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Member Since 02 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Sep 03 2018 11:04 AM

#1474449 Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

Posted by Pulpiteer on 10 July 2017 - 11:02 PM

So, it sucks that I only find time to post only about once a month.  I've not kept up on glogs.  Ugh... 
But, for what it's worth, here's an update:

Temps have been about the same here Andy... An unseasonably warm few days followed by a few weeks of cool, rainy weather. I'm hoping things warm up fairly soon so the plants can really stretch out in the sun, not that I mind the rain after the drought conditions last year. [emoji2]

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We had a pretty dry stretch through June and into July.  We just got some wonderful rain this morning, and the garden is loving it.  Have you guys had a dry stretch out your way?

Great update Andy. Wishing you the best. I love the draft. Don't know anyone close enough that's passionate enough to do that. Why do we all have to live so far away from each other. LOL!

Thanks for sharing


Thanks!  As far as the draft, I just kept talking to people and trying to get them to try it out.  My goal was starting new chili heads.  Even if they only grow a few plants, it gets them started!

Your place is looking great - lots of nice little projects going on!
Great pepper draft pix.  What fun for your congregation members!

Thank you!  

I don't know how I've missed your last several posts; but good stuff going on up your way!
You're doing the same things I did with my kids when they were that age. It worked with the boy child ;)  He's now a gardener. The girl child not :shh: , but she was exposed! ;)
Keep doing just what you're doing; it's a nice way to chilli after work. :dance:

Thanks - yeah, I've had the kids working with me where I can.  We're into 4H this year, so we'll see how that goes.  I'm just trying to figure out how all that works.  Good stuff though!
The garden is really doing quite well.  I spent a bit of time tonight staking up the tomatoes and pruning them a bit.  We got some rain this morning and I think the garden is pretty happy.
First, a couple shots to give you an overall picture of how things look:
Here's one of the raised beds:

This one is a Black River Scotch Bonnet (from a parishioner who went to Jamaica). It's filling in nicely.

Here's something from Pepper Joe called a "Garden Bird Pepper." The plant looks great, we'll see how it is.



Here's an SBJ7 Yellow from Trident Chili.  You can see the shape coming in even though the pods are tiny.  I'm excited about this one!




And here is a Hawaiian Chili Pepper from Hippy Seed Co.  My brother in law got me these.  The plant looks nice.  




The animals have been keeping me pretty busy.  Here are the ducks:




And some turkeys and broilers:




Lot's of meat in our future!  


Finally, a quick video tour of the garden:



Thanks for stopping by!

#1462139 Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

Posted by Pulpiteer on 31 May 2017 - 11:57 AM

Mason Bees are awesome: my gardener friend has

several bee boxes.   You are doing a good turn for

the environment, Andy!  


Wow, time for another pepper draft already?  Looking

forward to seeing your pics of the festivities!


I'm really curious how the mason bees will do.  I could really use the pollinators and they seem to be a great thing for the environment, as you say.  


Here's a cool video I watched to learn about them:



There's definitely no moss on you Andy! All looking good at your place. [emoji106] How cold is it out your way?

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We have a low of 44 coming tonight, I think.  We just had a bit of a cool front move through, but prior to that it was pretty warm.  We're supposed to be in the 70's the next few days.  All in all, I think we're about where we should be.  We had a bit of a late frost earlier in May that followed a bit of an unseasonably quick warm up, and that was the biggest problem we've faced thus far.  The frost killed the leaves on my Hardy Kiwis, but they are growing back.  

How's the weather out your way?



Here's an update on the Pepper Draft


Quick History: This all began when I had a difficult time culling the extra seedlings I grew out when getting things started for my pepper garden.  So, instead of killing perfectly good seedlings, I found some folks in my church who were interested in growing out hot peppers.  I then have them over to draft their seedlings - they have a printout of a description of varieties and they also get to inspect each seedling to see which plants are healthiest.  Names are drawn and a draft order is established.  Trades and trash talking are encouraged.  We also eat tons of wonderful food.  All in all it's a great time.


This was the 6th annual draft - here's coverage of the first five: 2012201320142015, 2016



Some of the plants up for draft:


And the folks drafting:






The draft board:




Afterward, the plants join my plants in the greenhouse - all tucked in to begin the hardening off process.  This was the end of April, btw.





My raspberries have struggled the last several years.  Poor soil and what not.  So, I put down some fertilizer, cardboard and a bunch of mulch around the plants.  We'll see how this goes.  



