Great to see the update on how things are going! You aren't kidding about the local growth stall. Seems to be hitting my scotch bonnets worst of all. Heck, we hit 80F in mid-March and had < 50F's and hail within the last few days. The big weather swings just don't seem to give the chilies a chance to settle in and do their thing.
I think a hoop house would be a big plus for you. I struggle some because it's not located at my house so I can't adjust it daily if/as needed, but it still helps with hardening off and adds length to my season on both ends. It's easy to set up and then take down when not needed and you can adjust it from fully enclosed for temps all the way to an open ended tunnel to simply keep the rain off the plants and protect them from wind damage. I don't mind losing those big low leaves at all though. I figure they always get beat up and being down touching the soil or in the "splash zone" they make the plant more susceptible to diseases and bugs and such. Plus once they're gone the sun can reach the low lateral growth nodes that much easier.
Your "late starts" look in great shape to produce this season - and I like that canopy shot of uniform healthy green leaves. Blueberries looking good too! I let mine get a little dry at the wrong time and they aren't looking nearly that plump. Glad things are doing good and hopefully our weather will be better from here on out.
I got done typing replies and thought... Wait a second I missed CDs!!
Thanks for stopping by neighbor!! Good to hear your plants felt the stall too, whenever they come to a halt like that I KNOW in my mind its weather but then I start to wonder... "Did I mess something up? What am I doing wrong here? I did everything just like last year! So.. I should be good.. right? It's gotta be weather... Right..? What if its not though?!" lol.. I've definitely noticed that the hotter the pepper the more they struggle with our climate so it makes sense your scotch was struggling. My Cayenne has been handling our spring the best by far, Fatalii and Caribbean 2nd place and the rest are all superhots and they're taking it the worst by a long shot. How did all the other crazy varieties your growing fair? Ah don't answer that I need to head over to your glog I'll find out!!
You've talked me into it! If you don't mind maybe I could ask you a few questions regarding the hoophouse, I've never messed with one or built one.. Where did you get yours? Did you build it? Any info would be awesome.. I bring in most of my plants come frost-thirty inside the house to ripen up all pods so I have the tail end of the season under wraps but I really wanna get them outdoors earlier in the spring without having to worry about the bipolar spring weather we get. I can see that having the main portion or your garden away from home would cause some issues, that's dedication right there I don't know how active I'd be in the gardening world if I had to drive to do it, hats off to you there!
I'm with you on the big leaves. They always look good indoors and they're always the first to look like shit and drop after plant out for me. All my CCN's have dropped a good 75% of the "indoor" leaves they had once upon a time. Like you said, the branching takes over in a quick hurry and branching means more pods!
Finally got some good weather this week hopefully your plants liked it as much as mine did. And what do you know... were coolin off again just like that! lol. Seems to be temporary... We'll see!
Hope all is well with you bud!