Hmmm .. well, I've never grown any of those you mentioned, but last year I did have some Fatali, Datil, Congo and Tobago Seasoning. I started all of them March 6. I felt like that was plenty early. In fact the not-so-hot varieties got bigger than I would have preferred by the time they were ready to go into the garden. I'm just south of you in Zone 5b-6. Hope that helps.
Well, I want to get them in the ground or in buckets by the 3rd week of May.
Last year I started! Feb. and was still Kind of late plus I used peat pots witch I
Think contributed to the compounded problems with the weather here.
what are your temps like in may?? i'm sure you know that peppers need warm temps from when you start them as seeds until you put them in the ground and ultra hots probably need the warm weather even more.
i use a mini greenhouse to start all my seeds but most other veggies need cool temps after germination so i have to remove them and keep the peppers inside the greenhouse.
Peppers are ideal container plants if you can keep them watered.
I learned the hard way that aphids love peppers better than anything in the early spring. I managed to grow some good sized seedlings in the greenhouse but it was pointless. The aphids and cool temps took a toll and the younger much smaller seedlings soon caught up with the big ones once they were planted out. There are several different kinds of aphids and the pepper lovers moved on once it warmed up.
After spilling water on my vegetable planting guide last year, I figured it was time to redo it. I consulted at least eight different books and on-line references, and for peppers most recommended sowing seeds 6 to 7 weeks before the last frost, and not planting outside until the ground warmed up to 60°F or so (about 2-3 weeks after the last frost hereabouts). The very hot ones might be started one week earlier?
HERBIE43: Frank, I read the thread on "hottest" you recommended and appreciated your hot sauce recipe as well. I still however have a question or two on your pail method of growing your 7 pot peppers. (1) You mentioned using a soaker hose and timer to water your potted pepper plants. Do you drill holes in the bottom of the pail for drainage? (2) The pepper pail in your pic is setting on a grate of some kind. Is this part of your deck or is there a purpose related to your potted pepper plant?
In 2008 I tried using 2.5 gallon pots to grow hot peppers. Several went on my north facing deck, and about 20 plus plants went into the garden. I left half of the garden transplants in their 2.5 gallon pot and the other half went into the ground. I use a drip feeder system to water the 20 plants going into the garden. The transplanted plants did better than the ones left in the burried pots. However, the six plants on the deck out produced the 20 in the garden. Because of our short growing season I have had a difficult time getting hot peppers to produce well. Each year I have tried something different and next year I have a whole new plan to try. Our pepper production is much like determinate tomato plants...they all ripen late in the season and I get one good picking. Normally I just pick, bag and freeze the whole lot, which isn't a lot of peppers for 20 plants. I plan to spend some time reviewing old DG threads again for suggestions like smokemasters ..."use less nitrogen for hotter peppers", etc., but I think the potting method you are using looks like a great idea. Your one plant probaby produced as many peppers as my 20 plants this year.
This thread started by asking the question when to plant hot peppers. I use 4-inch square peat pots for germination and place the peat pots in a black planting tray with a removable bottom grid. I went to the high plastic dome lids and left the plants on the heating pad after germination. It seems to take forever to get a decent enough plant to transplant to the 2.5 gallon pots. Whereas with tomato plants they would be four feet tall in the time it takes to get a six-inch pepper plant. Like twiggybuds, I continually fight the little green aphid looking bugs which fly! I have tried soapy water sprays and even inverting the plants into a solution of soapy water which cost me about half of my seedlings and did little good. I read a thread that suggested adding some Isopropyl alcohol to the soap solution and I will try this next. I also got a link for Planet Natural which sells a "Proven Effective" pyrethrin spray as well as a combination rotenone/pyrethrin spray for aphid, etc., control. Both compounds are considered safe for organic gardeners so I will give them a try as well.
I envy the success you all have had with hot peppers. Maybe next year I can post a pic or two.
mraider3 - yes, i drill holes about the size of a quarter on all four sides of the container. i hve never had any trouble with any kind of bugs thank goodness.
the grid the pail is sitting on is actually a table i bought form a company called farm tek www.farmtek.com its actual name is a green house bench. it is 4 feet wide and 10 feet long and i bought it because i have a composite deck and when i put the containers on the bare wood it left round marks all over the place.
i use the soaker hose system to water all my vegetable plants.
i dfon't know if when you were checking out that thred that you saw someone named bushmasterthere but he grows hundreds or hot pepper plants and mostly he uses 2 gallon pots. he knows all bout hot peppers and maybe you can look him up and get some advice from him. he helped me out alot during he season.
good luck with your peppers this season and let us know whats happening.
