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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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DWB said:
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.

This is definitely one of the glogs that are truly memorable. I remember following along when you were just watering hay bails, things sure progressed from there.
 
We got a couple inches of rain in the past week so everything is showing signs of life. Can almost tell I'm growing some plants in there now.
 
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This is the tomato cutting nursery I started week before last. Cuttings rooting in water. I suppose I'll soon pot them up in a grow mix and plug them into appropriate spots as the need arises. I have 22 starts that are doing fine and growing a lot of roots.
 
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DW, I just read through your whole glog and what a ride! Amazing grow - I'm just a little sad that none of those monsters made it through the winter. But in any case, it looks like jungle 2.0 is starting strong.
 
CaneDog said:
I'm sure a there's a lot of work happening right now, but it looks like a peaceful time.
 
Maybe a lull before the jungle storm :)
 
It will go to jungle but it will be mostly low-flying jungle this year. I can see where it's gonna be hard to walk around in there in a month or so.
 
Actually it was a whole hell of a lot less work than last year but plenty enough to keep me busy through the shutdown. I'm always covered up with work anyway so none of the stay at home order was a big deal. Service dog and I made our usual shopping trips to town. No places we ever wanted to go were closed.
 
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Now I just need to get my sign :P
 
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It's not a pretty story but it's a story nevertheless.
 
The pepper patch was a total misfire this year. The downfall started last year on 9/16 with hurricane Sally. Fascinating timing because it was exactly 16 years after Ivan nuked us on 9/16/2004. That was the last time we were hit hard.
 
Like last time, no significant damage to the buildings but our entire 7 acres looked like to this. I got quotes on cleaning up, hauling out to the road for the FEMA haulers to pick up and the grinding the stumps. They were all on the wrong side of $30K so I did it myself. I cut and piled the slash to fuel the burning of the stumps, stacked years of firewood for our stove and piled many of the nicer logs for future use. That was my fall, winter and spring. I finished April 23, just before the seasonal burn ban went into effect on May 1.
 
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I had started a bunch of seeds but didn't give them the proper attention. It was very late and small scale anyway.  I got everything planted by May 5. Most of May was spent collecting and assembling components for upgrading our emergency power system (which gave me a lot of problems during the Sally aftermath). I pulled the old chinese ST diesel generator and replaced it all with a modern dual fuel system in a new generator house. Powerful enough to do what we need for running the whole house and much more civilized.  Also, only 425 pounds and reasonably portable instead of 1200 pounds of crude and rude slab shaking fury that was a miserable thing to service and repair.
 
Out with the old.
 
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In with the new.
 
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Just about the time I was finishing that off, this happened on 6/10. A plastic wheel on my pressure washer exploded my hand when I was adding some air to the tires. The first one went fine.
 
The good wheel.
 
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The bad wheel. This one blew before I got it to 20 psi.
 
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Surprisingly,  no broken skin or blood but among other things, the shock wave sheared off my thumb at the metacarpal base. That was reassembled 6/24. Now I have metal in me. Everybody always wants to know why I chose a black cast.  Simple. It doesn't show dirt.
 
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Work must go on even if it is one-handed but I pretty much wrote off the garden. We measure the rain we've received in June and July in feet. I'm still picking some maters, squash and beans but most everything drowned.
 
The good garden news is all of my old mama pepper seed plants are doing great in their pots and producing like crazy. I also started a some new perma-plants that should have improved genetics. The great garden news is I found the perfect new winter squash. Prolific, quick, huge and with more edible flesh than any other squash with a tiny seed cavity. Most important, it's the sweetest and best flavored squash we've ever had. North Georgia Candy Roaster.  Baker Creek sells the seeds.
 
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Otherwise, even though just about everybody we know caught the corona and too many died. Everyone in my family caught it but all survived without hospitalization. Even my 90 year old parents. My wife and I dodged the bullet and no one in my wife's family up in PA caught it.
 
I qualified for my shots (on age) in February and got it the first day it was available. That same day, I sweet-talked the head pharmacist into doing  my younger wife. Cost me 200 miles of driving to get mine and bring her back to get hers that afternoon but it worked and we both immediately felt so much safer.
 
I hope everyone here is doing great and having a wonderful season.
 
I'm not sure I've ever run into a plastic wheel that needed inflating. If I have a choice, I think I'll try to stick with rubber tires after seeing this.

I will never have another machine with a pneumatic rubber tire mounted on a plastic wheel. To be honest, I never paid any attention to the composition of the wheel until it exploded. My attorney sent all the evidence off to an analyst last week to see why it happened. Interesting thing is the same plastic wheel is still being sold but with a total redesign of the interior hub. I wonder how many people were blasted by the original design.
 
Wow. Much like the the pepper patch, you seem to do everything in a big way, even the disasters.

Hope the bad stuff's behind you and the thumb heals up well.

Good to hear from you. And glad the mother plants are ok.



Thanks CD. They took the cast off the week before last and put me back in a splint so I can start rehabbing it. Hopefully I'll be released to do real work with it when I go back on 8/31 Now I have to get my hearing fixed. My left ear was protected from the blast by the phone bluetooth earbud I had plugged into it. Three hearing tests show I lost up to 30 db (55%) of hearing over 1 kHz in my right ear. My ENT says the shock wave took out too many nerves in the inner ear and it's most likely not gonna get better. I go Wednesday for a 4th test and get programmed for a hearing aid.

The mama plants are doing great. I suppose I better haul them into the garage today. The tropical storm coming in is supposed to go well to the east but ya never know what these things are gonna do anymore.

The garden will be a real pain. When this injury happened it was time to mulch in the garden really well. I have a 6 yard pile of mulch the power company line trimming crew dumped for me after the hurricane but I couldn't do it one handed. The insidious chamberbitter weed took it over in a big way. I'm trying to kill it all off with a series of glyphosate sprays now. I'll mulch it heavily later and hope it works.
 
Holy crap, Dub! 😶 Sorry to hear about your injuries. Glad it wasn't any worse. I'm scared of pneumatic tires and bench grinders, but it's not like I can avoid them..
 
Holy crap, Dub! 😶 Sorry to hear about your injuries. Glad it wasn't any worse. I'm scared of pneumatic tires and bench grinders, but it's not like I can avoid them..

Hey Unk! I'm not scared of tires but now I'm absolutely terrified of plastic wheels. I have at least 50 tires around here to maintain but I have the good equipment for doing that. I have a great digital inflator and a compressor with a very good regulator. I feel comfortable inflating anything between 10 psi for Cody's soccer balls and 80 psi for my truck tires and wheelbarrow tires. My wheelbarrow tires actually want 90 psi but I don't go that far.

The injuries are better but they could have been a whole lot worse. Bad as it is, I got lucky. Even so, I'm furious.

The xrays last week show the screws are stable, the bone is healed well and should be strong but the doctor says I should wait another month to do the work I needed to have done a month ago. I got my hearing aid for the right ear last week too. It's programmed to compensate for the exact hearing loss curve and is of a design that doesn't impair the low frequency hearing the blast didn't damage. It really honks me off I need a hearing aid but I'm very well pleased with the performance. Now my brain won't suffer the consequences of sensory conflict.
 
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