Flowers and bees, buds and chilis (spell: chil-lees, with emphasis on the second syllable)

June 3, 2009

Introduction

Well, it’s been a while, and it happened enough to make a real long post, so I hope you’ve got some time. I’ll split it all in some handy paragraphs, so you don’t have to read it at once and can come back later for finishing :)

First of all some numbers. My chilis have grown real huge since my last post, so the current measurement for the two biggest once is about 60cm for the numex twilight, and thirty for my dorset naga.

A foto from my current little homegarden (as usual: First row Numex Twilight, second row Dorset Naga. And if you wonder about the plant left to the Numex’, it’s basil :) ):

P1030525

About flowers and bees

Well, I think you all know how the stuff with the flowers and the bees actually works. So I won’t go any further into that part of the story. Unfortunately, there aren’t any bees in my room, so I have to use some kind of replacementbee to fertilize my flowers, and here it is:

P1030528Yes, it’s a cotton swap. Simply put one end into the flower, move it a little around and go further to the next one. I’m using the same one since about 3 or 4 days, which seems to be a good idea since the end I tend to use already got a little yellowish (I’m not sure if this is visible on the foto).

And the nice thing about it: It works. Quite a lot of the flowers have already evolved into something, that seems to develope into a real chili. And since I like documenting the whole thing with lot’s of fotos, here you’ll get one!

P1030531

What a lousy day

Well, yeah. Take it seriously. A few days ago I discovered some little animals on one of my Dorset Nagas.

Punkte2

The friendly guys from the green-24.de board helped me by telling me that those little guys are really plant louse. And they helped me even more by telling me how to get rid of them :)

According to those guys, plant louses seem to be a common problem if you’re growing your plants solely indoors. Since there aren’t any natural enemies like ladybugs (but hey, this year I’ve not yet seen any ladybug afterall. But I expect a lot of them here, if the summer’s going to be as hot as the last one :) )

So back to the venom. To get actually rid of theese small companions, I’ve mixed water with a little dish liquid, some methylated spirits and some olive oil (the first two ingredients are the actually the venom, the last one just lowers the surface tension) and put it all in some aerosol can.

LausBy spraying the first plant I’ve recognized that there are actually louses on every one of them, so I was spraying a lot the last three days. And even so I thought it’d be little help, after watching those fotos again (which I took before using my self-made venom) I’ve got to admit it helped a lot.

So keep the recipe in your notebook! And now for the event that made me write this entry

Even more buds

Since my Numex Twilight have grown their buds quite a while ago and already developed lots of flowers, I had little hope for my Dorsets within the last weeks. But today, while spraying venom on some louses again I’ve finally discovered some buds grown by both of my Dorsets. So there’s really a chance they’ll grow some chilis!

P1030533By the way, the plant is the same as the one with the louses, so as you can see this soap-spirit-oil stuff really works.

Flowers!

May 19, 2009

P1030451

First buds and a lot of growth

May 10, 2009

Hey, it’s me again. Finally I took some peaceful minutes to update this blog again. The last days, my plants have been growing a lot. The largest Numex Twilight is now measuring about 45 cm (and I’m beginning to doubt if there’s enough room on my window sill :) ). The Dorsets are still pretty small and measure about 11cm in height. But compared to the Numex’ they’ve got pretty huge leaves.

Also, the Numex are beginning to grow the first buds. They’re still relatively small, but maybe my room’s in full bloom in a few weeks.

Since there is’nt really much more to say, I’ve decided to deliver a bunch of fotos. Uncommented, but it should be clear, that the huge plants with small leaves are the numex, while the small plants with huge leaves are the dorsets :)

P.S.: Oh, nice galery feature. I’ve never recognized this.

The PET Water tower

April 14, 2009

Well, it’s been a while. But after all, there didn’t happen anything interesting to write about since my last post, until now.

I’ve spent a week at my parents home during the easter days, so I had to find a way to water my plants without being here. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts one of my flower boxes came with an integrated water tank. So these plants won’t make any problem. For the other flower box, I took an empty PET bottle, filled it with water and put it bottom down into the earth.

Water Tower (full)

That way the plants got as much water as they needed, while the soil didn’t get too soggy. One (very hot and sunny) week later, the tower looked  still has reserves for some days

Water Tank (empty)

Seems to be quite a good system, so I think I’ll stick to it even though I’m back here again.

The warm weather and the extra dose of sun did quite good to my chilis, the largest Numex Twilight is now measuring about 17cm

Numex Twilight (17cm)

Sadly, my Dorsets only reach a height of 4cm

Dorset Naga (4cm)

Besides, I had both flowerboxes coverd with thick, quite disgusting coat of mold again (unfortunately I forgot to make a foto before I treated it). So the liverwort extract mixture seems to work only temporary. Nevertheless I sprayed a lot of the mixture on the ground to get rid of the mold.

