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Early Fall/Late Summer Garden – Pictures and Observations

Click the pictures to enlarge them and get a better look.

Tomatoes

All except one tomato plant gave up producing about 6 weeks sooner than usual. That means no tomatoes for me in December and/or January.

The most beautiful and most productive tomato plant was the one in the fence border close to my back door. It’s still producing! And it’s why I’ll have […]

First Frost – What’s Doing in the Garden – A Tip – A Good Habit

If you’re north of the invisible line dividing our country, you’ve probably already had frost and even a hard freeze.

Here in zone 7 we usually enjoy a longer season.

When we lived closer to the water years ago, it was not unusual to be picking tomatoes in mid December.  Then we moved to our current residence 7 miles inland and frost came a […]

October in My Garden – A Time for Preparation, Harvesting, and Planning.

One of the things I like about living in zone 7 is that it’s possible for me to work outside almost all year except for when the ground is frozen. In years past it seemed to me that was only a week of days at most. These last few years it’s been more like one or two months.

There are a couple of reasons […]

Garden – Late October – Pictures and Garden Talk

Entering my garden and looking left towards the upper end.

The garden this time of year has it’s own beauty.  I especially enjoy feeling the warmth that’s still in soil even though the air is cooler.

Eggplant. About 8 remain on the plants.  Most are hidden by the foliage but you can still see at least 5 if you look closely.

Eggplants […]

Peppers – Lush growth/no fruit – and other problems

I’ve experienced some things this year with peppers that were unusual in my garden and I thought my observations may be of benefit to you as well. I had that thought after Betty left a comment to my last post mentioning some things happening with her peppers and asking if I had any ideas. (I do.)

And by the way, if you love bees, […]

November Garden – Extending the Season – Peppers –Tomatoes – Eggplant and other notes

Those peppers that only grew 6 inches and stayed 6 inches until about mid-July ended up growing 5 to 6 feet tall and producing lots and lots of peppers. Finally by September, I was getting beautiful and delicious red peppers. I rationed us to two a day, but we’ve eaten 2 everyday for more than 60 days. And they’re still coming. (I use several […]

How’s Your Garden Doing? – Comparing Notes

It always seems advantageous to know how others are faring with plants that we’re growing in our own gardens – or with plants that we might want to grow in the future. It gives us that much more information (from the other person’s experience) to add to our base of knowledge. That can, sometimes, give us just the edge we need to help us […]

Hot Peppers – Fish Peppers – Rare but Not Lost

From the minute I first read about fish peppers a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to grow them. I’m not sure what appealed to me most, their beauty or their history.

Not only is the fish pepper beautiful enough to grow as an ornamental, but it’ll give hundreds of hot peppers to use in the kitchen, both fresh and dried to take you through the winter.

Its variegated green and white foliage is decorated with pendant fruits 1.5 inches to 2 inches long.  The fruit starts off green and then turns cream colored with green stripes. As they ripen they change to purples and orange and eventually to an all red pepper that to my taste buds are comparable to a cayenne pepper.

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Long about the end of August and September the plant is heavy with green fruit that is turning to cream color.  The red one hidden by the foliage was an early fruit.

These little peppers are perfect for cooking fresh or dried. The dried ones can be ground into flakes or powder if you want. I don’t have a dehydrator, so I air-dried many of them for winter use.

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Fish peppers in 5 stages of air drying.  From right to left: Fresh off the plant to totally dried. Since I don’t use mine for clear sauces, I dry all of mine red rather than cream color.

From what I had read, I expected the plant to be 1.5 to 2 feet in height.  Mine grew to 3 feet and was at least 3 feet across.  It was planted in the border behind my garden by my Tree Rose and evidently loved it there.  (If you plant in a container expect the small height for sure.)

In August the fish peppers are just starting to turn cream color.  The two red ones were early peppers. By October the plant looks like a tree decorated with mostly red peppers.

In August the fish peppers are just starting to turn cream color. The two red ones were early peppers. By October the plant looks like a tree decorated with mostly red peppers.

History of the Fish Pepper Was Passed Down by Word of Mouth

Fish peppers are said to have originated in the 1800s in the Baltimore area. (I’ve seen the date 1870 as well as a mention of the early 1800s.) Word of mouth history says they were almost exclusively grown by black American gardeners and chefs and/or  —–read more—-

Seed Starting – Two Main Reasons Seedlings Fail

I received some questions from a reader who is having trouble with his onion and celery seedlings.

I don’t have detailed information on his situation, but from the information I do have, I can tell that he (like many others who are new to starting seed) does not have a basic understanding of what seedlings need to grow.

If you’ve been reading any length […]

Growing Peppers – Ideas to Consider for This Season

Having enough red peppers to eat one or two every day for months is one of the highlights of the growing season. Any pepper that I think is going to turn red before the season shuts down is going to be left on the vine to ripen.

Bill and I could easily use all the peppers produced by 24 to 30 plants, but […]