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breeden
ursulav

All the Peppers


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I still envy your garden

I successfully grew sugar peas and bush green beans. My cucumbers are flowering and the carrots aren't doing anything. NOTHING I grew in my little plot produced to the scope of yours. I wish I had your space. Although the marigolds were successful and I suspect I have many tiny seeds on the tray I dried the flowers on.

Any food plants you can recommend for high production? I'm in Upstate New York, so I've got good soil and a limited growing season.

Re: I still envy your garden

I have no luck with carrots either! Soil is important. My clay won't grow 'em.

The productivity varies a lot. I had a lousy tomato year here--I got like ONE. (There have been years when I had them coming out my ears.) And it wasn't a good year for peas, either. But the beans are producing pretty well, and the jalapenos are wild.

For sheer balls-to-the-wall productivity, I have good luck with hot peppers, grape tomatoes, and tomatillos. (My garden is mostly good for condiments, honestly.) And the ground cherries have done very well, but this is the first year I've grown them, so I don't know. I am having a fairly solid squash year for ME, but that might be a bad year for somebody else--they needed more fertilizer than they got, I expect, and I traveled a lot, so my occasional meal-every-couple weeks harvest would not impress anybody else. Cucumbers have been dismal this year, whereas some years I can't move for them and we're making pickles until the cows come home. The blueberries out produced what I could harvest, the strawberries...didn't.

So...y'know. It varies a LOT from year to year. I really don't produce all that much from the garden most years--enough for a lot of condiments and a couple of meals, not really a major food source.

Re: I still envy your garden

If I could get to condiment I'd be a happy Saint. (Yes, I call myself that on your blog. You made me one!) Hells, I'd be happy with side dishes! I've harvested snack portions. Considering it's not even 3x3, more like 3x2, I count that a success. Hopefully next year I can get that tree stump destroyed so it can be a 3x3 plot.

Re: I still envy your garden

If you've got clay, I have the BEST soil-loosening tip ever, which I discovered by accident. You take a straw bale, stick it in a hole & pop the strings, then cover it with the clay soil you dug out of the hole. Put your compost or steer manure or whatever over the top and plant as normal, the straw rots underground, and the next year, your soil has loosened to a lovely consistency.

I heard about straw-bale gardening and totally misunderstood. Happy accident.

Re: I still envy your garden

Here's my unsolicited advice: grow what you'll eat. Or what you can give away to someone who'll eat it. ;-)

Re: I still envy your garden

Oh, I'm only growing what my autistic daughter will happily eat!

It makes one wonder... how many farmer's market stalls came into being after the crop of ________ took over the garden, the shed, the sheep field, the three slowest sheep, etc.

a colleague had the Year of the Monster Zucchini

(Anonymous)
and of course they all came ripe at once... they didn't opt for a market stall, just giving one you-know-I'm-a-squash-right? zucchini to every classmate of the children, every colleague at their work, and probably every neighbor 5 streets down to every side :-P

Thanks for the garden updates, I always enjoy reading them!

Our vegetable garden (in southern Maryland) is doing its usual August thing of putting out cherry and Roma tomatoes on an almost production-line level, plus one or two peppers every week. We have a couple of raised beds, which is good enough for our 2-person family size. I've lost a lot of the Roma and most of the full-sized tomatoes so far to cracking, which I suspect is because we had a long stretch where it rained or thunderstormed every day, then the last few weeks has had barely any rain at all, and AFAIK that combo is a big contributor to cracking even with the timed irrigation watering system we use.

The lettuce was coming up gangbusters when we were getting a lot of rain, but then just started to tail off and bolt when a groundhog visited and decimated it; we have a couple of old apple trees which are having good years, so we think it was attracted by fallen apples and decided to diversify its diet while it was at it. My squash was also heavily chewed sometime in the past week, I'm suspecting the same fellow. But, on the plus side the leeks are doing very well, and there's a rogue watermelon that sprang up from my experiment last year at growing a small globe variety (but too seedy for my tastes), so we may get an unintentional watermelon or two this year as well.

I'm also trying the gem squash from Keith M. in three different places, so far so good (they're still too small to make good. I'm hoping I'll get something off of those before the first freeze.


Someone told me that peppers can cross pollinate? So the milder ones can throw some very hot types instead.
I made some more Regret, (personal hot sauce) but it came out a bit milder than usual. Ah well.

if it's like squash, the peppers themselves will be whatever you planted, but if you saved their seeds & planted those, you'd get a hybrid, as I understand it.



OK. That would make more sense!
Thank you!

True, with a caveat!

A lot of the heat of a pepper lies in the seeds. So you CAN actually get a nuclear pepper if it cross-pollinates and you don't clean the seeds out. Our habaneros have been cuddling up with the reapers and are apparently take-the-top-of-your-head-off, but we de-seed the jalapenos and they are merely pleasantly warm.


Peppers.
Sneaky bastards, ain't they?

Ghosts? Scorpions? Sounds like somebody's a real thermophile. I've never had the courage to try anything hotter than a habanero, and am currently growing a cultivar of those that claims to produce hab flavor with jalapeno level heat. No fruit yet, but the growing season here is absurdly long.

I live vicariously through your ability to produce copious numbers of peppers; it is impossible here without a good greenhouse, a whole lot of extra work, and a large amount of luck. Most things I can do, but the peppers I have to buy for ridiculous $$ at the store imported from elsewhere. At least until I can put up a commercial style hoop house!

I can honestly say I feel my face melting off just reading that list of peppers.

No wonder Chicken is looking hot today with all those peppers. If you can't preserve them all how about seeing if your local Church or other foodie charitable organisation can take them off your hands.

By the way that is a lovely dragonfly - one of the reasons I love this time of year is watching them flying around like organic helicopters.

That sounds suspiciously like our garden. It's full of scorpions, jolokias, fataalis, bird peppers, and so on. I think the mildest things we have are a poblano and some fish peppers, which are a gorgeous little variegated-leaf plant.

Unfortunately one of the tomato plants we bought at the farmer's market came with blossom end rot so that's pretty much a lost cause for the whole crop this year. Shame too, because it's been brilliant tomato weather.

I love your gardening and critter posts! I wish I had the energy and perseverance for gardening! Keep growing, girl! :)

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