Scorching the Garden 2019 Part 1
Every year we grow the peppers and garlic and onions and herbs to make our sauces. Every year we try something new that we hope is better and we repeat and refine those things that promote the completion of our goals. Follow along and steal all our ideas as we Scorch the Garden in 2019.
Welcome to the first installment of 2019’s Scorching of the Garden. For the second year in a row, we are documenting and sharing our process and progress.
Its the middle of February. Now that the end of the year crunch is over, its time to start things back up again in anticipation for next year’s end of the year crunch. We are going to need nearly double the seedlings we had last year so a new green house has to be built.
We began by gathering some racks and LED panels. We are also going to need duct tape, surge protectors, and of course-cardboard. The racks will serve as a sturdy foundation and framework for our temporary greenhouse.
We are getting over 3000 LUX at the plant level. Lux and lumens mean nothing to plants, its calculated by photon count and wavelength. There is a bunch of math to convert, but this basically translates to about 40+ µmol/m2/s which is what most vegetable plants need to product their fruits.
Our panels use 45W each, but it turns out we have 2 older panels that are 14W. Same brand, same housing, just a lower wattage This should have no noticeable effect on the plants. We might miss out on 5 grams of plant material for the seedlings that are directly under those two.
We have seen an amazing evolution in horticultural lighting over the past 10 years. There were the super hot, noisy, and power hungry HIDs (High Intensity Discharge) lights like the High Pressure Sodium and Metal-halide. They were bright, but we just listed the downsides, plus they got pretty expensive. We used to work with CLFs and the T12 and T5 fluorescent lights. They are cooler and cheaper, but not all that great for a full grow because they just weren’t bright enough and do lose intensity and die after a while
Up until a few years ago, LEDs were very expensive and the units were small. Jump to today, we get 12″x12″ 45W panels for $35 each on wish.com.
We have our chamber built and our seeds have been delivered. We get our seeds from rareseeds.com. Free delivery withing the US and they have pretty much EVERYTHING! We are not affiliated with them other than we buy seeds from them.
We are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. The first thing we need to do is germinate the seeds. The best method we have found is the old school wet paper towel in a sandwich bag.
We use distilled water and treat a cup of it with a capful of hydrogen peroxide, to inhibit mold. The seeds get labeled and put in a box sitting on a heating pad. Our experience with super hots is that they an exceptionally long amount of time to germinate. Most peppers take 5-9 days to sprout. A reaper can take over 2 weeks in some instances.
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