Fungus & Bacteria & Yuck!

Well, unfortunately, some of the peppers I did NOT start myself have some type of pathogen in them which is starting to transfer to other pepper plants that are close to them.

The leaves on the store-bought jalapenos started to display spots, yellow, and curl up about a week ago.

I consulted my favorite expert, David Halsey, at the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, and have taken his advice to clear the patch of affect leaves and then apply some copper fungicide. It’s a relatively mild, and natural fungicide that might be all it takes to knock it out. If I don’t see improvement in a week or two, I may resort to more traditional chemical solutions.

The garden looks great, on the whole. Tomatoes are giant, we’ve already eaten half-a-dozen eggplants, the onions look great, the carrot tops are getting bigger and bigger (my first time ever growing carrots). Here’s a look at some photos from yesterday.

Most of my peppers are in the (expanded) garden!

Pepper Patch of the Past
Pepper Patch of the Past

It’s a great feeling to have a majority of my pepper plants in the ground! Yesterday I planted 19 pepper plants! I have another dozen coming mail-order from the great people at Cross Country Nurseries later this week, and maybe a few more from my good friends at the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens here in the town where I live. In the past, I wouldn’t have had room for all these peppers, let alone even more plants in the garden… what you see to the left is a photo of the garden as it’s been in the past. I’m not sure of the square footage, but it was probably around 8′ x 12′.

After day-one of tilling
After day-one of tilling

So… About a month ago, I purchased a new Mantis tiller with the intention of maintaining the pepper patch a little easier by using it as a cultivator, and also putting it through the paces by converting some of the surrounding lawn to garden space. Mantis assured me it would be easy… and to their credit, it WAS!! I now have a lovely 12′ x 18′ garden, an increase of about 100 sq. ft. The Mantis really made quick work of turning lawn into garden with very little effort in virtually no time! I probably only spent 2 hours total with the tiller running to get that grass whipped into a lovely bed of dark, rich soil. This little sucker can RUN! And the way they have designed the tines, I only had to stop a time or two to clear out clogged clumps of soil.

I prepped the new portions of the garden with compost from my compost bin, layering it on about an inch thick and then just hand “tilling” it in when I put the plants in the ground. I made sure to push a good amount of compost into each hole before putting the plant in. Hopefully this will give them a good start and help them out in the first year soil.

What did I get planted?

  • 2 Chombo
  • 4 Red rocoto
  • 2 Demre
  • 4 Yellow rocoto
  • 1 Bocskor
  • 1 Bogyiszloi
  • 2 PCR
  • 1 Kathari
  • 1 CHOT
  • 1 Dundicut

I’m really excited about many of these varieties because they’re not widely available (if available at all) from seed/plant companies in North America. Several of the varieties are from India directly, others from Hungary, and finally, the Chombo pepper is probably my biggest excitement for this season, it’s “THE” hot pepper of Panama, where I was born! I’ve never seen them for sale before, and have only seen pictures on a Canal Zone website… but a lady in Indianapolis swapped me some seeds and I’m so excited to grow them!

So, that’s the update for now…. keep an eye on this space as the season grows along!

Some pepper germination photos – Weekly Update 2

Well, I’ve had just about 100% germination to this point. Can’t ask for any better than that! I’m really excited for the 2010 garden!

I’ve decided to take some birthday money and buy a little tiller this year. I’ve always prepped and cultivated the garden by hand in the past… and I still will this season, but I plan on doubling the size of the patch this year, and that initial work of getting the soil ready will be a lot easier with a little power assistance!

I got my grow light set up tonight and not a day too soon either. The emerging seedlings are showing their cotyledons (first false leaves) and they’re already leaning towards the window and getting spindly. Giving them the right amount and right spectrum of light will keep them stronger, healthier and “stockier.” This will lead to stronger plants when it’s time to put them out in the “real world” and should also shorten the time to the first fruit production as they’ll be better equipped to handle the transition from indoors to outdoors.

Here’s a bunch of photos from tonight!

Debunking some pepper bunk

Wow… I get hundreds of comments and emails from my YouTube videos. Some of them are great, others, not so much. I thought I’d single out a few lines from one recent email who was trying to teach me a few things and try to address the common misconceptions that are quite wrong. (the anonymous email will be in italics with my responses to follow)

…a few facts:
1- the heat comes from the seeds, not the skin of the pepper.


This is just NOT true. There is definitely heat “on” the seeds, but it’s not where the heat “comes from.” The heat you taste when you eat a pepper is actually your body’s reaction to the compound capsaicin. Capsaicin is produced in the connective tissue between the seeds and the wall of the pepper, sometimes called the ribs or the placental tissue. If you’ve ever sliced open a hot pepper, you can actually SEE it… it shows up as a golden liquid on those white, fleshy ribs. This capsaicin is found in other parts of the pepper pod too, but it’s only produced in that connective tissue. Seeds have a high concentration of capsaicin because they’re directly connected to that tissue, but it’s NOT where the heat comes from.

Continue reading “Debunking some pepper bunk”

Seed Germination!!

Well, as of tonight, I can say I’ve got near 100% germination of the seeds I started! Fantastic! I’m so excited because often times these more exotic varieties are difficult and slow to start.

Not much more to add than that tonight, but I’m really looking forward to this growing season. 56 degrees and sunny today in NW Ohio REALLY got my gardening juices flowing!