June 3, 2016

Hot Chilli Peppers are Finally Planted in the Garden

My husband and I saw a funnel cloud forming while driving home from dinner Wednesday, luckily it started breaking up once it neared the river. Just a few weeks ago a small tornado hit a town 20 minutes from here. The tornado sirens in our town are incredibly loud and unnerving, a strangely forlorn up and down cry like a voice wailing in anguish.
I'm so happy the hot peppers are finally planted in the garden. In just a couple days the chilli plants have already doubled in size (it just seems like that), they love being planted in the ground and sure are enjoying the heat and humidity. This bed contains 38 pepper plants with 31 of them being hot chilli peppers. There's  about 2 feet between rows and 1 foot between plants within a row.
The tender new growth on this Corno Rosso sweet pepper plant are a pretty lighter green in color. My plants are still small because I had to reseed after a tragic overheating incident where I believe the seeds got cooked.
Aji Lemon Drop hot chilli pepper with its cupped leaves, these are supposed to be especially hot with a wonderful citrus-y flavor.
Serrano hot peppers immediately start producing side shoots when they're very small, they even have side shoots at their cotyledon's point of attatchment. They're a very hot pepper, although not as hot as Santa Fe Grande which I'm also growing.
Four Korean Ginkaku melons were planted amongst the pepper bed. I'm hoping they're similar to the melons we ate while visiting my dad in Virginia.
The tomato supports will get put in some time next week because this weekend I'm helping my husband put in the support posts for a fence. So exciting! The tomato support system I've decided to use this year is the Florida weave which just uses t-posts and twine, two things I have lots of.
On Tuesday, I accidently sat on this Celebrity tomato while planting basil the next row over and snapped the top off, it was just hanging by a piece of skin. I taped the stem back into place and it seems to be doing fine.
But I don't know what happened to this Pantano Romensco tomato, the top part just flopped over and died. The stem isn't broken or anything, makes me think of insects or some kind of disease, or maybe it got wacked with the heavy hose. 
I'm going to have to give up on growing eggplants in the ground, it's impossible to fight the flea beetles. Should I dig them up and replace them with pepper plants, or just leave them in the ground and keep fighting the battle? I still have a few eggplants in pots that'll probably end up making the front porch their home.
Gray-blue little mushrooms, very delicate and only lasting a day before disappearing.


Margaret said...

That is strange about that wilty tomato. The bottom leaves look ok still, so hopefully it will recover...not that you don't have enough already - those are a LOT of tomatoes you are growing! I'm using a modified Florida weave to support the tomatoes as well - I did that a couple of years ago and it worked out really well.

And your pepper plants look amazing! Mine haven't done much since I planted them a few days ago & I'm hoping they are just settling in before they put on a nice big growth spurt.

I've heard that some people cover their eggplants (perhaps with Agribon?) until they start to flower to help with flea beetles. It would be a shame to lose your eggplant harvest this year.

David Velten said...

Everything is looking great! My plants need to go in the ground the next few days. I'm with you on the flea beetles. Last year I covered the eggplants but when they start flowering, you have to uncover them and then the assault begins. Good luck.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
I'll probably replant the wilty plant with a Jubilee tomato. I'm actually embarrassed to say the number of tomato plants that are in the garden. Since most everything is planted out, I need to go out and draw a schematic listing varieties and their placement in the garden.

I wonder if your peppers are going through transplant shock. I've been looking at kelp meal, it's supposed to really help with transplant shock and to strengthen plants against weather extremes. So they say.

Phuong said...

Hi David,
Ah, flea beetles. I think it's too late to use row covers, the soil is just teeming with them. The leaves on the eggplants are so weakened by the flea beetles feeding on them, that the heavy rains actually end up shredding the leaves.

It sounds like you're doing a big push to get your plants in. I really hope we all have good gardening year.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

We've been lucky and tornados have not hit close to us, though the sirens have gone off a few times. I have pretty good luck spraying my eggplants (and potatoes) with neem oil mix, though I have to do it fairly often. I've done that weave on my tomatoes before and it worked well, though I am too lazy to keep up with it!

Phuong said...

Hi Dave,
I actually just ordered beneficial nematodes for the flea beetles, which I've never tried before but hopefully it works. David from Square Foot Garden mentioned spinosad which isn't sold around here, but I've definitely seen neem oil in the stores.

I've got to put the t-posts in and get started on that Florida weave or the tomatoes are going to get away from me, like last year. It looks like you're close to being done with planting, I know you have a ton of peppers to get in the ground. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.