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Reapers (round 4)

spag

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I’ve been trying to grow these for a few years now with mixed success. Trying to learn from mistakes, this year I started like this:

Beginning of March – Received seeds from PuckerButt Pepper Company. Planted in Jiffy pellets, and put on a seed warming mat. After a day I took the temp of the soil and it seemed a bit warm, so I put some thin wood scraps between Jiffy container and seed mat. It got it down to the 85* range that I was looking for.



Middle of March – As each seedling started coming up I pulled each pellet out to transplant. In years past, I have left them in the Jiffy pellets too long and the roots started pushing the mesh holding them together. They’re designed to be replanted in the mesh, but I like to pull them out when they are still small enough to gently rip the mesh off. Also a change that I added this year was the size of the containers I used. I have previously planted the Jiffy pellets into little 4” pots, then into quart size, then into their final place (either a raised bed or a 3 gallon pot). I really think this was one of my problems before, because they were root bound before every replanting and it is also a shock to them. This year, I went straight from Jiffy pellets to quart size pots. It’s a little ridiculous looking to have this little blade of grass coming out of a quart size pot, but they quickly grow into it. I took 21 quart size pots and put under three 4’ fluorescent lights on frames you can raise and lower (Amazon) and gave them 16 hours a day of light with the bulbs only a few inches from the seedlings. I haven’t fertilized at all, just kept them watered. Most places I read have said to only water when completely dry, so that’s how I’ve been doing it.



Current (Beginning of May) – As they started getting bigger, I had to adopt some out to give them a little more room. Just my experience, but the ones I have done in pots (not in the raised beds) have consistently done better. The soil in the raised beds is really good, so my guess it’s the heat factor that make the results better in pots. I’m in Oregon by the way, so I’m sure the results would be different for folks in warmer climates. Tomorrow, I’m going to gradually start bringing them outside to start acclimating them to the outside. This is a really important step and I spend about a week doing it. I start with a couple hours in the shade, to a few hours under a tree with a little filtered sunshine (if you can muster that up in Oregon), to only bringing inside at night. After about a week, find a night when it’s mild and the their ready to replant to their permanent home.

The plan for this year is to get some black 5 gallon buckets, drill some holes in the bottom, put a couple inches of rocks for good drainage, then figure out what to do for a soil mix. Not exactly sure what I’m going to try this year yet, but thinking some bagged garden soil, perlite, and a little cow manure to start with.


A couple picture of the process:

upload_2019-5-3_18-28-10.png


3/30/19


upload_2019-5-3_18-28-29.png

5/3/19


upload_2019-5-3_18-28-49.png

5/3/19



One of these years, I’m going to get this right and have peppers coming out my ears. These things have some serious, serious heat and should be used in small portions. I give a bunch away and dehydrate the rest and grind up in a spice grinder that I never want to use for anything else ever. One note on dehydrating these, you have to get the completely bone dry. Any moisture at all and it will eventually turn into a big clump in the jar.



A couple uses I have come up with:

A fresh one with a slit in it into a pot of chili for the last hour

Cut in half and added to a jar of summer pickle canning (insanely hot when you open then following winter)

A dash or two of the dehydrated and powdered into salsa, taco meat, wing sauce, meat rub, a tiny bit in spinach dip, Pizza, etc.

Great to add to smoked sausage. I have my first Umai experiment going with 5# of Pepperoni, half with a healthy dose of reaper. It’s dropped 18% weight so far, so about half way there.

I’ll post some more pictures as the summer progresses, thanks for looking.
 
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pc farmer

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Watching for more info
 

DanMcG

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Good looking plants Spag, I started mine on 2/9 and that was to early, I still got at least 2 weeks before they go in the ground.
 

motocrash

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Welcome to the forum spag,hardy looking plants you've got there.
Back in the 80's,when I was a teen,my parents did square foot gardening with crazy good results.I don't know the ratios but I think I remember most of the ingredients.
Peat Moss
Vermiculite/Perlite
Compost
Blood Meal
Bone Meal

I used to do a little "off site" experimentation with the bucket method you mentioned with really good results.
It appears you have quite the green thumb,maybe you should try your hand at some of these.:emoji_wink:
upload_2019-5-4_9-35-23.png
 

JC in GB

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Looking at your setup, I would say your light source is far too small too vegetate that many plants. You need 250 - 400 watts of light. There are a lot of good LED indoor lights on the market right now.

