Detailed growing info

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Daytime on the balcony in the summer of 2012

In my 2012 season, all of my plants except for two (the Black Pearl I’ve bought as a seedling and the Jalapeno I’ve overwintered) have been raised from seeds on jiffy-pellets in two heated mini-greenhouses. The Black Pearl was supplied by the Berlin branch of the Pfefferhaus store, most of the seeds I purchased at Semillas and/or got them sent to me by chilihead mates of mine like Paul M. Tonkin and Bart J. Meijer (thanks again, guys!)

The plants have all germinated inbetween mid January and early March 2012. After germination in the mini-greenhouses, they’ve been brought up further in a DIY cardboard grow-box under artificial light (2x 18 Watts fluorescent tubes with a colour temp of 6500 Kelvin [Osram Lumilux Cool Daylight 865]) for six weeks, then got potted on into 1.5 litre pots on a bright windowsill, then went into their final pots (5 – 35 litres) and out onto the balcony in mid April. The balcony is actually a so-called loggia facing south. So it’s a half-open space which protects the plants from hailstorms and similar weather-threats but still lets them have enough sunlight.

I use organic, peat-free tomato-soil (Neudorff Neudohum). For fertilisation I have used organic tomato fertiliser (Neudorff Azet) once, but most of the time earthworm castings (supplied by regenwurm.de). About once a week, I gave the plants some compost-tea made from the castings (just mixed a shovelful or two into the water). Every three to four weeks, I put some castings directly onto the soil and mixed it in loosely.  Earthworm castings are very cheap (7 Euros/30kg), all natural, you cannot over-fertilise with them and they do wonders to the plants.

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