Frank, I have lots of downloads from the bushmaster and I'm sure that's where the 2.5 gallon pot idea came from. I picked up on your comment about the size of the container you use on your deck and I'm fairly certain the 5-gallon bucket is a good part of your amaizing porductivity on those 7 pot peppers. I appreciate the comments on your deck method and will look for some type of grid to place under my deck potted pepper plants. Last time I tried it I left rings on the deck which the wife didn't appreciate. I'm careful not to over water, and I keep clear plastic saucer shaped collectors under the pots to prevent water from getting on the deck. Problem is when it rains.there is no way to keep the excess water from overflowing the saucers and getting underneath them. With a deck grid the standing water can easily be hosed down after a rain...Good tip Frank - TYVM
morgan - my table is not solid. it has diamond shaped grids as a surface so water can drain down to the deck. i always keep a hose on the deck so that i can wash it off after watering if i see that some dirt has gotten on the deck
i'm not an expert on peppers but i would think tht covering them up isn't a good thing becuase the temp difference is too much. bringing them inside would be o.k. i guess. when i harden off the plants i bring them in a protected area outside for an hour forthe first day and then 2 hours the next day ext. then after a week i put them out for good but only on june 1st.
I have lots of hot peppers from the tomato/pepper exchange. One
of the hot ones I have are Bhut's. I've heard it can takes a long time
for them to ripen. I will start the Bhuts beginning of January in my
sunroom. Then plant them in ground May 1st. Most of my peppers
I start in March.
I just up planted all my hot peppers all 87 of them. They all had at least 2 sets of true
leaves and the roots were outstanding. I think the plants will be a tad larger than
what I want, but acceptable.
zinniared/bill - i would be very interested if you can tell me how your peppers do during the growing season. when i started my bhuts indoors two seasons ago they were doing fine and then i noticed the bottom leaves starting falling right off the plant. by this time the plants were a good 9 to 10 inches tall. the plant looked nice and green but i just kept watering them like always. when i put them outside the leaves all stated to grow back and the plant looked great. i got a bunch of flowers but every day when i woud get home i would see a whole bunch of flowers sitting in the pail where they had fallen off the plant. i finally got two peppers out of three plants.
with my 7 pots the same thing happened as the bhut's but the flowers did not fall off and i got record crop of one of the hottest peppers i had ever grown. i must have pulled over 200 peppers from the one plant. i put it outside for good on june first and it was still producing in early september.
I had the same problem with my red Roccoto, flowers dropped all year
And only one pepper grew to the green stage. The peppers I grew last
year were started by a friend on Jan 1 all did well except the above.
All the peppers were grown in 5 gallon buckets. I am considering smaller ones,
To see what will work best for me. I am also going to try an nft hydro system with about
40 plants. Would like around 200-300 pepper plants total for the year. Still kind of a novice
when it comes to growing peppers.
One thing to consider when planting the peppers is the days to maturity. While we all know that this is just a generalization, you would certainly want to start the 100 day+ ones early enough for them to mature before the end of your season, or plan on bringing them in. If need-be, you could always pot-up indoors, then keep themunder lights to simulate the outdoors.
I have 3 plants happily overwintering to get a jump-start on next season...
i will be leaving for florida on april 22nd and will be gone for a week. i think this season i will not start any seeds at all. i know i can leave them for a week by themselves and i could ask my son to stop by once or twice but i think i am leaning towards just buyng plants from my local nursury when i get back. i probably can start tomato seeds when i get back which would give them about 8 weeks exactly before i put them out in my containers which is when i would normally start them but the ultra hots i don't want to take a chance with and would rather save them for next year.
afer going back and forth about whether i should start pepper seeds as well as tomato seeds i decided to start my seeds again this year instead of buyng plants from the nursury. i am going to florida at the end of april and i didn't want to leavethe seeds alone but i figured what the heck. i will give it a try.