Tuesday, February 26, 2013


MAR 4, MAR 6, MAR 8,  MAR 10, MAR 14
You will find the blog edits shown in the colors of the dates.
If I had a favorite vegetable in the garden it would probably be peppers.  They can be a dual purpose plant. They make a fabulous foundation planting (they are a beautiful plant).  They don't mind the heat reflecting off the house.  In return they repay your care by producing bountiful crops of edible produce.

This year we are working on cleaning out our seed stash and peppers are on this list.  We did order two new peppers on our seed order (we only ordered from one company this year). We are going to miss a favorite pepper because we are out of that seed.  We will re-order next year.
Next year we will be adding at least one more pepper to our repertoire.  "Yum yums".  Burpee's Big Daddy will be on our repurchase list, this year they will be missed.  The pepper on the left is Burpee's Big Daddy.

 As you can see this is a very prolific pepper. The soil in these two beds is not up to snuff.  (The organic matter ratio is off and they are too well drained.  It is very difficult to keep adequate moisture in the beds.)  They are still  performing above and beyond expectations.

This year's list of pepper varieties:
FOOLED YOU: Pinetree 2012. This is a jalapeno pepper with no heat.  They are extremely extremely prolific.    I have found these freeze fantastically.  We chop them in quarter inch dice and freeze on a cookie tray and dump into a plastic bag.  I had some in the freezer for two years.  When sauteed in oil I could tell no loss of flavor or change in texture.
GURNEYS DOUBLE DELIGHT:  This is a new addition to our seed stash.  We ordered it because we  were out of our favorite "Big Bertha".  The description sounded similar and Gurneys doesn't handle Bertha seed. 2013
GURNEY'S DOUBLE DELIGHT:  Another  new pepper for us.  It is described as a thick walled bull horn. It seems like a good substitute for the Big Daddy we won't have this year. The only draw back is it isn't yellow.

 MARCONI ROSSO:  Henry Fields 2010. This is another of the bull horns.  It is three lobed, I don't know if it is thinner walled.  We will be comparing these plants and the other bull horns for production, size, taste and thickness of walls.

GIANT MARCONI:  Totally tomatoes 2010.  This is a blockier version of the bullhorn pepper but is like the bullhorn in size, length and taste.

CORONO DI TORO-GIALLO:  Scheeper's 2010.  Another bull horn,  This one has a plus, it is yellow.  Hopefully it will fill the space of the Big Daddy Pepper.  Last year it did not perform well but so many things in the garden didn't because of the weather.   It looks like we'll be testing a few plants of each, and giving away the seeds of the ones that don't perform to our liking.  Where did we get all these, LOL.  If I had taken time to proof seeds in December this year I would not have ordered seeds I already had.

QUADRATO D'ASTI ROSSO:  Scheeper's 2007 , a thick walled large bell pepper.

ACONCQUA:  Saved seed,  Original seed was purchased through Pinetree seeds. These did real well in the greenhouse this year.  They are very prolific.  They are an extremely large cubannelle type.

The seeds were planted in a soil less medium.  I used "Activia cups" to plant them in.  These were put inside a plastic bag inside our propagation chamber.  The temperature will be kept at 72 degrees.


FEB 26, 2013                      DATE     DATE     DATE    DATE         DATE
                                           MAR 4    MAR 6    MAR 8   MAR 10     MAR 14
FOOLED YOU                                   5/12         5/12         7/12           10/12 (2 MOVED)
12 SEEDS 2012

DOUBLE DELIGHT          1/10        2/10         5/10          6/10           8/10  (2 MOVED)
Gurneys 10 seeds

GIANT II                            1/10         6/10          7/12         8/10           9/10 (5 MOVED)
Gurney's 10 seeds

MARCONI ROSSO                                                               1/6          1/6
H. Fields  6 seeds

CORONO DI TORO                                            1/5             1/5         1/6
GIALLO Scheepers
5 seeds 2010

QUADRATO D'ASTI                                                                           0/6
ROSSO Scheeper's
6 seeds  2007

T.Tomatoes 4 seeds                                                                   1/4      1/4

ACONCQUA                 1/12          3/12         5/12                   6/12    8/12 (2 MOVED)
Mine OP 12 seeds

MARCH 4:  Finally, I have just been over anxious for them to germinate, to see some form of life.  The 3 are just peeking the surface.  I pulled them out of the propagation chamber and put them under the lights.  These were all 2013 seeds.  I will have to be patient, I know the older seed will take longer to sprout.

MARCH  6:  Boy are these slow. I am so glad I started them ahead.  The thoughts in the back of my head was I was going to have to babysit these far too long.  It looks like they are right on their sprouting schedule.  

MARCH 8:  While checking for new sprouting I noticed two of the seeds had sprouted and were turning green but they had not "POPPED THEIR SEED CASINGS OFF".  If these are not removed the plant will not mature.  These beginning "leaves" are called cotyledons.  I take my fingernail and clip the seed casing off.  You will loose the points on these cotyledons but it will not harm the development of leaves.  (btw wait till you can see that there are two cotyledons at the base before you remove it.  Sometimes, a day later the seed casing will pop off itself.) The photo on the left is of the trapped cotyledon.


