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Feb 2018 - The Chris11 Challenge – Setup

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by , 04-03-2018 at 04:45 PM (308 Views)
2017 was a bad year for the Chocolate Habanero. Planted 5 seeds, 1 germinated, and no peppers. It is over wintering. Learning is that some peppers need heat to germinate.
The Heated Seed Bed
Built a heated seed bed with 2 x Stewart Grow Bag Trays (1000 x 400mm), Undersoil heat cable and a 50mm high frame to retain top layer of sand. The undersoil heat Cable did its own thing, so ended up with a small overflow into the 2nd tray. Temperature is controlled by an Inkbird ITC1000 dual relay controller, 2 x 13 sockets on the Heating Side (Expansion for 2nd Heating Cable) and 1 x 13A socket on the cooling side.
Temperature set to 19C.

Seed Selection – The Lucky Dip
Experience from 2017 showed that germination rates for chilli seeds can be low. Decided that should attempt to grow 2 seeds for each and hop to get at least one plant for each variety.
The Seeds were sorted by size - Folded page, moving seeds up and down the seam, then every 3rd seed selected (There were more than 50 seeds) to get 24 seeds ready to plant.
Assumption: - Seeds from same variety will be similar size.

10 Feb. Sowing day.
The night before, bucket of water left in porch to bring up to temperature.
Chilli seeds don’t like wet feet. John Innes Seed Compost. (Sand gives added drainage)
24 pots were filled with John Inness Seed Compost. 1 seed for each of the “Known” varieties sown in each pot and 2 seeds for the mystery pack. They were covered with vermiculite and put in a seed tray. Filled a Gravel tray with water, lowered in the seed tray and left for approximately 15 mins. Water wicks up the soil and you can just see top soil getting wet. Moved tray into heated area and covered with propagator.
The pots were labelled with Variety and mystery pots 1 to 12.
Another 21 pots were used to sow Sweet peppers and the chilli seeds from 2017

Seed Germination
As the mystery seeds germinated, the 2nd seedling was given a Blue label, Plant B. Plant B is the 2nd pot where variety is known.
Decided to up bed temperature to 23C, giving a soil temperature in pots of between 17C to 18C

Of the 36 Chris11 seeds sown, only 6 have not germinated. In contrast, of the 16 commercial seeds sown, 8 have not germinated. There are 3 purple Seedlings (Assuming all same variety) a Tiger Effect leaf and a few smaller seedlings. Next stage it to study leaf shape and size. Results in Table 1.

Disco Lights
Whilst the seedling were germinating, grow lights were assembled. They are MingDak LED light bulbs into Standard BC sockets. Hanging from chains.
Since I have still to find my timer, they are switched on about 6pm and off at 11pm. I did have them plugged into 2nd Heating socket and with the 3 colours (Blue, Purple & Red) and switching on and off with the thermostat, they are now known as the Disco Lights.

Failed Germination.
From the commercial seed, only 1 x Red Scotch Bonnet seedling germinated, so have to look at addressing the Ring of Fire, Chocolate Habanero and the Cayenne (Hot) Pepper famine.

Try the damp towel method?
Try pots again? (ensure the pots are on the sand bed to get direct heat)
Look after over wintered plants to ensure they produce lots of fruit?blogs/4shoes/attachments/78845-feb-2018-chris11-challenge-setup-feb2018.jpgblogs/4shoes/attachments/78846-feb-2018-chris11-challenge-setup-mystery-feb-2018.jpg

Freezing Weather.
With the cold snap and no heating in the porch, the seedlings are kept under cover at night, only being allowed out of their propagator lid in the morning.
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  1. Chris11's Avatar
    Good to see your excellent record keeping and pleased to see you've had such good germination results.

    Interesting to see that the Cherry Bomb took the longest of the named varieties. They were the only ones saved from 2016, and all the other named varieties were fresh from the 2017 season.

    The mystery purple seedlings might all be the same variety, but it might still be too early to be sure.