Gardening: My Tomatoe and Pepper Progress

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estricklin

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I've been involved in gardening in one way or another since I was very young. I walked behind my dad in the garden when I was 3 or 4 years old helping to pick and plant. My grandpa recently passed away and he knew so many things about gardening that I wish I had listened to. I realize a lot of people are into this "growing your own" thing as of recent. So I want to help, if I can, in any way. I'm going to show start to finish my plants and my garden, and maybe some good ole southern BS (for entertainment) along the way.

I started my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants back in late January. My birthday falls on the 25th of January so I usually just use that to remind myself "it's time". I live in zone 7. I not only start my nightshades that need to be started indoors, but I go ahead and plant my onions outside too. I'm sorry to say I didn't plant any onions this year as I usually do, but I have photos from years past, I think, if anyone wants.

My little girl helped me start the seeds. You can see her with her step grandpa in the photo. I use a few brooder lamps with 1600 lumen bulbs for grow lights. No need to get fancy. If you have a window that faces east or west that would be ideal, I don't. An outdoor greenhouse is fine too. One of the smaller ones that are available from tractor supply or your local co op.

After they sprouted, I took some more photos. Usually takes 5-7 days, some stubborn ones take a few days longer. Damping off is the worst problem with seedlings, especially before they get their true leaves. A chemical I am fond of for treating this is Captan, I mix a tiny bit in a spray bottle full of water. You can use a fan for circulation when the plants are indoors to help prevent mold.

I will post more as I go.
 

BrewSRQ

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Very cool, thanks for your future help!
I graduated this past year from college and now have some space to myself, so I got some hops into the ground. After keeping track of them for a bit, I realized adding more plants to my garden wouldn't add too much maintenance, so I planted some habeneros, jalapenos, tomatos, and basil. I'm in zone 10 and the habs already have a flower or two.
 
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estricklin

estricklin

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Very cool, thanks for your future help!
I graduated this past year from college and now have some space to myself, so I got some hops into the ground. After keeping track of them for a bit, I realized adding more plants to my garden wouldn't add too much maintenance, so I planted some habeneros, jalapenos, tomatos, and basil. I'm in zone 10 and the habs already have a flower or two.

Oh man I'm jealous, I love the habs! I eat them quite a bit. Most of my pepper plants this year are habeneros. Not sure why I haven't grown any hops, I have a good trestle I could put them on. We have't planted our herbs yet, we used to grow them indoors but the wife has been having good success just direct sowing them outside. We will plant Dill, Basil, Thyme, Chives and probably one or two more.

I still can't get the photos to upload, I'll try again later.
 
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I've been harvesting tomatoes and peppers all spring. Planted by seed in the fall, watched them germinate, and now they are paying dividends!

The tomatoes (cherries) are out of control. They got too big and there's way to many to eat. I can't keep up and they are just falling to the ground now :(.

I've got a ton of chilis. I had some on nachos last night.

I've only gotten one ripe habenero so far (there are green ones on the bush, but not mature yet). It went from green to orange to red in just a couple of days. Pic of it below. It was a scorcher.

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BrewSRQ

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Very cool passedpawn, I didn't even have an idea to plant other things until I came across an earthbox in my parents garage while helping with a tile job. I figured I'd get something in it eventually and then about a month ago, I was in home depot and their started veggies were on sale. I figured I already tended to the hops just about daily adding some other stuff wasn't too much more to deal with.
 
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estricklin

estricklin

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I just got everything out in the garden despite the rain we've had. I will get some pics up here tomorrow hopefully. Along with the peppers and tomatoes we planted Cucumbers, Okra, squash, pumpkins, cantelopes, watermelons, and our herbs.

I usually eat the habeneros for lunch on sandwiches or with supper just cut up on the side. You can't go wrong no matter what you do with them.
 
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estricklin

estricklin

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Chilis are going nuts. I harvest all the red ones every weekend. Seems like as soon as I cut them off there's a new batch ready.

Habanero's are finally turning color. They are big! Not sure what I'm gonna do with them, but I think I'm gonna have a ton of them.

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I just can't get over how loaded that plant is, geez!
 

blizzard

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The tomatoes (cherries) are out of control. They got too big and there's way to many to eat. I can't keep up and they are just falling to the ground now :(.

I usually make tomato confit with all the extra tomatoes I harvest (fancy name, easy recipe). It freezes really well.
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/07/the-tomato-gap-1/


Chilis are going nuts. I harvest all the red ones every weekend. Seems like as soon as I cut them off there's a new batch ready.

Habanero's are finally turning color. They are big! Not sure what I'm gonna do with them, but I think I'm gonna have a ton of them.

_mg_1408-67149.jpg


_mg_1410-67150.jpg

Habanero & peach make a great hot sauce combo.
 

