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2019 Hay Bale Pepper Patch

I've been a member for a while but never posted a grow log. My usual garden is too boring for that. I use 20-30 pots and overwinter my mama plants in a hillbilly winter shelter. Our ground here isn't good for in soil gardening and I've not been enthused enough to undertake the work and expense to build raised beds.
 
Now I have my peppers working the way I want and have the need for a much larger grow to supply a project. The main peppers I'll grow will be reaper, douglah and fatalii. For a couple of years I'll do hay bale gardens and heap tons of organic trash into the area. I have monumental amounts of pine straw, oak leaves and bonfire ash every year to dump in the walkways. I think this will do a world of good to make this new garden area mo'betta for eventual in ground growing.
 
I closed off a 38x38 patch in the NE field that gets full sun. This is the area I chose. The big painted guy is my fertilizer supplier.
 
The little painted guy is my running buddy and load inspector.
 
 
 

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Mr.joe said:
Wow, if I didn't water mine would be gone in a week. I skipped watering my cloth bags one day last week and they were not happy.
 
We get a lot of rain but I guess my point is these plants must have one hell of a deep root system if they don't care if it doesn't rain for a week or two.
 
 
CaneDog said:
Earlier I leaned more toward the idea of tilling it the first year, but I'm not sure I feel the same now.  Will be interesting to see what you find and how well it's breaking down into the soil.  Have you seen anything in the way of mycelium activity or mushrooms fruiting up?
 
Yes, I see a lot of mushrooms in there.
 
 
b3rnd said:
Damn that is one big pepper jungle. I've been following your hay bale project since the first post, and it has really took off spectacularly! I'm seriously in awe of that pepper patch. Great job. Also, very jealous of your beautiful pile of poop.
 
Thanks for checking in. I'm glad the north country gardening is going well. A whole world of different from Portugal, I bet. I hope your dad has beaten the demon. We lost two close family members to it last year.
 
I'm still using the capsaicin treatments you helped me develop some years ago. The method has changed but the effect is still great.
 
 
Ruid said:
I wonder how much the world would change if we eliminated the venomous snakes and kept the rest...
 
I think it may change quite a bit. An example is the increase in hantavirus with the decimation of the Western Diamondback. They're rodent killing machines.
 
DWB said:
 
Thanks for checking in. I'm glad the north country gardening is going well. A whole world of different from Portugal, I bet. I hope your dad has beaten the demon. We lost two close family members to it last year.
 
I'm still using the capsaicin treatments you helped me develop some years ago. The method has changed but the effect is still great.
 
Yeah, very different! Less sun, more rain, lower overall temperatures. Definitely worse for growing peppers. But because I grew up here, I feel like I have a deeper 'understanding' of the climate, if that makes sense. I'm much more comfortable growing here, and I feel I'm more succesful as well. I guess if I'd grow in the Portuguese climate for a few years I'd get used to it. Here in the Netherlands, I just know when the wind picks up in a certain way, there's rain coming. Or when the air feels like it's pressing down on you, there's a storm brewing. I didn't have that in Portugal, so I felt out of place. I'd still love to live in a country where I can grow the whole year though.
 
Thanks, friend. I have a good feeling about it, but it keeps being scary. My dad has a hard time coping with it because being strong and healthy has been a part of his identity. Now he has to come to terms with his fragility and I see he's struggling with that more than with the sickness.
 
Good to hear the treatments are still doing their job! What did you change? 
 
b3rnd said:
 
Yeah, very different! Less sun, more rain, lower overall temperatures. Definitely worse for growing peppers. But because I grew up here, I feel like I have a deeper 'understanding' of the climate, if that makes sense. I'm much more comfortable growing here, and I feel I'm more succesful as well. I guess if I'd grow in the Portuguese climate for a few years I'd get used to it. Here in the Netherlands, I just know when the wind picks up in a certain way, there's rain coming. Or when the air feels like it's pressing down on you, there's a storm brewing. I didn't have that in Portugal, so I felt out of place. I'd still love to live in a country where I can grow the whole year though.
 
Thanks, friend. I have a good feeling about it, but it keeps being scary. My dad has a hard time coping with it because being strong and healthy has been a part of his identity. Now he has to come to terms with his fragility and I see he's struggling with that more than with the sickness.
 
Good to hear the treatments are still doing their job! What did you change? 
 
It's so difficult seeing the parents go though the transition from agility to fragility. Mine had to quit running marathons when they hit the 70's, quit square dancing in their early 80's and now that they'll be 88 and 90 in March, they can't even go for their walks outside in the miserable heat and humidity. At least they finally relented and accepted the fact it was time to get the handicapped parking tags for the cars so they can park closer to the door.
 
