Pepper – Golden Marconi

pp127-golden-marconiThe days are getting longer, the temperatures are warming up, springtime is almost here.  It is time to start getting some warm-season plants up and running, so I will be able to set them outside by around the end of March.  I will start 2 types of peppers (Golden Marconi and Jimmy Nardello), as well as Diva cucumbers.  My tomato seeds have been ordered, and those plants will also be started shortly.

Feb 13, 2016 = Day 0.  Plant started from seed (Baker Creek).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with dilute fertilizer solution: 1.2 mL Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow and 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 22, P 29, K 16, Ca 6, Mg 1.6, S 0.2, Fe 0.3, Mn 0.2, B 0.1, Zn 0.2, Cu 0.2, Mo 0.003, Ni 0.0003, Co 0.005.  pH = 6.0.

Feb 22 = Day 9.  Plants germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Feb 28 = Day 15

Mar 1 = Day 17.  Began placing plant in an open window for several hours per day, to get seedling ready for the transition to the outdoors.

Mar 6 = Day 22.  Transferred plant to a small plastic container.  Hydroponic solution composed of 3 cups (0.71 L) tap water, 1.125 mL Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm): N 111, P 143, K 79, Ca 32, Mg 8, S 0.8, Fe 1.6, Mn 0.8, B 0.3, Zn 0.8, Cu 0.8, Mo 0.01, Ni 0.002, Co 0.024.  pH = 6.0.  No pH adjustment required.

Mar 17 = Day 33.  Plant looks great, 5 inches tall.  Almost no root development at all though.  Switched to a different hydroponic solution:  2.75 cups (0.65 L) tap water, 2.6 mL 250x Masterblend 4-18-38, 2.6 mL 250x calcium nitrate, 2.6 mL 250x magnesium sulfate, 0.034 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 0.17 mL pH Down.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 103, P 95, K 202, Ca 100, Mg 29, S 34, Fe 2.1, Mn 1.1, B 1.1, Zn 0.3, Cu 0.3, Mo 0.05, Si 4.  pH = 6.0.

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Mar 17 = Day 33

Mar 27 = Day 43.  Installed plants into 5-gallon bucket.  Hydroponic solution composed of 5 gal (18.9 L) tap water, 75 mL 250x Masterblend 4-18-38, 75 mL 250x calcium nitrate, 75 mL 250x magnesium sulfate, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 5 mL pH Down.  (This solution is equivalent to 5 gallons water, 10 g Masterblend, 10 g calcium nitrate, 5 g magnesium sulfate).  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 103, P 95, K 202, Ca 100, Mg 29, S 34, Fe 2.1, Mn 1.1, B 1.1, Zn 0.3, Cu 0.3, Mo 0.05, Si 4.  pH = 6.0.  Plant placed outside permanently.

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Mar 29 = Day 45
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Apr 19 = Day 66.  Plant is flowering.
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Apr 23 = Day 70.  First pepper is developing.
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May 2 = Day 79.  Peppers are developing.
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May 14 = Day 91.  Found this little guy near the top of the plant.  He doesn’t seem to be doing much damage, so “live and let live”.
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May 26 = Day 103.  Jimmy Nardello (left), Golden Marconi (right)
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May 26 = Day 103.  6 peppers are developing, the longest one is 8-inches long.

Jun 5 = Day 113.  Added 1 gallon fresh hydroponic fluid.  Installed a wire cage around the pepper plant to keep it standing upright.

Jun 16 = Day 124.  Added 2 gallons fresh hydroponic fluid.

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Jun 16 = Day 124.  Jimmy Nardello (left), Golden Marconi (right)
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Jun 16 = Day 124.  Lots of peppers developing.
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Jun 22 = Day 130.  Peppers starting to ripen.

Jun 26 = Day 134.  Harvested the first ripe Golden Marconi pepper of the season.

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Jun 26 = Day 134.  Jimmy Nardello (top), Golden Marconi (bottom)

Jun 30 = Day 138.  Harvested 1 pepper.

Jul 1 = Day 139.  Added 2 gallons fresh hydroponic fluid.

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Jul 5 = Day 143.  Jimmy Nardello (left), Golden Marconi (right)

Jul 11 = Day 149.  Added 2 gallons fresh hydroponic fluid.

Jul 15 = Day 153.  Plant is beginning to develop powdery mildew on many of the leaves.  Sprayed the leaves (top and bottom) with my homemade anti-fungal spray:  1 qt water, 1 tsp potassium bicarbonate, 1 tsp horticultural oil, 10 drops Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap.

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Jul 16 = Day 154.  Jimmy Nardello (left), Golden Marconi (right)

Jul 22 = Day 160.  Added 1 gallon fresh hydroponic fluid.

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Jul 24 = Day 162.  Many peppers now ripening.  Harvested 2 peppers today.

Jul 25 = Day 163.  Harvested 6 peppers.

Jul 27 = Day 165.  Harvested 2 peppers.

Jul 30 = Day 168.  Harvested 3 peppers.

Aug 2 = Day 171.  Harvested 4 peppers.  There are no more peppers developing, and the leaves are in bad shape, so this is the end for this plant.

Growing this Golden Marconi plant was well worth the effort.  The peppers were delicious, with a bit of sweetness, and they had thick, juicy walls and thin skins.  I will definitely grow this one again in the future, but I will probably use a bigger container than the 5-gallon bucket I used here.  As the summer got warm, I had to add fluid every week or 2.  This plant would do great in a 20- or 32-gallon bucket.

Final statistics:
Total Harvest: 19 Golden Marconi peppers.
Total fluid used: 12 gallons.

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