StonesBally

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Wow my chiles and peppers are only 4 weeks old on 4 inch pots, transplanting my tomatoes from flats to 4 inch pots tonight. I can't even put them in the ground until near memorial day here or it is likely to freeze. My best yields come in September! I am growing 16 various peppers and chiles and 14 various tomatoes, 30 peppers and 30 tomatoes in all. I like a lot of variety. All are heirlooms grown from seed.
 
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estricklin

estricklin

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Wow my chiles and peppers are only 4 weeks old on 4 inch pots, transplanting my tomatoes from flats to 4 inch pots tonight. I can't even put them in the ground until near memorial day here or it is likely to freeze. My best yields come in September! I am growing 16 various peppers and chiles and 14 various tomatoes, 30 peppers and 30 tomatoes in all. I like a lot of variety. All are heirlooms grown from seed.

Good luck. Heirlooms are fun, and I do grow them but I hedge my bets with some hybrids usually. What are some varieties your growing? Your going to have nightshades growing out of your ears come September it sounds like!!
 
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Wow my chiles and peppers are only 4 weeks old on 4 inch pots, transplanting my tomatoes from flats to 4 inch pots tonight. I can't even put them in the ground until near memorial day here or it is likely to freeze. My best yields come in September! I am growing 16 various peppers and chiles and 14 various tomatoes, 30 peppers and 30 tomatoes in all. I like a lot of variety. All are heirlooms grown from seed.


I grow from seed, not sure what heirloom is though. I grab packets with nice pictures on the front [emoji3]

I also don't bother putting in ground. I built a ton of these self-watering buckets. They seem to work well. My tomatoes quickly outgrew them though.
 
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estricklin

estricklin

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I grow from seed, not sure what heirloom is though. I grab packets with nice pictures on the front [emoji3]

I also don't bother putting in ground. I built a ton of these self-watering buckets. They seem to work well. My tomatoes quickly outgrew them though.

I put out bone meal every year in the spring, and I did this year too, but as I understand it, it's main contribution is phosphorus. To be honest, it's somewhat expensive for a bag, (although a bag will last many years) and it stinks too. It's been my experience that peppers start to really do well when the soil temp goes up.
 

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All the varieties have weird names, s9me favorites are, nature's riddle, rebekah Allen, djeena Lee's golden for tomatoes. I try out new ones almost every year. My favorite fresh chile is Serrano tampiqueno, while I like to grow mexican chiles for drying like Pasilla bajio, and Ancho. Then I grow some cayenne types for making hot sauce and a few different sweet peppers. Peppers and tomatoes, plus tomatillos and ground cherries make up about 50% of my garden. I grow a lot of varieties in a small area with raised beds.
 
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Some of my habenapples (!) are turning orange. They look/red/orange in the pic below, but that's my camera doing something odd with the shadows. They get a tinge of orange on the bottom, then bam the next day they are all orange. A few days later they're red. I think I'm gonna pick them at the orange stage.

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StonesBally

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I make a habanero salsa, too hot for most. I use lots in jerk marinade, and that always seems just right. Never put them on nachos. We had some salsa at the Michigan summer beer fest that came with our tamales. It was habanero. A few drops made my tamales burn. My friends dad doused his with about 2 ounces and ate it all. He was hurting all night long after that.
 

applescrap

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Found y,all. Jealous as hell passed pawn we cant plant here till spring let alone harvest. Your plants grow year round?
 
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Found y,all. Jealous as hell passed pawn we cant plant here till spring let alone harvest. Your plants grow year round?

Yea, these have been sitting out there since last summer. We get some cold days in the winter but nothing that hurts the plants. Some winters we'll get a frost or two, but not this past one.

In fact, my tomatoes were going nuts all winter and finally got too big to manage this spring and I had to sacrifice them to the gardening gods. I've started another one though, that I plan to transfer when it's big.

I've seen those pictures of your operation scrap. Pretty impressive. I've got the space for it, but ironically not he sun. My side yards and backyard are shaded with oaks and palms. Only the front is suitable for gardening.
 

applescrap

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A Compliment from you I take dearly thanks. I thought those look like your front yard. Yeah any container that will hold an inch or so of water around the root bags will do. I think Larry Hall just Waters his root bags. I'm pretty sure the slow-release fertilizers what makes my garden grow nothing else, but keeping an inch or so of water in there i never have to water. Well just like you do with the two bucket system. by the way they look so cool lined up. Are your tomatoes in them?

Yeah that spot on my back is the only place I can garden. I guess that's why I'm so excited to share wasn't able to until the past few years. Anyhow a story about habaneros I don't grow any hot chilies or Chili's anymore but I had habanero plants in our first house and also Serrano's. So the janitor at the school I was working at says bring them in and I will eat them. So I brought him this huge bag of Serranos and habaneros and he popped them like he was snacking on crackers or something unreal
 
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A Compliment from you I take dearly thanks. I thought those look like your front yard. Yeah any container that will hold an inch or so of water around the root bags will do. I think Larry Hall just Waters his root bags. I'm pretty sure the slow-release fertilizers what makes my garden grow nothing else, but keeping an inch or so of water in there i never have to water. Well just like you do with the two bucket system. by the way they look so cool lined up. Are your tomatoes in them?

