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#1 Mr. West

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:23 PM

Currently, I'm growing hundreds of datil plants, all of which were started as seeds saved from last year's pods off my 3 original plants. These are now about 4 years old, and the first round of seedlings broke ground on thanksgiving. Also mixed in are habaneros started from the seeds of store bought pods.
Back in march, when i transplanted all of the new starts to my outdoor plot, I spaced all of them very tightly (e.g. the middle row is about 30 plants, no more than a hand's width apart).
Thus far, the only effects I've noticed have been beneficial.
This "crowding" method of spacing plants, as i have since researched, helps shade the soil and maintain cooler temperatures below the canopy.
This in turn helps prevent moisture loss and creates more a favorable microclimate for beneficial bacteria and other organisms that support healthy roots in the top soil layer.
I am also attempting to implement diy means of creating partial shade or filtered light, in order to further reduce upper canopy temperatures and minimize blossom drop due to heat stress.
My garden bed is basically a sandy trench where i removed grass from the lawn, amended with coco coir, alfalfa & neem seed meal, guano, trace minerals, and reused perlite.
Also, not pictured but I recently mulched with peat moss and scratched in espoma plant tone.
I feed with A) solution of silica and cal mag B) molasses C) fish hydrolysate.
Foliar feed micronutrients with humic/fulvic weekly for more blossoms.
photo may 20th

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#2 The_NorthEast_ChileMan

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:54 PM

Back in march, when i transplanted all of the new starts to my outdoor plot, I spaced all of them very tightly (e.g. the middle row is about 30 plants, no more than a hand's width apart).
Thus far, the only effects I've noticed have been beneficial.
This "crowding" method of spacing plants, as i have since researched, helps shade the soil and maintain cooler temperatures below the canopy.
This in turn helps prevent moisture loss and creates more a favorable microclimate for beneficial bacteria and other organisms that support healthy roots in the top soil layer.

`
When I did a lot of in ground gardening I used Square foot gardening with great success. looks like you've improved on it!


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#3 solid7

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:15 PM

Currently, I'm growing hundreds of datil plants, all of which were started as seeds saved from last year's pods off my 3 original plants. These are now about 4 years old, and the first round of seedlings broke ground on thanksgiving. Also mixed in are habaneros started from the seeds of store bought pods.
Back in march, when i transplanted all of the new starts to my outdoor plot, I spaced all of them very tightly (e.g. the middle row is about 30 plants, no more than a hand's width apart).
Thus far, the only effects I've noticed have been beneficial.
This "crowding" method of spacing plants, as i have since researched, helps shade the soil and maintain cooler temperatures below the canopy.
This in turn helps prevent moisture loss and creates more a favorable microclimate for beneficial bacteria and other organisms that support healthy roots in the top soil layer.
I am also attempting to implement diy means of creating partial shade or filtered light, in order to further reduce upper canopy temperatures and minimize blossom drop due to heat stress.
My garden bed is basically a sandy trench where i removed grass from the lawn, amended with coco coir, alfalfa & neem seed meal, guano, trace minerals, and reused perlite.
Also, not pictured but I recently mulched with peat moss and scratched in espoma plant tone.
I feed with A) solution of silica and cal mag B) molasses C) fish hydrolysate.
Foliar feed micronutrients with humic/fulvic weekly for more blossoms.
photo may 20th

 

I'm a fellow Floridian.  Few in the continental US have it as difficult as we have it for in-ground gardening down here.  But nothing - and I mean absolutely NOTHING - beats a really thick layer of mulch in our gardens.  Mulch isn't that stuff in the bags at the box stores.  It's leaves.  I use ficus, oak, and banana leaves in my garden.  I used pine bark.  And I use lot and lots and lots of weed pullings/clippings/mowings. I even lay twigs and palm fronds down in a single flat layer. Basically, if it comes from my environs, I return it.

.

I live on the beach.  We're never gonna have black soil.  But since I started this practice of never hauling anything to the curb, the tilth on my property has multiplied exponentially.  And I water about 1/10th as much.

.

