Monday, July 15, 2013

Nice Peppas

It's been said at the garden that I have the best peppers this year. This pleases me. You know, as I've said earlier this spring, this is the year I dedicated myself to growing better peppers. So far so good, but what's different? 

My neighbor grows everything very well (a little miracle goes a long way, wink wink), but this year his peppers are not taking off as usual. This may be the case around the garden. It was, as you remember, inundated with sea water for several hours during Sandy. 

One of the first things I added to my plot this spring was gypsum (calcium sulfate). Calcium is always needed in our sandy, acidic soils, but then gypsum also has the ability to mitigate the salt overload I had expected from sea water. I didn't add any where the garlic was already growing, however, and the peppers there are a fraction of the size (although seeded at the same time, I planted these in the garden two weeks later). Both have had a couple of doses of organic 3-4-3 fertilizer and the hydroponicist's cal-mag solution plus Fertrell 3 fish and seaweed.

Well, whatever the reason, so far it appears we will get some nice sweet reds and hot green New Mexico chile this year. Can't wait (and I hope we're not in Minnesota when they're ready)!

Tomatoes are also doing pretty well. I moved the bed and tried to avoid strains that last year all too easily succumbed to verticillium wilt, yet there is still some signs of it on lower leaves. We have a few green tomatoes and again I am hoping we'll be in town to eat them. 

I'm impressed with Johnny's 'Jericho' romaine -I seeded it late, most never got planted and croaked in the tray. These were tiny things when I planted them after June one. We'll be eating some tonight.

I picked up some runty, but low (ahem) cost cauliflower starts from Larry's. My burlap "grow bag" was a bust, so I used its remains as a weed barrier and mulch around the cauliflower. Today I seeded a small bed of last year's favorite French green beans (Nickel, Velour). All the remaining garlic has been pulled and sized up nicely without any skin rot to speak of (all thanks to that fine, sandy soil). Today I turned over a neighboring plot, full of weeds for years, and seeded it with buckwheat only to be told that it belonged to another "school." The schools hardly plant anything and when they do no one returns to care for it. But you know what, I may get some more real estate down there after all.

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