Fighting Mold, Part 2

March 23, 2009

Ok, it’s been a while, even since the liverwort extract arrived. I bought a 1 liter spraying bottle and mixed about 5 milliliter (however you may measure this) with 1 liter of water. Thereafter I sprayed the mixture onto the soil until everything got wet a little.  So, to get started, some images of the mold before I treated it with the extract

Mold 2Mold 1Mold 3

Quite disgusting, eh? Now it’s a week since I first used the liverwort extract, and it worked quite well. There are still some white spots, but nothing like the fur visible on the images above. If you’re courious about the patch of moss I planted, it’s slowly dying. I think it’s to dry inside here for it to grow. And if you’re curious abouth the progress of my plants: The NuMex Twilight have grown quite well within the last weeks, and even the Dorset Naga show some progress. So here are some new close-ups, as well as some fotos of the nearly mold free earth:

cured earth

Moldfree soil

Dorset Naga

A Dorset Naga Seedling

Numex Twilight

A Numex Twilight Seedling

Fighting mold, part 1

March 6, 2009

Within the last few days, I’ve recognized there’s growing some mold in my flower boxes. Abusing google a little I found out that this might be a result of to much watering, but found nothing about the mold being a thread to my seedlings. So since I’m no asthmetic, I might ignore it.

But afterall, I don’t like to. So I googled a little further and found out that moss, especially liverwort should help against mold. So I decided to give it a try and ordered some liverwort extract from nature.de. So as soon as it arrives I’ll tell you about the effect in “Fighting mold, part 2″

For today, I just tried to plant a patch of moss from my garden into the NuMex Twilight box, just out of curiosity if it has some effect. Below are some fotos of the patch, the mold and the promised closeup of one of my NuMex Twilight seedling, wich contrary to my Dorset Naga seedling seem to develop really good. To boost the Dorset Naga growing a little, I’ve added some tomato fertilizer (this stuff really smells, but since I dug it that ain’t no problem :) ), following the advice of some guy from the local garden center.

Patch of MossThe MoldCloseup NuMex Twilight

A New Home

March 3, 2009

Finally, I decided to buy some flower boxes and move my chilies from the mini green-house. A few days ago I bought some shelves and handcrafted some kind of podest, that way I’ve got room for one 100cm and one 75cm flower box in front of my window by locating one on the radiator, and the other one on my self-made podest.

Following some guide from pepperworld.com, at first I filled some clay pellets into the flower box, to prevent waterlogging.

Pellets in Flower BoxThereafter added  potting soil with an pH of 6.1, following the Dorset Naga supplemental sheet that stated the pH has to be between 6.0 and 6.5 (strangely the 10l bags of flower soil had a pH of 6.1, while the 20l bags from the same brand had a pH of 5.7. So I had to buy three bags of 10l instead of one 10l and one 20l bag, which would have been a little cheaper…).

adding earthFinally, I moved the whole jiffy-seedling packages from the mini green-house to the flower boxes

SeedlingsThe big ones in the front are the NuMex Twilight, in some high tech automatic humidity regulating flower box. Which means, there is a sieve at the bottom whereunder the water is stored with an indicater (bottem left of the picture) showing if there’s still enough water.

The small one in the upper part of the pictures are the Dorset Nagas. Maybe I make some close-ups within the next days, to show how fine my plants are developing.

Green Hell / It’s been a long, cold winter

February 19, 2009

Green Hell

The topic sais it all, those tiny white points I’ve showed in my last post have finally grow up to some small plants. From those 10 seeds I’ve planted 8 finally have come to life (4 Dorset Naga and 4 NuMex Twilight, so afterall a fair distribution), which means a successrate of 80%, fair enough.

Green Hell I’ve turned the mini-greenhouse, so the big plants in the front (lower) row are the NuMex Twilight for now, the smaller plants in the back (upper) row are my infamous Dorset Naga, two of them still fighting to get free from those nasty seedcages.

Nice to observe how they turn their heads into the direction of the window.

However, they still don’t have any real roots and are kept in the hole by something that looks like dandelionseeds.

The second Image shows a little close-up from two of the plants. As above: Lower row NuMex Twilight, upper row Dorset Naga

Green Hell (closeup)

It’s been a long, cold winter

The february seemed rather cold to me this year, espacially compared to last year, so I took some data from a nearby weather station (http://www.wetterstation-goettingen.de) to plot some climate diagrams, comparing last years february with this years.

Below, you can see the mean temperature, as well as the minimum and maximum temperature plotted over the days. The red graph indicates last years february while the blue graph shows the current. As you (hopefully :p) can see, I wasn’t plain wrong, even though the difference is not as high as expected.

Since the day before yesterday we’ve got a largely blue sky instead of a cloudcover and occasional snowing. I hope my chilies enjoy the extra dose of sun. As far as I’m concerned, I certainly do.

Mean TemperatureMaximum TemperatureMinimum Temperature

P.S.: Credits for the topic titles go to Anathema and Metallica (yes I know “Green Hell” is a cover, but I’ve never heard the original song)

Lifesigns

February 13, 2009

This morning I recognized some lifesigns from my NuMex Twilight seeds. More precisely a few seedlings emerged. Nothing yet from the Dorset Naga, but seeding is only 4 days ago anyway. The picture below shows two jiffies with seeds, where the white parts emerging from the seeds are the seedlings.NuMex Twilight Seedlings

Seeding, finally

February 9, 2009

As I promised, I’ve begun seeding today. Well, there is’nt much to say: Watered the Jiffies, planted the seed, put them on the radiator. Took some fotos for you, the front row on the last foto is the Dorset Naga, the upper row contains the NuMex Twilight seeds. Maybe I should buy some more Pringles to enhance my heat channeling system. I’ll keep you updated as soon as there’s some green stuff to see.

Mini-Greenhouse - Pringles ConstructionMini-GreenhouseSeeds


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