I’ve been so inundated with peppers, I haven’t sat down to do a garden update in awhile. Since I currently have nothing but peppers in the ground, it’s mostly going to be pictures. My early season peppers are exploding with fruit, and the experimental late season peppers I’m doing — probably only possible in a post-climate catastrophe Texas or Florida — are growing well.
They’re an experiment because peppers usually are dying out as the fall comes on, but over the last couple years our falls and winters have gotten warmer, with just a few days cold enough to kill plants before January. Which means there’s technically a window in which one could grow peppers. So I’m giving it a try. They went in in September, like ordinary Fall transplants. As you’ll see, some are already flowering.
All in all, the garden is looking great and I have more peppers than I know what to do with. I’ll keep making sauce and I guess freezing some for later. I suppose in the spring I’ll pull some of these and replace them with other crops.
Transplant time is my favorite time in the garden.
For six to eight weeks I have planted, hand-watered, and checked these plants every single day.
For two weeks, I have carried them outside for longer and longer intervals, so they could harden to the rain and sun and wind and bugs before I tore them from their natal creche and plugged them into exotic soil.
And now, they are in their beds, building mycorrizhal networks through which they will exchange information and nutrients. Sinking roots into strange new soil, and devouring it to bulk up like a weight lifter, so they can set flowers and then fruit.
And my role in this diminishes. Now it’s just every couple of days, checking and watering. Every so often I might spray or do a special feeding of water soluble nutrients. But nothing like the concentration and effort put into seeding and germinating and transplanting them.
It’s hard not to see it a little bit like sending a pack of tiny green children off to their adult lives. I visit, but now the bulk of their time exists in a world where I do not, in the sun all day, doing their plant things. And I also know that the end of the season is coming for them, which makes everything a little melancholy, too.
So I’m taking a risk getting them out this late. If, like last year, we get a hard freeze at the end of October, I could lose the whole crop. but life is risk and an early Texas freeze is rare and I’ll tent a quilt over them if I need to.
This is 24 peppers and the chart below will tell you what they are. I’ll transplant another 24 into the bed next to it, 18 in my other front yard bed, and about 12 in the back yard. If I have leftovers I’ll either put them in grow bags, give them away, or try to finish them inside under a grow light.
I moved some of my grow bags into the stone circle to keep them safe from some intensive yard work I’m planning. My cucumbers are doing pretty well for the height of summer. They should be ready to pump out cukes when it get cool enough.
I had a bunch of peppers, so I decided to do a mixed mash ferment. Just peppers and salt, but the varieties are: Pequin(about 50), Serrano, Habanero, Cayenne, Jalapeño, Tabasco, Poinsettia, and Mexibelles. It’s going to be hot and flavorful.