Yeah that spot on my back is the only place I can garden. I guess that's why I'm so excited to share wasn't able to until the past few years. Anyhow a story about habaneros I don't grow any hot chilies or Chili's anymore but I had habanero plants in our first house and also Serrano's. So the janitor at the school I was working at says bring them in and I will eat them. So I brought him this huge bag of Serranos and habaneros and he popped them like he was snacking on crackers or something unreal

It might have been your operation that prompted me to make mine. Can't remember. Anyway, please post pics when you have them.

Glad to have you here scrappy.
 

applescrap

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Cool, brave. Its freaking hailing thats why i wait, i can cover every time but lazy. Is a video of Larry starting seedlings in the 3 inch net cups uses a quarter inch of water to sub irrigate. Anyways I think I want to grow my lettuce this way just cut a little cup for dinner let it comeback back. Here's some pics of lettuce in a 1-gallon root pouch, and a 7 gallon Walmart bag funny 7 gallon bag grows huge heads of lettuce the one gallon bag little. Also some screenshots of the video.

Watch "Starting Seeds In 3 Inch Net Cups! The Results Are Fantastic! Find Out Why?" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/EBEy4wug6Ek

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This morning's harvest of habaneros. Don't know why my camera keeps turning them red, they are really solid orange. Odd. I've got to get that thing under control.

One green one there that fell off while I was fat-fisting the plant. Tons more of the green ones hanging. I have to come up with a plan quick for using these things.

_mg_1459-67201.jpg
 

imasickboy

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Ferment them. De-stem them, grind them up, mix in a good amount of salt, add a bit of water to cover them if needed, and ferment them like you're making sauerkraut. Add some lactobacillus is you want to be sure of success.

Once fermented, you can can them in a boiling water canner, and keep the mash for a couple years.

Alternatively, you can de-stem and freeze them for a while while you research and prepare your pepper-fermenting facilities.
 
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Ferment them. De-stem them, grind them up, mix in a good amount of salt, add a bit of water to cover them if needed, and ferment them like you're making sauerkraut. Add some lactobacillus is you want to be sure of success.

Once fermented, you can can them in a boiling water canner, and keep the mash for a couple years.

Alternatively, you can de-stem and freeze them for a while while you research and prepare your pepper-fermenting facilities.

What do you suggest I do with them after fermenting?
 

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After you ferment them you can use that as a base for different hot sauces. IT will be screaming hot and you can then mix it in other stuff for hot sauce. I often cut up some red or yellow sweet bell peppers and boil them in some vinegar. BLend until smooth and then add enough fermented habs to get to the heat level you like. Carrots are a nice addition also.
 

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Glad I came across this thread. I've been studying since I saw pawns self watering homer pots last week. The 3" net cup video scrap posted is fantastic! And, I already have them ordered for a sewer pipe (gutter) system I'm going to put together. I'm really behind this year even growing stuff in the ground, but I'm going to give some stuff a try anyway.
 

applescrap

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This morning's harvest of habaneros. Don't know why my camera keeps turning them red, they are really solid orange. Odd. I've got to get that thing under control.

One green one there that fell off while I was fat-fisting the plant. Tons more of the green ones hanging. I have to come up with a plan quick for using these things.

_mg_1459-67201.jpg

Beautiful. I am impressed. You make more hot sauce no? That habanerro you need a drop or two of I like hot sauce like that . Dry, freeze, pickle or preserve are all good options. I really think freezing them as a good option and also making a tincture with olive oil.

I would freeze them with my seal a meal.
 

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Yes a greenhouse! I could start plants there instead of the basement, no plant lights or heat pads. I could grow greens all winter even here in Michigan with a greenhouse. I don't think the wife would enjoy losing any more yard space for the kids though. I still have a giant swingset answer a new shed this summer. Maybe next year after some lobbying on my side.
 
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Yes a greenhouse! I could start plants there instead of the basement, no plant lights or heat pads. I could grow greens all winter even here in Michigan with a greenhouse. I don't think the wife would enjoy losing any more yard space for the kids though. I still have a giant swingset answer a new shed this summer. Maybe next year after some lobbying on my side.

Yea, I'd have some lobbying to do too :)
 

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hey Eric... you can plant some veggies in my garden.. :) You could also weed while we are brewing!
 

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Man, I've thought about building a greenhouse, something like this. I could build it, but I'd probably just buy it and make my life easy. Would be a great place to grow from seed until ready to put in the ground.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HR1VFA/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

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Your gonna build it even if you get it as a kit. Has anybody looked into what it would cost to just build it from scratch? Like that size or slightly bigger? I really need some place to put all our potted plants during the winter instead of replacing them each year. Would likely pay for itself pretty quickly! And I could start plants early!
 
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