The 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 (Bountiful Gardens). 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 7-9-5 and 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water. N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13. pH = 6.0.
Feb 20 = Day 7. Plants germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.
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 2.75 cups (0.65 L) tap water, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Liquid GROW 7-9-5. N-P-K (in ppm): 111-62-66. 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, 0.34 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 0.34 g calcium nitrate, 0.17 g magnesium sulfate, 0.034 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 0.17 mL pH Down. N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168. pH = 6.0. Plant moved outside during the day, inside at night.
Mar 27 = Day 43. Installed plant into 5-gallon bucket. Hydroponic solution composed of 5 gal (18.9 L) tap water, 10 g Masterblend, 10 g calcium nitrate, 5 g magnesium sulfate, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 5 mL pH Down. N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168. pH = 6.0. Plant placed outside permanently.
May 28 = Day 105. Installed a wire cage around the pepper plant to keep it standing upright.
Jun 5 = Day 113. Added 1 gallon fresh hydroponic fluid.
Jun 16 = Day 124. Added 1.5 gallon fresh hydroponic fluid.
Jun 26 = Day 134. Harvested the first 2 ripe Jimmy Nardello peppers of the season.
Jun 30 = Day 138. Harvested 2 peppers.
Jul 1 = Day 139. Added 2 gallons fresh hydroponic fluid.
Jul 5 = Day 143. Harvested 2 small peppers.
Jul 11 = Day 149. Added 2 gallons fresh hydroponic fluid.
Jul 13 = Day 151. Harvested 1 pepper.
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.
Jul 16 = Day 154. Harvested 6 peppers.
Jul 19 = Day 157. Harvested 10 peppers.
Jul 22 = Day 160. Added 1.25 gallons fresh hydroponic fluid.
Jul 25 = Day 163. Harvested 7 peppers.
Jul 27 = Day 165. Harvested 1 pepper.
Jul 30 = Day 168. Harvested 8 peppers.
Aug 2 = Day 171. Added 1 gallon fresh hydroponic fluid.
Aug 6 = Day 175. Harvested 6 peppers.
Aug 11 = Day 180. Harvested 8 peppers. No more peppers are developing, but the plant does have new leaves at the top and some new flowers. Overall, most of the leaves on the plant are in poor shape though, so the plant was discarded at this time. This plant did very well. The peppers were not large, but they were abundant and they had a nice sweet flavor.
Total Harvest: 55 Jimmy Nardello peppers.
Total fluid used: 10 gallons.