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Thread: This Year's Garden

  1. #41
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    The squash is done for the year. Got just over 10 lbs from 2 plants. There are two eggplant plants remaining in that container that are still producing. Had eggplant parmigiana last night. Yummy.

    Don't know why I never did this before, but I am weighing everything that we pull from the garden. I wanted to see how much yield we get from our containers.
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  2. #42
    Senior Member huntermj's Avatar
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    Its still too wet here to till the garden, flooding has been an problem Containers are maybe all i can do to save my starts. As your most likely heading into the hot season for your zone what plants will grow best there this time of year?
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  3. #43
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Out of the things we planted this year, tomatoes suffer the most. I'm going to experiment this fall with installing a removable screen canopy to provide some filtered sun during the hottest part of the day to see if I can get a longer season out of them. There are some heat tolerant varieties that I've tried. Can't complain - we've pulled about 30 lbs of tomatoes so far this year and the plants are still going strong. We move them from time to time to get them out of the sun.
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  4. #44
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Strung up a few hundred Tabasco Peppers to dry. Might try my hand at bottling some hot sauce with the next batch I pick.

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    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    I bet those would be good pickled with some okra :wink:

  6. #46
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I've never tried okra unless it was in gumbo. I'd be happy to send you some of these peppers if you think they will survive the mailing.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    We take a small decanter with a glass stopper and cut up some hot peppers and toss in it and add some vinegar. Then just stick it in the fridge to mingle flavors. That stuff is great to add to things like Navy beans or soups or stews. Just add more vinegar as you use it. It looks a lot like...

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  8. #48
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    We take a small decanter with a glass stopper and cut up some hot peppers and toss in it and add some vinegar. Then just stick it in the fridge to mingle flavors. That stuff is great to add to things like Navy beans or soups or stews. Just add more vinegar as you use it. It looks a lot like...

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    I like that. I'll try it. That reminded me that a lot of the local "fried fish" places have bottle with Tabasco peppers and vinegar.
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    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Thanks for the peppers Crash! I can't believe they survived the mail!!

    If I make you a jar of pickled okra with a few and send it, do you think the jar will survive shipping? I haven't tried them flavored with tabasco pepper. I did open another jar of okra on monday, and it's a little on the salty side, but I've adjusted the recipe since then. The first batch was done with jalapeno, second with chiles, and one jar done with Thai dragons. I've tried Wickles with tabasco and they are good, so..

    on another note, the stuff Rick is referring to above is what we call peppersauce here, and it's as common as salt and pepper on the dinner table. Just about every house has peppersauce on the table. Great on greens that lack flavor. I like it on rudabagas and turnips especially as it adds some kick, and I put it on all sorts of stuff, from beans to broccoli. If you're watching calories, it can make a great addition to salad too, having significantly less than Ranch dressing. Great as a marinade on steaks too. We like to use old whiskey bottles tho, or other old bottles, like the funniest peppersauce I ever saw was in one of the old blue-glass Milk of magnesia bottle.. too funny!

  10. #50
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    If you send it, I'll try it.

    I picked up a decanter like the one in Rick's picture. I've got Tabasco and Jalapeno peppers in it now. Planning on adding some carrots and onions....We'll see.
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  11. #51
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You just added a new word to the Midwest lexicon. "Care for some peppersauce"? (well, the family lexicon anyway)

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    'round here it's more like: "pass me the peppersauce" lol.
    Add a few lilly petals (or yucca or anything for that matter) for decoration, chives and/or garlic, and you'll have yourself a fine dressing. I tasted a bit of one of the peppers.. YUMMY!! Good job growing those babies Crash. They'll make a fine addition to any meal (or sauce). If you make your own barbeque sauce, try substituting the peppersauce for the vinegar, usually doesn't take much. Adds a nice bite to your steak or ribs! And the flowers in there make it more appealing to the better half to leave sitting on the table.