The best my rhubarb has been



I had to redo my strawberries.  They have been a bit of a pain.  I have them in very heavy clay soil.  So I did a small raised bed last year.  Then the grass really took over.  Ugh.  So I dug them out again this year, raised the bed even more to a mound.  Then covered it with plastic mulch row cover, and replanted.  We'll see how they do.  




Alright, I'll try to get more up in the next week or so.  I have already planted out - but I'm behind on posting pictures, so hopefully that will all come next.


Thanks for stopping by!

#1461896 Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

Posted by Pulpiteer on 30 May 2017 - 01:01 PM

Work has been crazy, followed up by spring and plant out that has demanded a ton of my time, so I've been away...

Anyway, here's a bit of an update with old pictures.


Cool! I wouldn't mind having chickens around potted plants, but they'd scratch up the soil around the in-ground plants and kick off the mulch. I'd be curious to see how the ducks do for you. Too bad you can't train them to crap in your raised beds. ;)


So I began with the ducks by using this set up for a movable paddock.  They don't scratch up everything, which is good.  They also crap all over the place, which provides nitrogen.  But they'll also nibble a bit on plants - so I'm trying to move them around and away from the fruit bushes.  It's a work in progress...




Quote of the day that Rick and made me snigger lol sign of a good gardener always thinking ahead.

Plants all looking good Andy, I know John is growing your black river sb so watching that keenly.
Not long until plant out day.

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Thank you!


Wow, you always have lots of fun stuff going on, Andy!


Your grow shelf does, indeed, look great!  Kudos   :clap:


Yeah, it feels a bit too much sometimes - but man, there's a lot of fun and interesting stuff you can do, and it's been great to work with the kids!


Wow, your plants and your animals look awesome! Very nice.


Thank you!


what is the  Black River Scotch Bonnet?  I don't think that I have heard of that one before.  Do you have any pics?   Awesome birds btw!


It's a Bonnet I grew out from seeds that someone from my church brought back with them after a missions trip in Jamaica.  I'm going to try to do a better job isolating the seed this year.  It's a true Jamaican Bonnet - really cool stuff!



I did some work in the chicken coup towards the end of April - here are the chicks on the new roost, made from a tree branch I took down




I also added a nesting box attached to the outside of the coup so that they can lay in here and roost up high.  This way the nesting box is clean and there is easier access to the eggs.  




I also worked on a better set up for food.  Chickens like to rake food out of their feeders and spread it all over the ground, wasting it.  This seems to help.  I had to abandon the tube leading down into the feeder though, that just didn't work out.  It kept coming off and tipping over.




Violets in the yard. An argument against spraying lawns with herbicides.




So with the little peat pellets, if you plant two seeds in a pellet and they grow out, it really isn't possible to divide up the roots like it is if you start them in seed cells:






I thought I'd try tearing them apart and planting one in soil with as much root mass as I could get anyway.  I think the key thing was stripping off most of the leaves so that the roots weren't supporting all of that structure above the soil.  That way they could grow in and then the plant could bounce back.


Here's the good one of the two:




And here they are planted up:





Several weeks later, I did not loose any of the 5 or so pairs of plants I did this with. Oh, also pictured above: I gave the plants plenty of water with the root dip and kelp plant food mixed in.  


Finally, I decided to try to encourage mason bees on our property, so I made this simple little mason bee house.  You put the rolled up paper in them, so you can pull them out in the Fall and remove any mites or bad stuff.  Then you can release them in the spring, by a method I am not yet familiar with...




Alright, I'll come back later when I can post pictures of the 2017 Pepper Draft.  Until then - thanks for stopping by!

#1446182 Stickman's 2017 Minimalist Glog

Posted by Pulpiteer on 11 April 2017 - 12:54 PM

Cheers Andy! :)


I don't think Calcium is as much a problem as too much Potassium and Magnesium for raising pH. It's more like I have a good reserve of those things and don't need to add more. The Sodium levels were the real shocker for me. I'm not too far from Sodium toxicity, and need to get those levels down as quickly as possible. Over time the plants will remove the excesses and I'll have to keep an eye on Nute levels to know when to begin adding more as needed. Most of us don't realize that the nutrients we take from the soil aren't returned there when we use sewerages to remove our waste, or we dispose of our dead plants without composting and using the compost in our gardens. Obviously there are health reasons to do both, but there are ways around it if we apply ourselves.