In summary... Don't neglect your mulching. ;)


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#4 Bicycle808

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:31 PM

I live a few blocks off the Delaware River, and winds can get pretty fierce in my neighborhood. Last year, I spaced my plants pretty tight, mostly due to poor planning. (Too many plants, not enough space.) I found it was beneficial, for all the reasons Mr West listed, plus I really think it helped mitigate the winds issues. That plants sheltered eachother, and proper each other up, I think. I spaced my plants pretty tight again this year; hoping for the same effect once they grow in better.

You are entering the buttocks with the spicy hand of Chinese pepper? And pleasure from this low pepper? I am not sure but the scorpion pepper musk when raw, is the sexual experience. This is granted, and evident in the taste, and the woman jealous. 


#5 Mr. West

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:15 PM




Bicycle808, i can certainly relate to having more plants than you know what to do with.
Suppose i got a bit carried away with germinating and didnt consider my limited resources for planting out. Now its a lot to tend. So, i have taken many shortcuts. Fortunately, this one has proven useful.

Another example of my laziness/ thoughtlessness working out: I have rounds of new starts and seedlings taking root amid already established plants (rosemary in a large pot, and forget-me-nots in a planter). So, finding these successful, i've begun research into nurse crop planting.

I like the advice from solid7 on the importance of mulching. I regularly pull grass roots to keep it from encroaching the planting rows' borders.
So, my plan now is to use them as mulch.
As long as im not inviting pests or disease...

#6 Mr. West

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:18 PM

I just started using dry banana leaves as mulch. Great suggestion.

#7 solid7

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 08:14 PM

I regularly pull grass roots to keep it from encroaching the planting rows' borders.
So, my plan now is to use them as mulch.
As long as im not inviting pests or disease...

 

On the contrary...  If you want to get rid of soil borne pests - like nematodes, for just one example - the best way to do so, is to increase organic matter. There are so many beneficial organisms that deter, if not parasitize harmful organisms.  

.

As far as disease goes...  The weeds usually grow stronger than your plants, no?  That's a really good cue that they contain some great growth hormones and enzymes that should help stimulate growth.  I get the absolute greenest plants when I mulch heavy.  That deep, dark, cool hydro grow room green...

.

Obviously, if you think a plant is sick, you don't want to put it into mulch or compost.  But it should be fairly obvious.  No mulch that has been sprayed with ANY type of herbicide, ever.  If you treat your lawn, I'd say be careful.  But anything that is harvested in a natural state, go for it.

.

Banana leaves are fantastic.  Plus, if you cut down your bananas after the last fruit is harvested, you can cut ring sections, which hold A LOT of moisture.  Use those, instead of constant watering.  I actually mulch all of my bananas with dead leaves, and spent mothers.


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#8 solid7

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 08:18 PM

Companion planting is also a great thing to do.  Just make sure that your plants play well together.  Old Farmer's Almanac has a pretty decent list of compatible companion plants for just about all commonly grown garden plants.

.

My pepper companions are basil, nasturtium, spearmint, and marigold.  Catnip is also supposed to be fantastic.  I plant my companions in the nursery containers, and let them grow with the peppers before plant out, and then I install them all in one shot.


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#9 Chorizo857_62J

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 05:21 PM

Soil quality here  where I am is very poor.  Builder's sand overlying clay.  Difficult to grow anything, and soil nematodes became a problem.  That is why I went to containers, with success, but I would love to be able to ground-plant things again and have less maintenance.  We are getting a lot of water too with summer thunderstorms.

 



#10 solid7

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 06:03 PM

Soil quality here  where I am is very poor.  Builder's sand overlying clay.  Difficult to grow anything, and soil nematodes became a problem.  That is why I went to containers, with success, but I would love to be able to ground-plant things again and have less maintenance.  We are getting a lot of water too with summer thunderstorms.

 

 

 

That layer of clay is your saving grace.  Before the early 2000's most homes down here weren't built on that.  But they started doing that to build a perched water table, to help keep some moisture, and to help cap off groundwater contaminants from all the fertilizer that people put on the grass that doesn't even do well here.

.

So what you really want to do, is get started laying down organic matter, as thick as you can.  Some good horse manure, really does the trick.  Also, we live in Florida, so pine bark is abundant.  Use this to your advantage.  Just anything, and everything.  But a wood chipper and pick up roadside tree trimmings.  Never let your green waste go to the dump.  YOu'll be amazed at what you'll be growing.

