comparison, I'm very happy with the way they are growing. I planted these March 15. I've already fertilized them. I won't transplant them into pots until they have grown quite a bit taller in these cell-packs. And they won't see the outdoors until I start to harden them off around mid-May. Good luck!
 photo Apr314pepperseedlings.jpg


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Today i've lost one of my Jalapeno babies to damping off, but luckily only one... Last year i've lost a few dozen. I don't want to lose more, so fingers crossed...
I'm gonna post some pictures of the soil consistency and the root system.

The reason why i tried hardening them off this early is the fact, that i don't have a lot of room indoors with fair amount of sunlight to place the seedlings in. I have no artificial lighting setup, that would be too expensive i guess, let alone the electricity bill.

I've just tried out the skewer method and there is some soil sticking to it, so i have no underwatering problem for sure, but they are not soaking in water either, so i'm satisfied. The only watering i gave them was three days ago, as i fertilized them.

don555: Your seedlings look great, better than some of mine, even though i planted them earlier.
I'll show you my initial growing environment, so that you can get a grasp of why i have to pot up them so early. I used the same sowing method last year with great success, the damping off syndrome started a week or a two after i carried out the management of potting up.

Thank you for everyone's opinion&suggestion so far!!! :)


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Root-system1


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

root-system 2


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Soil Consistency


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Initial growing environment


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Root system to current date looks very good to me. Soil consistency looks very good to me. Seedlings in the last pic, "initial growing environment" are OMG crowded... maybe try using cell-packs or similar next year?

As for damping off, try using a spray-fungicide... I have used "Funginex" with good results in the past. Or just get the grow area more open and airy. Moving outside so early can control damping off, but is wicked harsh in every other aspect.

If you must move outside due to space considerations or other factors, ease the plants very gently into sunshine, starting with only early-day and late-day sun. Heck, you already know that.... so much easier to control things like watering, wind protection, sun exposure, etc., indoors, but if space is an issue, then yes, sometimes you have no choice.


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Potting mix looks waaaaay too fine textured, in my opinion, and the root development is incredibly sparse as a result of high moisture and low oxygen. Lots of perlite would greatly improve the results.

Josh


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Soil isn't as compacted as I feared but it is holding its shape without roots to bind it, showing compaction perhaps? Perlite would indeed be good, but costs zlotys (or whatever you use over there now).

I'm surprised that the roots haven't developed more. How long since the transplant when that pic was taken? Damping off last year suggests that you have a tendency to overwater, which would explain the shallow roots this year...

How about hiking up that window curtain? It's throwing a significant shadow.

Dennis


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RE: Ultra-Hyper Slow Growth Peppers

Thank You for Your answers so far!

So i should add some perlite, huh.. It's not too expensive, but it's already late, isn't it? By the way, It's been approximately two weeks since the transplant date. Anyways, i'll try adding some perlite for experiment's sake, as i still have lots of seedlings waiting to be transplanted after all.

Don555: I'll take applying spray-fungicide into consideration, thank you!
And the growing tray is crowded indeed, but i had no choice due to lack of space. Moreover, this way i can be at ease without having to worry about poor germination rate. Some varieties for instance didn't germinate well, only about 14 seedlings had emerged out of 60 seeds.

Okay, at most i'll only expose them to the late evening sun then, because i'm usually not at home during the day. Or i could even find a nice shady spot in the garden.

Dennis: Yeah, the curtain's interfering a bit for sure...I'll amend that problem.


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