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Old February 17, 2018   #1
Tiny Tim
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Default Silica, Armor Si

I'm growing out a Burpee Jungle Parrot pepper in my grow tent right now. I'll give some basic details first. 2'x2'x4' grow tent, Mars400 LED. This plant has been fed with FoxFarm BigBloom and GrowBig so far. This is currently in a 4" pot, it's 56 days old and has just been topped. Ultimately, it will be going into a 5 gallon fabric pot in the late spring and join others outdoors.

My question is, do others use a Silica supplement to strengthen stems when training. I'm training for a large bush with no necessary support.

I use General Hydroponics Armor Si and have had great success on other plants. But, have never tried it on peppers.

I do plan on discontinuing it's use once my training/topping is complete.

Any help from the experts here would be much appreciated..

Tim
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Last edited by Tiny Tim; February 17, 2018 at 06:37 PM.
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Old February 18, 2018   #2
rhines81
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Topping it was a good step. If you get a small fan (like a clip-on) and direct it on the plant at low speed, it will definitely strengthen the stem. You can pinch off those cotyledons too.
You should start getting buds soon too.
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Old February 18, 2018   #3
Tiny Tim
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Thanks rhines81, I do have a 6" fan in the tent. I usually just let the cotyledons drop off on their own. Is there a benefit to removing them prematurely? I always thought as long as photosynthesis takes place they'd add to the growth and development of the plant. I'll be picking any buds off to keep the plant in the vegetative phase, right?
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Old February 18, 2018   #4
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Cotyledons are basically useless after the 1st set of true leaves are out. I leave them on until I pot the plants up when 3 sets of true leaves are out. I view them mainly as suckers, but yes they will eventually die off if left alone.
And yes pinch the buds until plants are in their final home for the season. I don't pinch them, even if it is their 1st flush, after they transplanted out. Some people pinch the 1st flush no matter what, others don't do it at all - so I ride the middle-ground in that group.
I have 4 pepper plants now that I will be growing year round indoors. They will be in their final container at 60 days (on 3/11/2018). They were already potted up at 25 days, expecting buds this week or next (I normally see 1st buds around week 6 or 7). Either way, they will get topped next weekend or the following and I will try to propagate the cuttings for my outdoor garden.
The rest of my peppers are just getting sowed in stages 2/10-3/10/2018. I usually can't plant out until end of May or 1st week of June here.
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Old February 18, 2018   #5
Tiny Tim
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Thanks again rhines81, I did pinch the cotyledons. I'll try the middle ground as well with the buds. That Mars II 400 LED only puts out around 190 watts. First year for me using LEDs. I also have a Mars 300. In my other tent I run a small magnetic HGT 250 watt HPS.

You must be running larger lights or are far beyond my skill set for indoor gardening.

I had to keep this in the 4" pot due to the tent being crowded.
I'm going to move up to 1 gallon fabric pot and going into FFOF soil in another week for this plant. I have to much going on to go 5 gallon this time around.

It will be interesting to see your progress and hope to learn from it. I don't like making avoidable mistakes.
Tim
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Old February 18, 2018   #6
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny Tim View Post
Thanks again rhines81, I did pinch the cotyledons. I'll try the middle ground as well with the buds. That Mars II 400 LED only puts out around 190 watts. First year for me using LEDs. I also have a Mars 300. In my other tent I run a small magnetic HGT 250 watt HPS.

You must be running larger lights or are far beyond my skill set for indoor gardening.

I had to keep this in the 4" pot due to the tent being crowded.
I'm going to move up to 1 gallon fabric pot and going into FFOF soil in another week for this plant. I have to much going on to go 5 gallon this time around.

It will be interesting to see your progress and hope to learn from it. I don't like making avoidable mistakes.
Tim
I just use standard T5 fluorescent bulbs placed an inch or two above the plants (on for 16 hrs/off for 8 hrs). Room temperature after germination (68-72F). I fertilize with a half strength 3-5-4 (standard tomato fertilizer) every other week, they grow nice and healthy. Your 4" pot will keep them fine up to about 12 weeks, but they need more root space. 6" pot will be good to 16-18 weeks, but you need at least a 2 gallon pot (5 gallon much better) to grow them out to fruit well.
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Old February 18, 2018   #7
Tiny Tim
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I started out with 8 compact fluorescent's in a home made fixture, it worked fine for the smaller 2'x2' tent.
Do your plant stay very compact with that light. Mine always have really close internode spacing. Sometimes I need to raise the light up a foot or so to stretch them a bit.
Do you build your own soil or just use a mix. I'm in coco-coir with this plant.
I might try to push 12 weeks. I looked at the root system last night as I could see some coming through the bottom. Not an issue yet.
I like your idea of only potting up to the 6" it will save tent space. Then 5 gallon when I transplant to make it's final home outdoors.
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