Also, why are you starting them so early?
 
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bluewhisper

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I grew ghosts for the first time last year, and I want to grow them again. Habaneros are my favorite peppers but I like the way some ghost powder can be like adding a solid propellant rocket booster to a recipe.
 

spag

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Good looking plants Spag, I started mine on 2/9 and that was to early, I still got at least 2 weeks before they go in the ground.
Thanks Danmcg. I know all too well fighting back wanting to get things going when Winter is coming to an end.


Welcome to the forum spag,hardy looking plants you've got there.
Back in the 80's,when I was a teen,my parents did square foot gardening with crazy good results.I don't know the ratios but I think I remember most of the ingredients.
Peat Moss
Vermiculite/Perlite
Compost
Blood Meal
Bone Meal

I used to do a little "off site" experimentation with the bucket method you mentioned with really good results.
It appears you have quite the green thumb,maybe you should try your hand at some of these.:emoji_wink:
View attachment 394711
Thank for the advise motocrash. I've never tried bone meal before, but I've read that blood meal is a good deterrent for critters. Most of my gardening is more the 'pray and spray' method. I just plant a dozen of whatever and hopefully one or two will grow. I don't know if enough doughnut seeds come in a package to get one or two good ones.
 
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tropics

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spag Plants look great!! Last year was my first with SC Reapers I only used Epson Salt and a Tomato Plant food for fertilizer. I would top them plants now and wait a few weeks before transplanting JMHO

This years plants are not doing good at all,my seeds were left in the garage when I moved.They froze I tried sprouting them it took 12 days.
Richie
 

spag

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I thought I’d post an update to this year’s Carolina Reapers.

As planned, I got some black 5 gallon buckets and drilled some holes in the bottom. First a thin layer rocks for drainage, followed by a mixture of bagged garden soil, perlite, cow manure, and Black Gold potting soil.

Replanted to buckets outside on 5/11/19.

upload_2019-8-24_17-27-26.png


6/30/19. They got clobbered by a hail storm, one of the worst ones I can recall in a long time.

upload_2019-8-24_17-28-37.png


Fast forward to 8/24/19.

upload_2019-8-24_17-29-23.png


upload_2019-8-24_17-30-15.png


These guys have really taken off, surviving the storm. They are about 2 ½ feet tall now and most are covered in peppers. For every pepper, there was probably ten flowers that just shriveled up and died and I don’t know why. Not that it really matters, I have/going to have more ripe pods than I know what to do with.

My takeaways:

1: Repotting from the Jiffy pellets straight into larger pots. This prevented them for the most part of being root bound and it meant I only had to repot one more time into the outside buckets.

2: Planting in large buckets instead of in the ground. On a couple occasions, sometimes daytime sometimes nighttime, I used my meat thermometer to test the soil temp. In the bucket was consistently 10-15* above the temp in the raised beds and usually 20* over the ground. I also think the large buckets allows the plants to get bigger. Already looking into some 10 or 20 gallon pots for next year.

upload_2019-8-24_17-31-24.png




Still trying to figure out what to do with them all, but I’ve came up with a few new ideas, I’ll post when I can. As for these mouth killers, they are earmarked for a concoction I’m trying tomorrow that I’ll do a post on soon.
 

drdon

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Whew! Too hot for me, but I always enjoy successful gardening stories and pictures. Congratulations.
Don
 

DanMcG

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I picked my first reapers yesterday and will be sending them out to a friend tomorrow along with some other hots. The plants still have a ton of pods to ripen. All in all it's been a good year to grow.
peppers.jpg
 
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