Spring planning 2016

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Ginger
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Spring planning 2016

yummy pepperAnybody else do their spring planning and planting over Christmas break? laugh

I did my first pass planting plan yesterday. Mostly a rehash of previous years, of course. New:

Trying yummy peppers from Burpee. Hate the name, but I love the lunchbox peppers, and this one is a more compact (12-24" tall), faster-to-ripen (64 days) lunchbox style pepper. So the very-early indoor-outdoor peppers will be a carmen and a yummy.

January planting is early enough for early indoor-outdoor peppers. I didn't see much benefit to starting a pepper in September last year. Yeah, the pepper plant lasted 13 months. But I got twice the yield as from an in-season plant. A January start provides the same double yield, at much less babysitting effort.

Also want to try tomato grafting (grafting stuff at SeedsNSuch). Bucks County is still my favorite tomato, and I managed to get 34 fruit this summer – an all-time record. Still. I'd like more. And I'd like to try grafting. My whole kit (rootstock seed + grafting clips + instructions + shipping) came to $8.72.

And I'll grow all the onions from seed this year. The starter bulbs were fun and easy, but didn't produce more onion, or earlier onion.

Edit 1/16: Replaced the planting plan, and added germination crib sheets from Park Seed - how long seeds take to germinate, and how far ahead of time to start them indoors, for a huge list of flowers and vegetables.

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Ginger
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Yeah, chopped peppers freeze

Yeah, chopped peppers freeze well, MaryL. And I add them to all sorts of things. But especially frozen sweet corn, or sliced kielbasa, or added color in a stir-fry.

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MaryL
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Thanks, Ginger.   Good idea.

Thanks, Ginger.   Good idea.  

One thing that hadn't occurr to me when I set out to plant lunchbox is how nice it is to not have the inevitable leftover cut open bell in the fridge to go bad if you don't use it rather quickly.  Even for crudités for a group I find that an entire sliced red bell does not get eaten. 

Ginger
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Hi, MaryL -- My favorite way

Hi, MaryL -- My favorite way to eat lunchbox peppers is just to eat them, like you said. But I also chop them to use like any other pepper. Granted, I mostly grow those sweet horn peppers. I don't really like green / bell peppers, except in pepper cheese steaks or tomato sauce. (Sweet peppers can make a tomato sauce / ratatouille too sweet, for my taste.)

Super-sweet peppers, chopped finely and blended with cream cheese, is very nice. yes On crackers or toast or bagels. That's something interesting you can do with just one small pepepr.

I clean and chop peppers and put them in the freezer to add to assorted dishes in winter. Sort of like chopping a big onion and freezing it to add to stuff.

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MaryL
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Hi Ginger,

Hi Ginger,

 

I recently gave gave my mother the last few peppers from my Lunchbox plants, and she said thank you but asked "What do I do with them?"  Funnily enough, I was a loss as to how to answer her aside from saying, you eat them cheeky   What are your favorite ways to enjoy the snack peppers besides munching on them raw?  Maybe she was thrown by the size, as opposed to using bell peppers in familiar ways.  

Beth11
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Thanks for posting your plan!
Thanks for posting your plan! I'm going thru my seed catalogs on this snowy Sunday. I'm looking for a determinant early cherry tomato. I got seeds from gardens alive called Fantastico. It was good, but I'm always on the lookout for that next best thing. Does anyone have suggestions on a variety to consider? Thanks, Beth

 

 

 

 

Ginger
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Just a note - I revised my

Just a note - I revised my planting plan above based on instructions that came with my flower seeds from Park Seed.

Park included an excellent chart (also appended above) giving germination time (days) and how many weeks ahead of transplant time to start seeds. Very handy chart!

The when-to-start part is tricky to see. There's a "C" column, referring to the "Culture" notes above. So a C of "4" means note 4, "Sow indoors in a warm place in late winter, 6 to 8 weeks before planting outdoors in late spring, after danger of frost is past."

Single table scanned as 2 pages because it didn't fit on my scanner bed.

Absolutely copyright Park Seed, of course. I just figured they'd like the free advertising more than they'd mind my posting the table. If they disagree, they have only to contact me and I'll remove it promptly.

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Ginger
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Carmen is my favorite pepper.

Carmen is my favorite pepper. yes I've been tempted to try those half-size carmens (cornito rosso) but didn't buy the seeds this year.

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MaryL
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I went to look for a link for

I went to look for a link for you but they're not there anymore, but they were much like this http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8694-carmen.aspx

and here's a newer, even faster but smaller version http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-9722-cornito-rosso.aspx

I might have to order them depending on how many seeds I have left!  

MaryL
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"Five lunchbox pepper plants

"Five lunchbox pepper plants sounds to me like a high-end problem. "

Hah, lol, so true.  I was just looking forward to the kind of peppers I can't buy in a store here, and almost none of them survived.  Murphys Law.  

But I did have a fantastic discovery last year.  It was a sweet red frying pepper called Italia from Johnny's Seeds.  I tell you, it fruited and ripened faster than any other pepper I grew.  I obtained the seeds later in the season on sale and took a chance, and they fruited faster than those I had planted a month or more earlier.  So I planted more.  Same thing.  So very fast.  The highlight of the season.  

Ginger
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Five lunchbox pepper plants

Five lunchbox pepper plants sounds to me like a high-end problem. smiley I love those. So does everyone else who walks past the bowl! One of my most-filched vegetables.

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