There's a video of Geoff Lawton called "Greening the Desert" I think you can find on Youtube where he uses permaculture principles and begins to actually turn around a desert plot of land in the Middle East.  One of the amazing things that happened was the salinity of the soil dropped quicker than they thought possible.  In skimming the paper that Scott linked below, I think it was mostly by stopping evaporation.  Anyway, in reading through your comments - do you think the excess sodium was from uncomposted manure?  


Also, I occasionally listen to a podcast that covers all sorts of stuff including homesteading and whatnot.  He talked for awhile about a special that covered a certain era in Japan and the ways they lived - I know that's pretty vague, I remember it was an era with Samurais.  Anyway, "nightsoil" was a normal thing to compost and use.  They of course had ways to do it to remove the bacterial issues - I think mostly composting, if I remember correctly.  Anyway - to you point - we do lose those nutrients in a disposable culture.  I think too, we have a lot of medication going through us, in general, and some of that stuff stays in the waste and can cause problems.  I do think that culturally we could do a better job with our 'grey water' though.  Those homesteading systems that recycle their grey water are fascinating.  

#1445715 PaulG 2017

Posted by Pulpiteer on 10 April 2017 - 07:31 AM

Looking amazing as usual, Paul. Look at all the flowers! Those Aji lemon flowers are pretty aren't they? With that lime green on the white. The BOCs are one of my favorite peppers to use in jam or to spice up syrup. Solid pepper.

#1445712 Stickman's 2017 Minimalist Glog

Posted by Pulpiteer on 10 April 2017 - 07:21 AM

Your soil data and how you're amending it are interesting. Can you have too much calcium? I read somewhere that calcium actually helps a plant take in other nutrients as well. Some process where it's needed to bind with it somehow. I've also heard that earthworms will eventually work that dark soil you have further down into your sandier stuff. You comment about soil warmth for stuff to come to life so the plant could take in nitrogen was a good reminder for me. I'm not as quick for dirt day as I used to be, because just because it isn't frosting doesn't mean my plants will thrive. Living soil and how a plant grows is so fascinating.

Anyway, your plants look great! Spring is coming

#1445645 Devv-2017-Having a good time in the dirt

Posted by Pulpiteer on 09 April 2017 - 09:37 PM

Plants look great! I love you set up, and it looks like your plants are really taking to their homes.

#1443633 Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

Posted by Pulpiteer on 04 April 2017 - 11:14 PM

Grow is chuggin' right along, Andy!  You'll
have shelves full of 3x3's in no time!  Looks
like the OW on the left is blooming like crazy.
What is it?
Glad to see you are doing the pepper draft
again - that's such cool fun!
Carry on, my friend - good luck going forward!

We're moving right along!  
The OW to the left is a NeBru 7 - in fact, here is a labeled picture of all the overwinters

Looking good Andy! Will you be turning your birds loose in the yard to forage for insects?

Thanks Rick! I think I'll run some meat birds through the garden area in a chicken tractor, but they won't be in the raised beds - so not much there.  However, we did just get some new birds this weekend that should help with my fruit trees and bushes:
We ended up with three ducks and 2 bantam chickens.  I've heard quite  bit how ducks are great foragers and pest control, and that they are better with the plants as they don't dig everything up like chickens do.  I'm excited to get the ducks to work in the yard.  And - I hope we have females and can develop a small market for duck eggs!  The Bantams - well they were just so stinkin' cute...

The grow shelf is looking good and full




I moved a few up from the 3x3's into bigger pots. You can see by the roots, it was time:


In more non-pepper news: the chicks from a month ago are growing quickly. This one is a light Brahma. You may have seen the viral video of the huge chicken exiting a chicken coop. It was this kind of bird, although probably not purchased from the local feed store. I hope this one is a hen...


Finally, one more project - we are incubating some eggs. We candled them on Monday (started them the previous Friday) and think we have about 6 that are fertile. Very cool experiment. The kids and I are learning as we go!


Thanks for stopping by!

#1441267 Devv-2017-Having a good time in the dirt

Posted by Pulpiteer on 29 March 2017 - 03:11 PM

Very cool pictures of the bees.  Good to see them thriving around you.


I may have missed it, but how did you make that much charcoal?  It has to be burned with low air intake, right?  Or am I off on that.  Between your glog and reading Rick's success with biochar that he picked up from you, I'm interested...