In Dec 17 I tried the capsaicin treatment in DMSO rather than in an oil base. I'm not so sure it's a whole lot better but it sure is a lot more convenient. My wife puts it on my back with a roller bottle, it's dry in a few minutes, I put on a shirt and I'm back in business. So much simpler than the hour with the poultice on my back and all the subsequent cleanup. Can't take a shower until the next day with the DMSO though. I made that mistake with the first treatment followed quickly by the shower. I thought I was gonna burst into flames for about the next eight hours. In the thread, I posted up something similar to describing it as being strapped bareback to a car hood in full sun in the middle of July.
 
Well done DW!  I'm way behind in everything these days. School starts Monday and my job has kept me nuts for the last 6 weeks. Cool thing is just 9 more Mondays before everyday is Saturday....
 
I went from tilling to a broadfork. I made one with 13" tines, 5 of them, the fork is 22"s wide. My Troybilt can't get near as deep. I would pile on the goodies when you're ready and fork it <-- that sounds bad. :D
 
I thought I'd share this:
 
380.jpg

 
12.26 AM, I roll out of bed cuz the dogs are barking. It's the type of barking I go and see what's up. This is my back porch. I called the dogs inside, all 3 were happy to come inside.
 
381.jpg

 
Not the best pic, but this is when the snake buzzed at me. It just wanted to be left alone.
382.jpg

 
2 minutes after I went in the house it hauled butt. I was thinking it was a bit thin for being around 4.5-5' long. I may be estimating it longer than it is..I didn't let the dogs out until morning.
 
I'm thinking it came up for water, we're at 6 weeks no rain. We had a mama deer with 2 spotted fawns come up to the cattle watering station yesterday @ 4:40 PM, it's just 50 yards from the house. Hard times for the wildlife around here..
 
 
 
 
 
Dang Scott, that's a big westie for modern times. Most of the easterns around here are exterminated before they get that big. I'm so happy no one got hurt. Have you given your dogs the aversion training so they know to stay far away?
 
You're a lot more tolerant than I am. Even at midnight, I would have caught that guy and hauled his ass far away from my back porch.
 
Sorry to hear about the drought. 6 weeks is a long time. We're in a pattern where we get rain at least once a day, every day for about two weeks.
 
The fork sounds interesting. I have one fitting the same general description that's about 60 years old but it's more of a leaf scoop.
 
Devv said:
Well done DW!  I'm way behind in everything these days. School starts Monday and my job has kept me nuts for the last 6 weeks. Cool thing is just 9 more Mondays before everyday is Saturday....
 
I went from tilling to a broadfork. I made one with 13" tines, 5 of them, the fork is 22"s wide. My Troybilt can't get near as deep. I would pile on the goodies when you're ready and fork it <-- that sounds bad. :D
 
I thought I'd share this:
 
380.jpg

 
12.26 AM, I roll out of bed cuz the dogs are barking. It's the type of barking I go and see what's up. This is my back porch. I called the dogs inside, all 3 were happy to come inside.
 
381.jpg

 
Not the best pic, but this is when the snake buzzed at me. It just wanted to be left alone.
382.jpg

 
2 minutes after I went in the house it hauled butt. I was thinking it was a bit thin for being around 4.5-5' long. I may be estimating it longer than it is..I didn't let the dogs out until morning.
 
I'm thinking it came up for water, we're at 6 weeks no rain. We had a mama deer with 2 spotted fawns come up to the cattle watering station yesterday @ 4:40 PM, it's just 50 yards from the house. Hard times for the wildlife around here..
 
 
 
 
Damn I would have killed that thing. [emoji43]

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DWB said:
Dang Scott, that's a big westie for modern times. Most of the easterns around here are exterminated before they get that big. I'm so happy no one got hurt. Have you given your dogs the aversion training so they know to stay far away?
 
You're a lot more tolerant than I am. Even at midnight, I would have caught that guy and hauled his ass far away from my back porch.
 
Sorry to hear about the drought. 6 weeks is a long time. We're in a pattern where we get rain at least once a day, every day for about two weeks.
 
The fork sounds interesting. I have one fitting the same general description that's about 60 years old but it's more of a leaf scoop.
 
Actually around here that's average size, and we see larger ones. I'm thinking that snake had enough to not come back again. Three dogs on it..LOL
No training, the Blue Lacy dogs just seem to know not to get too close. I'm thankful for that. My biggest fear is one gets hit.
 
I can't find a pic of the broadfork, I'll have to take another. I'm way jelly of that everyday shower. You said you only watered them 3 times...I could only wish!
 
 
PtMD989 said:
Just imagine this, DWB vs Skullbiker in a grow down. [emoji16][emoji2957]
Pretty sure DWB would kick my ass in a growdown! Because 1: He had to put a huge amount of labor into that grow area and 2: I have no urge to labor that hard to grow stuff. My Old Man Card allows me to coast along a bit these days. Let it be known that I have great respect for DWBs ability to grow huge heavily laden plants.
 
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