Last year was my first foray into hydroponics. It was not only a great learning experience, but I had so much fun with it, that I decided to have another go at it and expend just a touch. With the new lighting system that I installed for the start of this season, I should be able to accommodate two plants instead of just the one that I grew last year.

With the exception of the number of plants the process is basically the exact same as last year so I’m not going to go into detail on that here. For this post, I’m just going to share the pepper varieties that I’m starting this year and some photos of the process.

supplies for hydroponic pepper growing

Once everything was gathered and the plants selected the night before, it was time to get rolling. This year, I’m going to go with Yellow Fatalli, a yellow Scorpion and red Lava Scorpion. I tried growing the Fatalii for the outdoor season this year, but none of them ever germinated. I figured I’ve give them another shot before calling these seeds a bust. The yellow Scorpion seeds come courtesy fellow grower, Harri. And the Lava Scorpions were a recent purchase from Jim Duffy’s Refining Fire Chilis.

pepper seeds

The seeds were once again started in rock wool with a bit of hydroponic solution as a kick start. I wasn’t overly specific with the final PH as regular tap water would have been just fine at this point in the process. It’ll be more carefully tracked and measured as the plants begin their real feedings.

pepper seeds
pepper seeds

You can see how these rock wool cubes are just about the perfect medium for a small project like this. The seeds just fit right in without issue. A bit of the rock wool was pulled over top of them to close off their holes lightly.

pepper seeds

A cleaned Chinese food take-out container makes for a great greenhouse, trapping in moisture and warmth while a heating mat is used to promote a quicker germination.

pepper seeds

The lights aren’t really necessary at this stage of the project. I just put them on so I could take a photo.

pepper seeds

If last year was any indication — the Aji Lemon produced a good number of fruit — this time around should be just as productive. I’m hoping that the Fatalii finally germinate, but if all three varieties are good to go, I have a tough decision to make. I’m not sure that I’d be able to accommodate a third plant in my current set up, but who knows, I might MacGyver something up.