Saturday, March 29, 2014

Seed Starting Update: Peppers & Brussel Sprouts

Today was pepper starting day! I used to start peppers and tomatoes on the same day, but I'd end up repotting the tomatoes two or three times before they made it to the garden. I doubt I really got that much of a head start that way, so this year I'm planting the tomatoes the minimum of six weeks before they go out in the garden. I'm giving the peppers the full eight weeks though, because they take a while to size up. It's somewhat depressing to realize that it's still a full eight weeks before I'll be planting my warm weather plants out.

I prepared my seed trays, and the first packet of seeds I opened was Chervena Chushka. This is a new pepper for me this year. It's supposed to be prolific and sugar sweet. I thought it would be excellent for salads and relishes, as well as for snacking. I was extremely disappointed to open the packet and find only two seeds. The packet was supposed to have 25, and I needed to plant 12 to fulfill my needs and my friends that had requested this type. I didn't want to mess around with planting two seeds, so I pulled out a 2012 packet of Big Red peppers from Pinetree and planted those instead. I also emailed Seed Savers to let them know my packet was under-filled. I hope they send me a new one; those peppers sounded delicious!

Here's what peppers got planted today:
Big Red (sweet)
Bull Nose Bell (sweet)
Chocolate Beauty (sweet)
Mini Yellow Bell (sweet)
Jalapeno (hot)
Chinese Ornamental (hot)
Joe's Cayenne (hot)

I'm hoping the sweet peppers do well; I've always had hit or miss luck with them. I'm planting 32 pepper plants total, and at least 24 of them will be sweet peppers. I need a lot for roasted tomato sauce, salsa, and relish, and I want to have a lot of chopped peppers in the freezer to use for chili.

I also planted my brussel sprouts today (Long Island Improved).

It's gorgeous outside (compared to our previous weather; today it's in the 40's), so I might try to stake out the hedge garden border. If I can get a shovel in the ground, I'd like to plant my currant bushes tomorrow.

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