#1441266 PaulG 2017

Posted by Pulpiteer on 29 March 2017 - 03:02 PM

After this much time, my grow logs are so predictable

you could probably do them, Andy.  The greenhouse

is nice, although too small for this many big plants.

I have 23 in there now, and that is too many, really. 

The major problem is the height - the tall baccatums

have to be in the center of the greenhouse, but I'm not

complaining.  I'm glad I have it.


Your own grow system looks better every season, Andy.

Now, time for a greenhouse!  With your mad skills, you

could build one   :think:


LOL, "mad skills" is very kind of you!

I've got a plastic one, but man, that set up you have just looks pretty nice.  Plus, I have to tear mine down every year.  

I hear you on the baccatums.  It's cool to see them shooting up, but always a challenge to keep them under control prior to plant out.  


I think for next year you can build an awesome addition onto the greenhouse and then I'll be even more jealous!

#1441226 PaulG 2017

Posted by Pulpiteer on 29 March 2017 - 01:08 PM

It's funny, I've been following along with your glog for several years now (which is kind of amazing and a whole nother topic, where did the time go), and this is consistently the time of year when I am jealous of your greenhouse.  It always looks so nice and especially so when you have it chuck full of monster pepper plants.  

#1441219 Stickman's 2017 Minimalist Glog

Posted by Pulpiteer on 29 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

Howdy Rick!
I've been working my way through your glog for weeks on my downtimes.  I always start on your glogs too late into the season and your pages are so high it takes forever!  


Anyway, things are looking great.  Nice to see those plants fill in so thick after you stripped them.

Your soil in your raised beds looks beautiful.  Nice and dark.  You've got me thinking about getting some DE both for pests and plant nutrition (and the chickens) but I am going back and forth, since my pest problem isn't bad and I don't want to kill off the good bugs.  I think at the very least I can do a mix for the chicken run as they like to dust in it and deal with any mites. 


Your pizza looks amazing.  My stomach was growling.  Well done.  I mean if you're ever passing through Michigan and just really want to make a pizza, look me up!


Finally, that Aji Oro looks really cool. I'm interested to see how that turns out.  


Take care!

#1441208 White Hot Peppers 2017

Posted by Pulpiteer on 29 March 2017 - 11:57 AM












Those are beautiful shots.  They look like carpets of green.


What a list! What is a "Blue Ghost?"  


Looking great!

#1441206 Guru's Garden - Traveling the World in Search of Peppers

Posted by Pulpiteer on 29 March 2017 - 11:52 AM

Beautiful shots.  I had no idea what an octabox was.  I had in mind an aquatic storage unit with 8 arms. What it really is made more sense, but my mental image was awesome.  

#1441011 Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

Posted by Pulpiteer on 28 March 2017 - 09:02 PM

Andy,  nice list and plants looking very nice.  I'll try to keep a watch out this season if I don't get lost for time too much.  I saw a previous post from John about the Saraga Bonnet.  It was actually Sandra (fiogga) who saved the seeds from the Saraga Market.  I think she saved them several years ago and grows quite a few every year as its one of her favorites.   I grew them last year and the plant threw out all kinds of shapes, some long, some kinda habanero shaped and some kinda like an upside down UFO shape.  Nice not too hot crunchy orange pods.

Awesome - thanks for that information!  
I am growing a couple extras of those to include in the pepper draft, and your description was added to the notes that each participant receives so that they are able to select the best peppers for their garden.  Thank you!
Alright, here's an update:
The plants are off and running.  Here's a shot before I did a bunch of potting up:

Last night I moved 49 plants out of their starter cells into their 3x3 pots. Here's one batch of 18:


Here are some of the first ones I potted up awhile back. They are getting pretty big. Nice big, fat leaves...


Here is a "Big Black Mama" up close (pepperjoe.com)


So... sometimes I don't catch the plants when they dry out... only have lost one though.
This one was a Jabba Da Hutt from White Hot Peppers (I still have more left):


My overwinter plants are doing just fine. And great news - no signs of aphids either! **knock on wood**


When I ordered the California Reapers from Tyler Farms, I also ordered some Key Lime seeds. Well, I'm growing a Key Lime tree. I'm not sure that I'll get that many limes from it this season.   :surprised: 


Finally, the chicks are growing too! And trying to escape. And crapping all over everything.


That's what I've got - thanks for stopping by!