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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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Extreme Member
Glad to hear you're in good shape and in a good spot to stay that way.  Not sure I can imagine what will be in store after pouring/mixing all that good bio back in addition to what's been done already.  Maybe I should consider the soldier fly larva.  I started some worms toward the end of last year, but it's been super slow to develop anything.
And just for laughs, when I read this:
DWB said:
Living more than 20 miles from any and every town and an eighth mile off the road behind three wooded areas adds to that. As does having a good arsenal, three dry boxes full of ammo and a high level of self sufficiency :P
It made me think of this:
PtMD989 said:
Will you keep your Glog up. Because you are awe inspiring in your grow [emoji106]
It is definitely a new world out there [emoji15].

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks old friend. I should keep up with things here. No better way to keep notes.
This iteration will definitely be no till. The soil is looking great but I'm digging in some of the 2015 vintage humus and some of my old potting mix for planting holes. Once the plants are up and established, I'll much heavily with shredded leaves.
Devv said:
Hey DW!
Glad to read you have the program in order. I for one am glad I live 7 miles out of a small town, have fantastic dogs, and everything else you mentioned above inline ;)
Stay safe buddy! And that goes for everyone!
Thanks Devv. Good dogs are the best of the security system. I need one of your rattlers, though. Cody showed waaay too much interesrt in a big black rat snake yesterday. That worries me. All I've been able to find for aversion training was a moccasin when he was young. I think maybe all the rattlers around here are decimated. But there's always one more and I'm scared to death he'll find it.
CaneDog said:
Glad to hear you're in good shape and in a good spot to stay that way.  Not sure I can imagine what will be in store after pouring/mixing all that good bio back in addition to what's been done already.  Maybe I should consider the soldier fly larva.  I started some worms toward the end of last year, but it's been super slow to develop anything.
And just for laughs, when I read this:
It made me think of this:
LOL @Canedog. That's a hoot.
The BSF are such a mystery to me. Nothing about them makes sense but I imagine they make some wicked garden goo.
The BSF farm. This is what they were doing last Monday. Just about every bit of our household food waste and coffee grounds generated throughout the winter went toward feeding these little beasties

Yesterday I removed a bunch of the scuzzwater to put on the garden.

Then I diluted it a whole bunch by filling the bucket up with water to nearly full 15 gal capacity.

I put a half can of dilute solution on each plant. I was gonna do every other plant but I screwed that up with the second plant so I figured what the hey, no guts/no glory and hit most of them until I ran out. Then I came back and watered it in a ways. No need to tempt fate. God only knows what's in that BSF water that's been cooking for close to a year. I hope it's a ton of highly beneficial microbes. Time will tell.
I also had another bucket full from last year but I never sleeved up the goodies inside a 5 gallon bucket and paint strainer bag. All the BSF larvae died and the whole 15 gallons was unbelievably rank. It was like sewage sludge. I buried that drek inside a large compost pile beside the patch
Ferry-Morse. The worst seeds in the world. I tried using some of their tomato seeds last year and they were useless. Monkey never learns so I got more of their garbage this year. They done really great.  Two varieties of bush bean seeds. 1 seed out of 68 has sprouted over a period of four weeks.
I planted pole bean seeds in the bean ditch, same as last year. Seeds in the dirt, April 5. Same day as seed planting last year. The near bay is Liana Asparagus "Yardlong" beans from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. The far bay is Old Homestead from Baker Creek. Just like last year, I had sprouts in a few days and 26 of 32 seeds have made a plant.

I plan to grow a lot of bush beans this year too. I planted 25 Ferry-Morse Landreth's Stringless seeds in the last year's 4 bale annex area the same day and I planted 9 more in sock pots. After 14 days, not a single sprout. Thank you for the wasted time Lowe's.
I planted more Ferry-Morse seeds I had picked up from Home Depot. These were Blue Lake 247 bush beans. Another 25 in the dirt and another 9 in sock pots. These seeds were bad too. One sprout.
Not looking good for bush beans so last Saturday morning I went to Robertsdale to the old timey feed & seed store and got a half pound bag of their bulk Blue  Lake bush bean seed for $1.75. I planted 40 seeds after I got home. All in the ground, none in sock pots. 34 out of the 40 have made plants already.

PaulG said:
Alright! Do you have chickens?
Those larvae are protein nuggets!
No chickens. A neighbor grows chickens and provides our eggs. Nice free range brown eggs that weigh an average of 80 grams. I pay $1 dozen and go through 4 dozen or so a week. These eggs are an important part of the meals I make for pups Cody and Lia. 
I told him all about the BSF and showed him my herd last year. He had no interest is doing it so my BSF larvae will happily eat our scraps and make stankwater for the garden.
I decided to fence off the east side compost piles and plant some food in them. More sprawl & spread plants. Winter squash, cantaloupe and a couple of cucamumba plants for my wife. She likes cukes. I think they're little stinkers.
This added a few hundred feet of extra floor space for the sprawling plants growing in the compost and also in the row to the left. I laid down about a foot of my hillbilly weed control so all this stuff will have a nice clean floor to grow on all summer.

I'm gonna try the florida weave method of control on this row of tomatoes. I'm also gonna try to keep these plants properly pinched and trained for better control and better pest control. It's kinda hard to see but I've run the first course of twine. All the other tomatoes are in cages. This year I have eight feet of open area in between plant rows. Extravagant use of space but this year I'm looking for a large and more easily maintained crop of food. I'm doing some succession planting of beans and zucchini so I can rip and replant as the elders begin to fade and will try a late season crop of maters. 

Mr.joe said:
Looking good. If all goes well you will have lots of food soon. I always start saying I'm gonna keep Tomato plants trimmed. Hasn't happened yet
I know Joe. Seems like by the time I get around to starting on trimming up tomato plants, it's way too late and they're too far gone.
PaulG said:
That 8 feet of open space between plant rows
will probably shrink fast, DW!  Good luck with
Jungle 2.0 this season!
Thanks Paul. I'm thinking it will be very different kind of jungle this year. Probably not much easier to walk in. I think the floor will be completely covered by ground huggers but at least it won't feel like Viet Nam jungle trails inside the place.
The covid crisis food garden is coming along considering no water at all except what I give the plants. We're in some sort of a major drought. These pictures are from Saturday. The stores may run out of food but we'll have plenty extra. The first zucchini is almost ready for picking and we should have ripe tomatoes in anoter week.
We finally did get an inch of rain overnight so the grass is looking a little less crispy. It's a dust bowl around here. Kinda goes well with the plague :P
No feed for the plants yet except for the BSF juice. I made me some low chlorine 7.2-7.3-15.4 fertilizer the other day and will soon put out a little bit for most everything but I'll probably wait until we get another rain.


intensejustin said:
This entire thread was worth the 2-3 hour read. This was an incredible journey.
Thanks. There's a lot of info in there and it's a valuable resource to me. I look back to last year and wonder if some of my current plants will be as developed on June 1 this year. I need to go back and see when the parasite problems began. I think I have to start treating for pythium soon.