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Growing Peppers: Double Solo Cup Pseudo-Hydroponics Method

Officer, they’re pepper plants I swear.

In a continuing effort to get a jump on the growing season, this year we’re using the double solo cup pseudohydroponics method to sprout some fiery little snots. Our location in Ohio, according to the USDA hardiness zone map, is 6a. What this means for originally tropical plants like hot peppers is they don’t get in the dirt until May, June if you forget or don’t like rushing around to cover plants when a frost is predicted. This coupled with longer maturation times and a looming fall doesn’t leave a particularly long growing season.

This year, seeds were sown February 24th, we expect sprouts to pop through 7-10 days afterward. Plastic wrap over the cups and a heat mat both create a warm humid environment, perfect for germination. Once they rear their cute little cotyledons, the plastic wrap and heat mat are removed to avoid steaming the baby plants.

Rounding out the setup is a 150 W 4000k metal halide and 2 gallon jugs of water. This amount of light is not necessary for sprouting seeds, but will promote compact leafy growth once we have newborn capsaicin factories to ogle.  4000K is conducive to vegetative growth, which is all we’re worried about at this point. The jugs provide some thermal mass for the area, keeping temperatures from swinging too wildly. We’ll get further into the “how-to” of this method in a later post, but wanted to show off our crop as it currently stands.

Assuming everyone cooperates, we should be seeing some green in the next couple days. Find us on Instagram, Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our latest growing updates.

This year we’re growing a wide grouping of peppers including: jalapeño, habañero, ghost, carolina reaper (some from last year, some from PuckerButt), tobasco, thai chili, serrano, cayenne and habanadas. All in all should be a pretty bountiful pepper season and we’re excited to get it rolling. Keep an eye out for more growing tips over the next few months as we start getting ready to transplant and head outside (he said as snow continues to fall).

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