The picture on the left is the cotyledon after I pinched off the seed casing.  The casing can be clipped off sooner.  You must remember to not pinch below the "Y" of the "leaves".  Make sure there is enough growth so that you are not disturbing the base where the new growth will happen.  If the remaining 3 pepper varieties have not sprouted by the time I plant my tomato seeds I will plant some more of them.  Two of the varieties are from 2010, they should still be viable.  I am also going to plant the last of the "Giallo".  I have decided I want more of this variety(and they aren't sprouting well either)

MARCH 10:  Two of the last three varieties sprouted.  One of each, will be enough to tell me by the end of the year if I want to purchase more of that seed (bar no unforeseen accidents like ground hogs or tornadoes.  Yes, we have had a tornado plow through our plants and our Green house.).  I do hope the Giant Marconi will show at least one plant, too.
Giallo has not shown any more life, I will plant the remainder of the packet of seed when I plant my tomatoes next week.  I want to save seed from this variety if it does well and produces the type of

pepper we enjoy.  The first three varieties in the sprouting chart are hybrids.  I won't be saving seed from them  but the rest we will.
This morning in the propagation chamber, I found this crawling around a newly emerged seedling.   It had to have hatched in there because the plants were in a sealed plastic bag.   I was wondering how a soil less mix harbored insect eggs.  What I have is an off-colored Asian Lady Bug.  The bane of my existence on my living room east/south windows in January.
I went to check several sites and deduced it was what I thought it was. The following site gave me some information that is extremely useful.
In my blog on using newspapers, recycling them as mulch:
I cautioned about mealy bugs (roly poly/sow) loving to nest in and eat the papers.  I did not know there was a predator for them.  Perusing I found this:
I literally thought it was a bug that had grown some kind of mold and I dispatched him. I now know, I should have saved him. 

MARCH 14:  Today is moving day, most of the seedlings have grown large enough to handle being put into their own apartments.  Finding enough Activa cups for them all is hard.  I can't eat it fast enough to supply the demand...LOL 
Some of the seedlings were not quite ready to transplanted. 
We had to work to gently remove the larger plants from the trays.

First thing we do is get all the "necessaries" together.   Once we begin we don't want to have to go looking for items to work with.  Clockwise:  Hershey's syrup bottle with luke warm water, Drinking water bottle for me, Cat litter box of mixed dirt for transplanting, gallon jug with the fish emulsion mixed in the water, (scissors, pens, glue stick, note book, labels, paper, phone, TV gizmos,  eye glasses).  Plants, tiny instruments for transplanting, Pots, paper towels.
HERSHEY'S BOTTLE:  This holds luke warm water to water the seedlings in when we have to disturb them to remove a friend.
DRINKING WATER FOR ME (Self explanatory)
KITTY LITTER BUCKET:  We re-use and re-cycle lots of items.  This oval one was perfect for mixing our soil for transplanting in.  What is our soil mix.  In a large wheel barrow we mix one part soil with one part peat moss, with 1/2 part sand, 1/2 part of our dried manure from goats/sheep/cow and one part rice hulls. When this is well mixed we add a quart of Epsom salts and a quart of bone meal to a large wheel barrow of the mix. This is then stored to use for potting. We take equal amounts of this and our soil less mix and mix them together. This is what we use for the first transplanting.
GALLON JUG OF FISH EMULSION:  We mix 3 tablespoons of emulsion with the gallon of luke warm water. 
SECRETARIAL GROUPING:  The TV gizmo's are for listening to programs while I am doing what can be a repetitive dull job (did you notice they are in a plastic bag?  this serves to keep them clean. They still work through the plastic).  The phone is in case I receive a call.  Glasses..I am at an age where things are very blurry.  Glue stick to apply those labels to the containers.
PLANTS: They are why we are going through this.
POTS:  The infamous Activia cups prepared for use.  (notice the re-used Styrofoam trays from the meat department.
SMALL TOOLS:  I keep an eye out for things that will work for transplanting.  A hibachi fork, a small butter knife, a tiny fork used for ordourves, and a tiny spoon (I think it used to be a artificial sweetener scoop).
I forgot to mention one important necessary for me.  Plastic gloves.  I cannot stand to touch dirt. The feel of it under my nails or drying on my hands is very uncomfortable.  Writing about the idea is giving me the chills....LOL.  I get my box of gloves every year from my dentist. They seem to be heavier than the regular doctors gloves.  I always request them in my favorite color and they are silicone and talcum free.  I can wear them quite a few uses before they have fatigue.  I just turn them inside out and give them a wash and let them dry.  Then when I need them I just turn them back to right side out  and happily work in the dirt. 

Another item which is recycled not trashed.   The Joy bottle is for applying the fish emulsion to the newly planted plants.  Using the small bottle with a nozzle gives control and you don't flood the plants or wash them out of their pots.  Watering in with the fish emulsion instead of water gives the plants a boost which is much needed to help them over the transplanting shock.
Remember the plant which had the trapped cotyledon?  This is not the same one, but the plant on the left (see the leaf that looks stunted) is one I pinched off the seed casing.  You can see the growth of the new true leaves

This crowded pot on the left,  has one over grown candidate to extract.  For demonstration I will use another pot where all the plants need new homes.  The picture below is the pot with the peppers gently removed.  I do not water for 12 hours before so the loose medium will fall apart.  If it is stubborn and too rooted together, then I set the in a bowl of luke warm water until the medium is loosened up.

These are the plants in their new apartments.  I used the seedling tray for the smallest seedling since we are low on activia cups.  I will probably have to transplant it again sooner than the other plants. 
We have already started our eggplant and broccoli plants.  
Check this blog's directory under the label "seed starting".  

For more blogs by me, visit at:
A blog mostly about quilting,
but cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
New blog, tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
New Blog about dolls.
Not a garden blog.
There are articles which have nothing to do
with creating or gardening.
There are blogs on the new born baby kittens
we found and mothered.
It is a blog where I voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.

 As always, any pictures or writings are my own. 
Credit has been given to contributions not my own.
 Please do not use without permission.

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