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Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

It's kind of hard to believe, but I'm starting my 6th year of glogging on this site.  It's been a great place, even thought I've not had the time for it the last couple of years.  So, I thought I'd leave a link here to my past glogs, mostly for my own use if I want to reference back to them, they'll be in this one place.  Here they are:  2012201320142015, 2016.
 
 
I've gotten off to a late start this year, but things are rolling a bit now.  
 
Here's the grow list as of now:
 
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A couple of things right off the bat:

I've once again had trouble with germination this year. I know I have a few really old seeds, but I also have new seeds from good vendors or great folks on this site, and the problems are not in just one area, so I am at fault. I think I was cooking them. The temp in my grow area was mid 90's for awhile, but I've got it down to mid 80's now and germination rates are better.  However, that put me a bit behind.  
 
Also, I used some of those peat pellets and those germinated fine with the right temps, but I found out that if two plants grow in one peat pellet, they are really tough to separate into two pots if I don't want to cull one.  I also went with straight Happy Frog soil to start the seeds in, but I think that was a bit heavy.  So, I think I'll have to just use my normal soil mix exclusively next year.  My soil recipe, by the way, is basically:
5 parts spaghnum peat
3 parts compost (Dairy Doo)
1 part perlite
1 part vermiculite
 
And then I add in a mix of various suppliments by the table spoon.
 
Also - I want to make sure to say thanks to Trident Chili - we once again swapped seeds and he is more than generous.  I took a picture when the card came in, but I can't find it.  I will say this - he has been extremely generous and great to share with.
 
Ok, a couple of pictures:
 
Here's looking into my downstairs growroom.  I'm really happy with how this area has developed over the past few years:

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You'll probably notice that one area had to be transformed into a brooder. I'm finding that chickens are a ton of fun, and they have been great for the kids, so we have 7 new chicks growing that will hopefully be laying hens.

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The plants are coming along.

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Here is one of the Big Black Mamas:

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I've got more that are just starting to poke through:

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I think I'll have to address one of my spots - I've got some LED bulbs going. One is a 24 watt grow light, but it seems to be burning everything directly underneath it. I had to remove a row.

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And here are my over-winters:

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I broke one of my own rules about these. I brought a couple plants down without doing the full treatment for aphids and guess what? I had an aphid battle in the beginning of December. So, I took all of them into the garage, stripped them, cleaned their pots with bleach, dunked them in soap, a bleach mix, and rinsed, clean dirt, soaked with water and then sprayed with organic spray. I lost two through that process, but I could have aphids in my grow room. I also thoroughly cleaned my grow area with a bleach mix to get everything out. What a pain!
 
Well, that's my 10 picture limit.  I'll try to keep things updated on here.  
 
I hope everyone's season is off to a good start!
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
 
PaulG said:
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:
stickman said:
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:
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And the folks drafting:
 
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The draft board:
 
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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.
 
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Meanwhile...

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.  
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The best my rhubarb has been
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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.  
 
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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!
 
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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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

Chuck
 
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:
 
 
 
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:
 
stickman said:
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?
 
OCD Chilehead said:
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

Chuck
 
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!
 
PaulG said:
Your place is looking great - lots of nice little projects going on!
 
Great pepper draft pix.  What fun for your congregation members!
 
Thank you!  
 
Devv said:
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:
 
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Here's one of the raised beds:
 
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This one is a Black River Scotch Bonnet (from a parishioner who went to Jamaica). It's filling in nicely.
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Here's something from Pepper Joe called a "Garden Bird Pepper." The plant looks great, we'll see how it is.

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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!
 
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And here is a Hawaiian Chili Pepper from Hippy Seed Co.  My brother in law got me these.  The plant looks nice.  
 
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The animals have been keeping me pretty busy.  Here are the ducks:
 
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And some turkeys and broilers:
 
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Lot's of meat in our future!  
 
Finally, a quick video tour of the garden:
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Pulpiteer said:
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?
 
Not so much Andy... we've had good rain, just the summer temps have been consistently low. Nothing higher than the upper 80s but averaging in the upper 70s-low 80s. Overnight lows drop down to the low 50s three nights out of seven.
 
 
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