Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Last 2005 Peppers

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I covered some of my pepper plants to extend their season. Over the weekend we cleared out that section of the garden and bid a thankful farewell to those plants. It's always tough pulling up plants!

Here is the third, and final batch of peppers; the ones ripening in the earlier blog post are the second batch. I'm truly astonished that we had flowering and fruit set on these plants in mid to late December, but the unseasonably warm weather and large, established plants are probably the key factors. We also have a kit greenhouse on the patio, right in front of the pepper bed, which probably provides some warmth as it cools slowly in the evening, and also blocks the cold north breezes of our winter storms.

The Marconi Gold peppers were about 20% smaller than the ones that ripened during their proper, warmer season, but they are still sweet and good. The Tulip Tree lipstick peppers stayed green, didn't like the cold at all. The Tequila Sunrise was very hardy, and while the fruits weren't very sweet, they still had great pepper flavor. I think Tequila Sunrise might do well as a container plant to bring into a greenhouse or onto a sunny porch in shorter-season areas. It was a nice compact plant, and quite lovely with the yellow-gold peppers.

My garden 'vacation' is coming to a close. The 'keep your fingers crossed' peas planted in December are now a bit over a foot tall, and going strong. I have another batch soaking which needs to go in the ground today or tomorrow, and also have some ornamental fragrant sweet peas soaking as well. For obvious reasons, they'll be planted far from each other! I'm kicking myself for not getting more beets and radishes in, since the handful I have in now are coming along. Maybe this weekend?

Meanwhile the violas and dianthus that I put in back in November are happy, if enduring a bit of snail damage. The violas continue to bloom cheerfully, and now the long spikes of the blue irises are rising, and the thick stubby points of the daffodils recently emerged. Time to do some flashlight patrols for snails on warm nights, and maybe start putting out the saucers of beer!

All my east coast and mid-state gardener readers, don't despair. Spring is coming to you too! And all the seed catalogs are now arriving, making it a perfect time to curl up on the couch with a cat and a cup of tea and a clipboard. Sometimes I think planning the garden is as much fun as growing it, never mind that it never seems to work out as planned.


Blogger cookie said...

Hi Strata,

Another idea to help extend your season is to put Christmas lights on your plants. It can look a bit silly, but the heat from the lights (along with any row covers, etc.) can help extend the season too.

6:45 AM PST  
Blogger Debra said...


I've lived in the 8 years and didn't know I could already plant peas and lettuce!! That's what I get for depending on the nursery to keep in "in season"!

Do you buy a year's worth of seed each spring? Or mail order to get late fall/early winter?

And what is your western garden zone down in Sunnyvale? On top of a hill facing the bay.. here in Hercules, I'm a 17... though at the bottom of my hill I'd be a #15. ??


9:59 AM PST  

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