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Member Since 15 Mar 2018
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Topics I've Started

Ideal spacing---in the Dirt---in rows & between rows

23 May 2018 - 04:23 PM

After a search of the growing archives, I can't seem to find a good answer to this question.  So I'll ask your opinions.


When planting in the dirt (I am using raised rows), what's the ideal spacing you prefer?  I'm talking to avoid sun scald, yet keep good air flow,  Last year, I planted in a staggered double row, keeping 3 feet between each plant and that was waaaaay too much spacing. Doing that ended up with 2-1/2' spacing on the diagonal and 1-1/2' between rows.


Attached File  staggered peppers.jpg   41.32KB   8 downloads


Too much of the crop was lost to sun scald.  Yet, I suspect if I keep 2 feet between plants in a row, it's not going to be enough space to maintain good air flow.  The community gardens are on a rise, are generally fairly breezy and has no shade whatsoever, other than what I provide with plantings (i.e., sunflowers) or shade cloth.  Yes, I know peppers love sun, but too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing.


What kind of spacing works for you?


2018 NMLarson Community Garden GLOG

12 May 2018 - 08:38 PM

I've created garden journals in the past, along with using on-line garden planners that incorporated notes, but nothing like a GLOG.  So, here goes!

The planner I've used the past couple of years generates an image of the garden, along with a plant list.  My home is a development in a wooded area, on the side of a hill, so all the trees and critters makes it next to impossible to garden.  I do have a few things I grow in pots on our deck, like kitchen herbs and one or two tomatoes, but for all intents and purposes, I don't garden at home.  
The community garden where I do garden, requires a lot of prep work.  It's a County-run community garden, so you live by their rules.  And, their rules say you give the garden back at the end of the year, they mow it then and disc it at the beginning of each new year.  So, every spring, you essentially prepare a new garden.   
My two 30'x30' plots are, fortunately, connected but, unfortunately, the land slopes diagonally across them.  Each year, after the gardens are disced, I move dirt from the high end to the low end and lay out raised beds to help counter the flow of water when the summer downpours come.  The soil from the pathways goes toward raising the beds in the low side of the garden. 
At any rate, my garden is my therapy.  It feeds the gardener, the artist and the chef in me.  This is my 2018 layout, designed by me, but generated by the planner:
Attached File  2018 garden plan.jpg   145.37KB   10 downloads
Here's a direct link to the image:  https://www.growveg....lans/927422.jpg
Eighteen hundred square feet is a lot for one person to garden without any power tools or machinery, so there's about 450 square feet at the east end that will get planted in cover crop this year.  It's a "keyhole" garden, something new for me. Theoretically, all the growing areas of the garden can be reached from a pathway, eliminating the need to walk on any bed.  However, I have a few mesh-enclosed "hoop houses" I've built to grow the most pest-prone veggies... cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, & bush beans... and they are all located at the high end of the garden, outside of the "keyhole" area.  That area will also house a 55 gallon water tank, two chairs, an umbrella and, a prerequisite in any of my gardens, a small folding table to hold cold beverages..  :cheers: 
True to the past few years, it's already proving to be another weird weather year. The gardens opened May 1, as it's been too wet here to disc.  On May 2, I put up my flag, perimeter stakes and fencing, and it started raining again.  The east-west trench is dug, and I decided to concentrate on getting the beds in order, as I haven't had a chance to get any of the onions, beets or lettuce in yet. 
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The lettuce and onions are sitting on the window box at my kitchen window, waiting for dirt day:
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Pepper, tomato and eggplant starts went pretty well this year.  Only a couple of variety of tomatoes, one grape, one sauce type and one saladette gave me fits, dropping their lowest branches, acting as if they had the wilt.  But, they are still growing, so I just isolated them from the others.  They've all been moved outside onto the deck, as they've grown too large for my indoor grow area, some of the peppers over a foot tall at this point.  
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They have been potted on to 4" pots and that's where they'll stay until dirt day.  The only disappointment was a peach biquinho, which never germinated, and I'm out of space in the garden, so it's no great loss.
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That's not the case for the tomatillos.  They are getting HUGE, toppling over, so they will go into a couple gallon pots.
Here's the entire plan, including plant list.  Hope the link works.
Soooooooooo, that is the beginning of my GLOG. Until dirt day!  Hope you enjoy following my GLOG!

How's my Black Pearl doing?

27 April 2018 - 07:07 AM

Good Morning, All!


This year is a first for me growing Black Pearl peppers.  The seeds were one of Justin's amazing freebies from White Hot Peppers.


For those of you with experience with the variety, would you offer up your opinions on how it's doing?  It was seeded in coir 3/22, transplanted into my potting mix 4/1 when its first cotys appeared (which were really dark), and transplanted 4/22 when the first set of true leaves developed.  It's now growing in a mix of Hoffman's Seed Starting Mix, coir and worm castings (8:1:1), getting Dyna-Gro Grow and an occasional spritz of Cal-Mag.  Today, I just watered everything with a solution of Great White.  The color of the cotys concerned me, as they really dark when they popped, but I decided to just be patient.  The true leaves are now developing some darker coloration from the tip back to the axil.  This plant is now less then a month old.  Is it progressing as it should and does it look relatively healthy?  Thanks for any opinions!


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Marinated Peppers

23 April 2018 - 05:15 PM

Marinated Red Peppers Recipe


Makes 2 half pints. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1 quart red bell peppers (approximately 11/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 11/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 2 half pint jars. Place lids into a small pan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat your oven’s broiler to high. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the peppers on the pan and slide the pan under the broiler.
  3. Cook the peppers for 1 to 2 minutes per side under the broiler, until they are uniformly charred and they have slumped. Remove pan from the broiler and cover the peppers with another length of aluminum foil. Let the peppers rest of until cool enough to handle.
  4. While the peppers cool, make the pickling liquid. Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, Aleppo pepper, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  5. Once peppers are cool, peel away the blackened skin and remove seeds and cores.
  6. Pack the peeled peppers into the prepared jars and cover with the pickling liquid, leaving a generous 1/2 inch headspace. Using a wooden chopstick, gently prod the peppers to ensure that any trapped air bubbles have been released. If necessary, add more liquid to return the headspace to 1/2 inch.
  7. When jar are nicely packed, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Note:  I've easily doubled and tripled the recipe.

Looking to trade seed...Malagueta for Aji Jobito

08 April 2018 - 11:35 AM

Looking for Aji Jobito seed.  Am willing to trade for Malagueta seed from pods recently hand carried from Brazil by a relative. Or not.