CowPots

CowPots
CowPots

I’m going to try transplanting my seedlings into a product called CowPots this year, or at least some of them. I first heard of them from a fellow I sent some bhut jolokia peppers to a year or so ago, he’s growing peppers this year and is going to go completely organic. You can follow his trials and triumphs in the garden at his blog.

While I was doing some research on CowPots, I stumbled upon this recent review on what looks to be a great blog! I’ll be adding Culinary Bliss to my RSS reader!

I’ll let you know how the CowPots fare against other, more traditional pots!

Starting Seeds for 2011!!

Well, it’s a couple weeks later than I usually start (Valentine’s Day has always been my tradition), but today I started some seeds for the 2011 pepper patch!

There’s a bit of a story here about some of the seeds… you see, I put a bunch of bhut jolokia and aji chombo pods in a shopping bag to deliver to some people at work and forgot about them… all last fall and all winter. I found them today, moldy and mushy in the bag in the garage. They STUNK! But I figured it would be a worth-while experiment to try and see if I could actually get the seeds from a few of these putrid-pungent-pods to germinate.

I selected two bhut jolokia pods and two chombos and harvested some seeds from them. After cleaning them off a little bit, they looked none-the-worse-for-wear. So who knows? Maybe they’ll be just fine.

I also started seeds that had been saved from last year in a more traditional way, including several Indian and Pakistani varieties.

I’ll update this blog as things progress! Have you started your seeds yet?

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!

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!

I started my pepper seeds tonight!

Well, I normally start them on Valentine’s Day. Not sure why I waited a couple more weeks this year, but I did. I’m excited though! I started seeds from 9 different varieties of peppers this evening, while I wait on two more varieties to show up in the mail this week.

I started two-per-cell from seeds that I saved myself and had an abundance of, while I only put one seed per cell of those that I traded for. The left-over seeds will be delivered to the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens tomorrow for them to start in their greenhouses and grow out in their gardens!

The varieties I started tonight are:

    Naga Morich – (saved from my garden)
    Bhut Jolokia – (saved from my garden)
    Red Rocoto – (saved from my garden)
    Yellow Rocoto – (saved from my garden)
    Demre – traded with The Chile Woman
    Chombo – variety from Panama – traded with The Chile Woman
    Bocskor – from Hungary – traded with Zoltan Aladics
    Bogyiszloi – from Hungary – Traded with Zoltan Aladics
    PCR – from Hungary – Traded with Zoltan Aladics

I used the Burpee Ultimate Growing System again this year because it was really successful last year. The growing medium is made from ground coconut shells and seems to be just what the plants need.

I also placed an order for the Burpee Table Top Grow Light. Last year, the only issue I had with starting my own seeds was that they got long and spindly due to lack of light. Even starting them in a south-facing window doesn’t get the seedlings the double-digit hours of light they need to develop a strong and sturdy photosynthetic system that will support them when it’s time to set them out into the “real world.” This should remedy that problem. The light system is adjustable so that it can be raised or lowered as the seedlings grow… and I can put it on a timer so that natural sunlight take care of much of the seedlings’ needs.

Oh, and a word of caution… even when just handling a dozen bhut jolokia seeds, exercise EXTREME caution!! I made the mistake of rubbing my eye 3 hours after-the-fact tonight and experienced what was just about the worst pain I’ve felt in my life. Wear latex gloves… wash your hands well… and remember what you’re dealing with!