Introduction: Easy and VERY CHEAP Green House/incubator

Picture of Easy and VERY CHEAP Green House/incubator

So, I bought some little Ghost Pepper seeds and was all excited!! I knew peppers were pretty easy to grow last time I tried and they were fun and useful.....unfortunately I live in Arizona.....and they love hot and humid...Hot, we've got! Humid.....not so much. So, what to do? I don't have a lot of money to go and buy a 62 seed starting kit, and I only need 2 good plants, because, lets face it! They're Ghost Pepper!!!!! so here was my solution:

Need:
-soil        -fertilizer        -seeds        -pot (small to start with)        -*mini aqua globe-sold at the dollar store!        -clear plastic wrap
-sticks, tooth picks, anything that is small and will act as a support.        -tape(scotch)        -and water source doesn't hurt either! :)

By looking at the picture, it's pretty obvious what I did. Simply cut the sticks (four) to the desired height and place them in the corners. Add the plastic wrap and tape it down, leaving room at the bottom of one corner to slide the aqua globe in and out as it needs refilling.

Notes and Tips:
-Sticks -you may be tempted to just wrap over the whole pot and avoid the stick thing for the time being, and I suppose depending on the distance from the top of the pot to your soil, it would be ok, but in my case, the plants grew too quickly and I was having to re-build it this was very quickly.
-plastic wrap:  to get the cleanest look and most effective design, I simply took a 12x12 (or so) piece and cut it. I took one long piece that was long enough to fold over the top of all four sticks and well over to the other side and taped it down on both sides (creating 2 side and the roof. Then I took another lone piece and wrapped it around and taped it down. 
-Tape: The less tape you use the better it will look and work. You are using the tape to keep the wrap taught. I pretty much lined the bottom of my pot with tape to seal it, but that part is not visible in my planter.
-The Most Important Things:
        *Keep as perfect of a seal on the pot as possible. If it is done correctly, then water droplets will line the roof and sides of the plastic wrap.
        *I used a small pot (about 2.5"x2.5") to start my peppers in and the mini aqua globe fit perfectly, however, it was also top heavy! Luckily I have a window seal planter, but you will need to make stability arrangements, if you don't!
        *And as common sense says, your plant will out grow this eventually, so be prepared to make more! I have also adapted this to other seeds and even to an outdoor strawberry garden I attempted. (I say attempted because javalina (wild pigs) came up and torn threw it and ate them all! :( very sad....but for the 2 weeks I had it, it worked beautifully!)

***I will can post more pictures of how to tape the plastic wrap to it if anyone needs!!

Comments

AngryRedhead (author)2011-05-04

I'd be worried about the heat building up inside that greenhouse because ghost peppers still need full sun. I'd recommend mulching the living daylights out of the plant and putting it in some amended soil (double dug if you can manage it).

maxm2820 (author)AngryRedhead2011-05-04

I had mine in mostly sunlight on my window seal for about 2 months and only added water through the mini aqua globe. I didn't even fertilize it and still haven't a month later! About 3 or 4 weeks ago I took off all of the plastic wrap. They are about 4 inches tall now with a healthy thick stem, 5 or 6 layers of beautiful green leaves! And still going! I also did it for some herbs and they cut the incubation time in half! They are actually growing too fast! I am out of space to replant! (til next paycheck, of course!) :) So I guess it's something people have to watch for. If the plants start wilting or turning yellow, then they are too hot or too cold, either way, something needs to change. I did it this way because there is a cheap and effective way to garden in an apartment and it doesn't mean that you have to even spend $20.00 on green house or seed starter kit. maybe not even $20.00 total! Out side of a small bag of fertilizer, and the seeds, there was no cost to my seed-started-garden!!! However, I will be spending more on pots and soil soon as more and more plants need transplanting!

AngryRedhead (author)maxm28202011-05-05

I didn't realize you were doing this inside.  Are they going to be taken outside eventually?

maxm2820 (author)AngryRedhead2011-05-05

Most likely! I am moving to Texas, so the humidity and warmth should be perfect for them (kinda unexpected when I started this little garden! I hope they make the trip!). My plan was, to try them outside once I got a better watering system going for them or a large aqua globe (very convenient, these globes!! at least in AZ). But I just don't think they are strong enough to deal with AZ summers yet even native plants have a hard time...

I was ok with the thought that they might have to live their whole lives indoors in AZ, though. And I figured that as long as they are small enough to fit in a portable pot, they will move around, once they get too big, they should be hardy enough to handle an all outdoor life. If not? It's time to start thinking outside of the box again!! :)

But, like I said, I am moving to Texas and it's rarely over 100* during the hottest part of the summer, and it's always humid so they should do even better there...we will see though!! :)

What do you think? This is my first time growing Ghost Peppers! I grew Chile peppers last time I was in TX and I don't think I could kill them if I tried!!!!!! :)

AngryRedhead (author)maxm28202011-05-05

It depends on where you'll be in Texas.  Where I am, it's quite common to get over 100F during the summer.  A couple summers ago, I think we had 2 months in a row where daily temperatures were 100F+.

Peppers are one of the easiest crops to grow in Texas, but they really do need a huge root system and lots of water.  Or at least around here they do.  Probably the easiest pepper to grow is the native one, the Pequin Chile.  I have one in part shade next to the air conditioner and never water it (the AC does that for me).  It hasn't died to the ground and produces almost constantly through the growing season.  It's done so well that I've planted more in the landscape, and it makes for a great ornamental and edible.

I don't expect you'll have a problem so long as provide enough soil, light, fertilizer, and water, but don't rely on the aqua globes once temperatures heat up and you move the plant to a bigger pot.  I've tried plant nannies, and they would empty almost immediately due to the heat/sun.  And they didn't provide enough water which meant me watering anyway.  I think they only really work for indoor plants.

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