Once you’ve planted up your Chilli seeds, the next step is to set up your Grow Tent and Grow Lights. Start with your Grow Tent – a willing helper will make this process simpler if you have one of the taller tents. Everything you need should be in the box and full instructions with photos are here.
Next assemble your Parabolic Reflector. You’ll need a pair of pliers or spanner plus a cross headed screwdriver for this and a couple of containers to hold the nuts and bolts. It’s easy to build on your own though is fairly time consuming. It will take about an hour and it is best to get it built in one go or you run the risk of losing the various nuts and bolts it comes with.
Now the Reflector has been assembled screw in your Grow Light. We’re using a Blue 250W Maxibright CFL Lamp which simply screws in. This is plugged into a Grasslin Segmental Timer which has been set to come on for 14 hours a day. It’s very simple to operate. Turn the arrow seen on the right hand side of the dial to the correct time. Push the levers out to turn the light on and in for when you want the light off. The Reflector is plugged into the Timer then into the wall. The Reflector is attached to the Grow Tent Roof Bars using an Easy Roll held on with cable ties.
When the Reflector is hung up and plugged into the socket, simply turn on the power and put your plants underneath.
You can see in the picture that we’ve added a 2 foot Greenhouse Heater. Our Grow Tent is in an outbuilding that isn’t heated over the weekend and with temperature plummeting to -11'C down here, it’s fair to say our Chillis were a bit chilly ! They looked the worse for wear until some heat was introduced. We’re using a Therma-Hygrometer (front left of picture)to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity inside the Grow Tent and also in the room it is in. It is very easy to use and full instructions are here. The current temperature in the Grow Tent is 23 degrees celcius versus 16 degrees (room temperature).
We’ve watered the seedlings a bit this week- keep an eye on them so they don’t totally dry out. They don’t like being too wet either and we use room temperature water as water from the tap is a bit cold and we want to avoid shocking them. You’ll know when they are too dry as they fall over and look suspiciously like a dead plant, which isn’t a good moment. Don’t worry too much if this happens though as they make what seems like a miraculous recovery after a drink. Just don’t leave them too long without water as there is a limit to what they can withstand.
The final thing to mention this week is that we’re feeding our seedlings once a week with a spray of Plant Magic Evolution Spray. You’ll need to remove them from the light to do this and give them a chance to dry off before putting them back. There’s no need to dilute the spray, just turn the nozzle on and get spraying. The Spray is a complex containing a vast range of bio stimulants, natural plant hormones, Polysaccharide sugars, lots of vitamins, trace elements plus humic and fulvic acids. It is designed to increase vertical growth and assist the plant in developing root growth, leading to a healthier plant and increased yield of fruits – Chillis in this case.
Next week we’re hoping to have some secondary leaves our Chilli seedlings to show you and we’ll be looking to see how the different varieties are doing and looking at how to wire up a Ruck Fan which we’ll be using as the plants get bigger.