The great big green pepper

meldy_nva(z6b VA)August 1, 2011

We normally grow our own green bell peppers; 3 or 4 plants provide enough for 4 months of fresh eating (I like them better than apples), and enough for the pizza sauce and creole-style sauce canned (about 4 dozen pints), and enough to chop or slice and freeze for winter meals, AND eventually the time comes when I plead with neighbors to take a few/couple/more, more, please take just a couple more.

For whatever reason, this spring only two seeds sprouted and rather than buy another packet of seed and wait for those to sprout, I brought a pretty little plant that claimed to be a Chinese pepper which would produce 6" peppers. I like big peppers. Planted and watered and talked to it, and it did grow ~ and is still growing ~ big peppers. About 8" long and 4+" across. They taste pretty good, although with a faint chili-spicy undertaste rather than the green taste of the bell types.

Oh, and the two home-grown pepper plants? So far, they've only made a half-dozen wee little peppers. I think they took one look at the big-pepper plant and then quit before they started. I'm going to have to buy peppers for this year's canning and freezing.

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It's such a strange season, isn't it? I was two weeks late in planting anything, and I bought starts, couldn't get Brandywine, they were out, and so for a heirloom, slicing tomato I took a chance on one called "pineapple", it grew rather nicely, though the leaves were sparse, and it bloomed profusely, but all the blooms dropped, it has not set one fruit, too late now.
I 'euthanized" the poor thing - discovered it doesn't like the heat-spikes were are having and the contrasting cool nights, I planted some Swiss Chard in the container. All my vegetable gardening is in containers, for a variety of reasons. So if I want heirloom 'maters the Farmer's market has a nice selection. Roma and Early Girl are doing well.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 3:09PM
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gmatx zone 6

I'm green with envy (pun intended). The only things producing in the garden are the squash (of course), cucs and black-eyed peas. The hot peppers - Jalapeno and Anaheim type - are the only ones that actually have anything on them. The Calif. Wonders are just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. I couldn't even find a bloom on them last evening.

The tomatoes (60+ plants) are nice looking plants, but very, very few tomatoes. They are blooming, but pollination just isn't happening with our hot summer this year.

We have had 30+ days of 100F or over, along with dry wind blowing about 30 mph until the first part of July, and no rain. Yep, less than 1" of rain this entire year. The yards are either dead of playing possum (I think they are dead). One of our deep wells only has about 6-8' of water left in it and we have already burned out a pump motor in it this year. We'll be drilling a new well sometime in either Sept. or Oct., whenever our driller can get out here. Grazing is gone, hay is higher than a cat's back, but we're trying to hold on to the last 11 head of cattle since we have those scheduled in our Beefalo breeding program.

So, for those of you getting rain, please send us some or issue up some prayers for the all the land in the drought areas.

Lilo - I bought a new "yellow" tomato this year named Lemon Boy. I'm growing it in the greenhouse and so far have picked about 5 or 6 tomatoes off it. They are less acidic and DH really likes them.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Among other things, I'm growing minature pumpkins and gourds this year. The plants are doing great and they are putting out flowers. The problem is that they are all female flowers, the males have not opened yet so there is no fertilizing happening. The bees, wasps and ants are working the flowers, and I'm ready with my paint brush the moment a male flower opens so I can be the fertilizer if need be. DS, says that the males are always later to mature than females.
That is not true with zuccini plants, where the first 5-7 flowers are all males and they stay open for several days,and when a female flower opens, pollinators are loaded for bear and go to town.
Oh, nature.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Meldy at least those big ones are producing. I'm all container garden this year too with Lilo. Lilo, I had Christy buying our plants this year and we got Pineapple too. Also did get Cherokee purple, and the every popular and prolific Sun Gold cherries. Wellll, so far the Sun Golds are the only thing producing and setting fruit. The big tomatoes are really slacking. Our heat seems to be affecting their setting. The plants all look great so I'm hoping I'll at least have tomatoes before frost. Meanwhile, I'm happy to munch on the little yellows. The only other thing I'm growing is basil and that's been doing great. I have been using quite a bit and have a gallon zip lock packed almost full in the freezer already. Strange year.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:28AM
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Love home made stuffed peppers.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:11PM
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I haave only one green pepper plant, which has exactly ONE small green pepper growing on it. The plant itself hasn't grown very much--and doesn't have any more blossoms, so I guess maybe that one pepper is all I'll get. Don't know why it hasn't done better, b/c it's in the same garden as my two tomato bushes, which are going crazy--both in height and abundance of tomatoes. Green peppers are still rather expensive, IMO, so I was hoping to have some of my own.

I love home made stuffed peppers, too.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 1:25PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

DH loves stuffed peppers too, which BTW, freeze very nicely provided just a bit extra sauce is around them. However, he took one look at the big peppers and said, "that's too much for one serving." Truly. a bit too much for two servings.

Glad (and sorry) to hear that I'm not the only one with a poor showing of Cal Wonders. They did finally start to bloom, and the wee tiny silvery bees apparently were sufficient to pollinate, we are watering like mad (3/4" rain in the last 40+ days), but the fruits are staying at about 1 1/2 inches long... market peppers are running at about $1 each. Gulp. Not sure I can justify spending that sort of money when I can buy a jar of sauce for the cost of one pepper. OTOH, creole sauce isn't available commercially, so I'll probably put out the $20 for peppers. Better a dollar each now than whatever they will cost in January.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:44PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

We are getting a weekly rain but it is always if the form of a servere thunderstorm and pounding rain. We need a good soaker. My pepper plants are sorry looking - dropping leaves and the peppers start rotting. I planted sweet banana and an italian fryer, which was described as "mildly pungent". Wellllll...little hotter than my definition of "mild". My husband wanted a "real" tomato this year, so planted some beefsteak. Not too many fruits yet, but the celebrety has some.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 8:37PM
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Got no peppers this year, husband don't like them and the one plant I had got washed out in our abundance of spring rain, including the tomato plants. Sowed cucumbers in one raised bed, they grew nicely, had a couple of cukes over the weekend, gave one to my neighbor yesterday morning and planned on cucumber salad in the evening. Went out in the afternoon to pick one - 5 plants without leaves and 11 cucumbers of various sizes either eaten or nibbled on.
I put some netting over the bed and wondered who might have been the culprit. Could not have been the teenage racoon gang, to early for them, they show up around 5 pm.
Found out today, a woodchuck was trying to get underneath the netting. Right now the bed is surrounded by plastic fencing, hope the cukes are recovering or growing some new leaves.
The tomatoes are all in pots. The cherry and grape ones are doing great, but a couple of large ones stopped blooming when it got hot and are just starting to turn color a bit.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:00PM
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anneliese, that is one great garden report. Sorry about all the trials and tribulations, but I can relate, been there, in fact I'm with you.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:29PM
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Update, there are both a male and female flower open at the same time.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:44PM
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