Carolina Reaper Battle Round 1 — Chemical fertilizer vs. Organic Fishnure

Oh hi. Welcome to 7 Pot Club. I’m Rob. 🎵 I grow hot peppers 🎵 It’s a beautiful
mid-July afternoon, and I’m not going to let noisy neighborhood construction interfere
with my power lounging. I’m unsuccessfully trying to beat level
1552 in Candy Crush Soda while chilling with my reapers. These are the 10 plants I’m growing this
year in order to compare results from feeding with chemical vs. organic fertilizer. 5 of these plants have been fertilized with
the same chemically-derived products I used for last year’s crop, while the remainder
have been nourished with Fishnure organic fish manure compost, generously supplied to
us by Jim White, owner of the company. I thought this would be a good time to check
in and compare how the two groups of plants are doing. In addition update you on the progress of
the rest of the pepper crop, also fueled with Fishnure. Today’s shoutout is to Monty, Charlotte
and Lahni, loyal 7 Pot Club viewers from South Australia! G’day mates! Now, let’s get started. Here they are. 10 Carolina Reaper plants started from seed
indoors last January, about a month before the other seedlings were started. The plants in the light blue pots are chemically
fertilized, while the plants in the honeydew pots have been organically fertilized with
Fishnure. If you want to see how much they’ve grown
while outdoors, here’s what they looked like just before transplanting, fresh out
of the basement, on May 25th. 8 of the plants are kept on this cart, and
the other 2 are out in front just behind our stone wall. I’ve gathered them on our front walk for
evaluation. As you can see, I’m appropriately attired
in one of our new Grim Reapers shirts from our online store at Recapping what we’ve shown you in previous
episodes, here are all the products used in growing the chemically fertilized plants. They’re in 12 inch plastic pots containing
Schultz Moisture Plus Potting Mix, a potting mix that contains some chemical fertilizer. When I transplanted them into the outdoor
pots, I added a tablespoon each of Epsom Salt and Blood Meal, then watered with a little
Quick Start transplant fertilizer. I followed up in about a week later with an
application of Miracle Go Tomato Plant Food. Two weeks ago I applied some Schultz Tomato
& Vegetable Slow Release Plant Food, which should carry them through the rest of the
season. These are the same products I used for all
my plants last year. Here’s the lineup for the organic plants. They’re also in 12-inch plastic pots, but
the potting mix is ProMix Ultimate Organic Mix, combined in a 4-to-1 ratio with Fishnure
Organic Fish Manure Compost. Fishnure is nice to work with because it smells
like fresh earth — while it’s still chock full of lots of live microbes, there’s absolutely
no fishy or manure odor. Just like with the chemically fertilized plants,
I added a tablespoon each of Epsom Salt and Blood Meal when transplanting, and watered
lightly with Dr. Earth Organic Starter Fertilizer. That’s it. I haven’t and don’t plan to apply any
additional fertilization products. I’m just going to let the Fishnure do its thing. And just in case you think I forgot, I always
add a little additional Perlite to all my potting mixes to help with drainage and moisture
retention. So let’s start comparing these plants in
pairs. I’ve given each pair of plants a number
between 1 and 5 so that we can follow them all season and keep track of their growth
and productivity. Most of the plants have some level of four
lined bug damage, which causes spots and holes in the leaves. Unlike some other plants in our garden, no
pepper plants were seriously impacted by this infestation, and this bug’s life cycle is
thankfully coming to an end for this season. Here’s the first pairing. As you can see, some of the pots also contain
Portulaca as decorative companion plants. This pairing is pretty representative of the
group. The organic plants are taking over in size,
but the chemical plants are farther along in developing fruit, although these early
pods are pretty small and many don’t have tails. All the organic plants have lots of flowers
and emerging pods, so it will be interesting to compare these plants again in about a month. Look at all th ripening pods on the chemical
plant. We’ll pick this really red one. Now, pairing #2. Something that’s very noticeable when moving
these pots is how much lighter in weight the organic plants are. The ProMix potting mix is much less dense
than the Moisture Plus, and doesn’t seem to retain as much water. The organic plants do seem to need more frequent
watering, but they also drain better after a heavy rain. Here’s a nice ripe pod on the chemical plant. Moving on to pairing #3. These two are of similar height. You’ll see that better as I turn them around. Something else that is very noticeable in
all these pairings is that the Fishnure plants are much denser in the middle and just seem
more vibrant, even if this one is temporarily a little droopy in the mid-afternoon heat. Once again, we find something to harvest on
the chemical plant. Pairing #4 is the most mismatched. The Fishnure plant is much bigger, and it’s
the only one of the organic plants to have a fully ripe pepper ready to pick. Finally, pairing #5. The chemical plant has some ripe pods, but
the Fishnure plant is incredibly dense, full of flowers and looks like it’s about to
pump out a lot of fruit. Another little snip, snip, and today’s harvest
is complete. We’ll throw these in the freezer and keep
checking daily for newly ripe fruit. We’re going to keep a separate bag in the
freezer for peppers from each of the 10 plants and at the end of the season we’ll easily
be able to determine which plants were more productive. Plus, we’ll be ready to make a lot of hot
sauce! Now the plants are back on their cart until
the next check in, but they’ll battle again soon! We’ll determine the winners at the end of
the season by how many peppers each plant has produced. We’ll rate the plants individually and as
2 groups: organic and chemical. Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments. It’s going to be really hot and humid today,
but we’ll try and keep the plants hydrated so they can relax and soak up the summer sun. Can’t wait to show you a garden full of
ripening peppers in the near future. I hope you’ll stick around take a look at some still photos I took yesterday evening around the garden,
accompanied by a reprise of a song I wrote last year, my ode to summer in Minnesota. 🎵 If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe
to our channel and tap the bell to receive a notification each time we post a new episode. We now have 7 Pot Club logo t-shirts and all
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exploits on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. For 7 Pot Club, I’m Rob.

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