.

Along with that, though, you'll want to make sure that you keep it topped off.  Put a border on it.  Keep stuff trimmed back.  Don't till.  Ever.  And never let it get to a point that you're exposing the soil underneath.  Keep it covered.

.

It can be done down here.


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#11 Mr. West

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 04:48 PM

I have one pepper ripening now thats shaped like a pumpkin. Harvesting it soon. I'll post a photo. It's the first and i think the only fruit on the plant. I've harvested one like this before, from the parent plant. I have another plant beside it that has 3, all pumpkins. Odd for datils...

Edited by Mr. West, 04 July 2018 - 04:50 PM.


#12 Mr. West

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:02 AM

I wanted to get another side-view picture of this, but my phone died and i ate it.
I recall, the one I harvested previously was smaller and also had a lobe protruding from the top, right beside the calyx.
Now i have spotted another datil, with a more standard shape, that has the same feature of a lump right at the calyx where it almost looks like another conjoined fruit body sort-of curls up from where the existing pod is attached.
On the first one, this part remained green even after the main body fully ripened.
I'll try to get a picture.

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#13 Mr. West

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:22 AM

Here's the mutant err...
It looks like it started out in the fetal position then created two new "tails" or casper arms, originating from the calyx. I pulled it early, because of a brown spot in the hollow.
I don't supplement any PGR or hormones.
So, what's it all about?

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#14 Mr. West

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:25 AM

Meh

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#15 thefish

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 01:34 AM

 

 

That layer of clay is your saving grace.  Before the early 2000's most homes down here weren't built on that.  But they started doing that to build a perched water table, to help keep some moisture, and to help cap off groundwater contaminants from all the fertilizer that people put on the grass that doesn't even do well here.

.

So what you really want to do, is get started laying down organic matter, as thick as you can.  Some good horse manure, really does the trick.  Also, we live in Florida, so pine bark is abundant.  Use this to your advantage.  Just anything, and everything.  But a wood chipper and pick up roadside tree trimmings.  Never let your green waste go to the dump.  YOu'll be amazed at what you'll be growing.

.

Along with that, though, you'll want to make sure that you keep it topped off.  Put a border on it.  Keep stuff trimmed back.  Don't till.  Ever.  And never let it get to a point that you're exposing the soil underneath.  Keep it covered.

.

It can be done down here.

 

you can expand on it by experimenting with layering different materials that will also improve the drainage and all of them can be obtained cheaply. 

 

http://www.instructa...-A-Lasagna-Bed/



#16 Chorizo857_62J

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:06 AM

I typically use my lawn clippings to compost around my bananas.  Have been doing that for about 14 years, and built up a nice organic loam.  Occasionally I will dump old potting soil, oak leaves, and some wood ash in and layer it up.  We use pine bark for mulch of everything that doesn't have grass.  It keeps the weeds down, and our drainage is OK, but I have had much better luck keeping things in containers this year.  A bit more maintenance, but healthier plants.



#17 solid7

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:14 AM

I typically use my lawn clippings to compost around my bananas.  Have been doing that for about 14 years, and built up a nice organic loam.  Occasionally I will dump old potting soil, oak leaves, and some wood ash in and layer it up.  We use pine bark for mulch of everything that doesn't have grass.  It keeps the weeds down, and our drainage is OK, but I have had much better luck keeping things in containers this year.  A bit more maintenance, but healthier plants.

 

I just started my first year in this house, in raised beds.  I am just the opposite...  So far, best grow yet.  

Pine bark alone won't do much to condition your soil, but your bananas must be doing amazingly well in that mix.  Have you tried planting anything else in or around that area?


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#18 Mr. West

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 04:44 PM

Pots crowded with seedlings all germinated together

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#19 Mr. West

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 04:48 PM

These 36 plugs were transplanted from a seed starting tray 5 days ago.
I have between 1-6 young plants in each cup.
IMG_1999.JPG

Edited by Mr. West, 08 July 2018 - 04:51 PM.


#20 Mr. West

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:15 PM

That 2nd last picture, the pot on the left.
I transplanted just now.
31 cups, all individually separated, except one has 4.

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