    One or two things I might mention, let it sit for about a month for the flavor to get into the vinegar.Maybe even split a pepper or two to get extra heat. I'm not sure, but I've always been told that if you ever put it in the refrigerator that's how you'll have to store it from then on.. I leave mine out and it never seems to go bad. When it runs out of vinegar, add more, let it sit for another week or two, and carry on. One jar will last a LONG time.

    I can send you a jar of the salty stuff from the first batch, or I can make you a special batch with the tabasco, but you'll have to let it sit for 3 weeks to fully pickle before you can try it. I've got to pick okra again today and might just have enough for another batch. If not today, then by Saturday I should have enough.

  13. #53
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    We generally split our peppers only because the neck of the decanter is small. But you will notice quite a difference if you let it sit to mingle flavors.

    YCC - I seem to remember mom leaving hers out but we've always had it in the fridge. No particular reason for it being there. Vinegar doesn't go bad and since it's acidic the peppers will stay good. We've just always put it in there. We also use it the same way you do. Use it, refill with vinegar, let it sit, use it again and so on. The peppers last a very long time like that. I changed the peppers in the decanter last year and they were probably five years old, maybe older. The only reason I changed them was to add a stronger flavor.

  14. #54
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I still want to add more peppers and a few other things, but like the way it looks.

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  16. #56
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Well, in addition to the squash being done, the tomatoes have succumbed to the heat. The egg plant are pretty much through as well. The onions - well we ate them all. Peppers and strawberries are still kicking. I want to experiment with building a translucent shade cover to try and cool things down and get some more life out of things. Will have to make new homemade earthboxes as well - the totes are not UV tolerant. We got three years out of them, so for the money - not too bad. I'm glad I weighed things this year. I am pleased with the output of our small container garden (onions were in the ground). We got 106 pounds of tomatoes, 23 pounds of egg plant, 18 pounds of onions, 37 pounds of bell peppers, 13 pounds of banana peppers, and 2.5 pounds of hot peppers (jalapeno, tabasco, cubanel).
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  17. #57
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Man! That's a haul. You do well for container gardening. The next time someone asks about it I'm going to point them to your post. You've figure it out pretty well! Unless you had 100 tomato plants.

  18. #58
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Started with 12 tomato plants. One didn't survive, and one produced very little so most of that was from 10 plants. We didn't do any large tomatoes like the Beffsteak variety because the medium varieties have so much better flavor IMO.
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  19. #59
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Well - it's that time of the year again. Rather than start a new thread.......

    I haven't built the shade covering yet, but I did construct some new homemade earth boxes to replace the worn out set. Below is a How To on building them. I went with a smaller, UV resistant container this year. I'm experimenting with a couple of things that I'll explain.

    The old boxes served us well, but were breaking down and had developed a few cracks, some of which weeped last season. Here are the two remaining egg plants from last year.

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    With the dirt removed you can see how the boxes were constructed. The outer containers are 18 gallon Sterilite and the inner are a smaller Sterilite that has been cut down and inverted. The basket in the center is a pond basket and there is a 1-1/4" pvc fill tube. The design of the boxes is to water the plants from the bottom. Water is added through the fill tube and sits in the bottom reservoir. The pond basket (you can make your own) allows water to be wicked up through the dirt that fills it.

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    The new boxes are 10 gallon Rubbermaid containers (same material that their trash cans are made of) which should hold up a bit longer in the sun.

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    The pond baskets are re-used.

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    The inverted container that has been cut down is re-used as well.

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    Fill tube us re-used. The bottom end of the fill tube is cut at an angle to prevent clogging.

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    Hole is drilled through outer and inner container. This prevents over filling the containers.

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    Lid is drilled and cut to accommodate fill tube and allow access for plants.

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    The experiment part this year was going to the smaller containers. In doing so, and re-using the parts that were not UV distressed, there was considerably less "dirt room" on top of the platform (inverted box). I think there is still enough space for the plants to thrive, but on one of them I cut the pond basket and the platform down a bit to allow more "dirt room". In cutting the basket, it was now too small to support the area around the center hole. I was concerned that the weight of the dirt would collapse the platform some, so tied on the wider section that was removed so the platform would still contact the basket.

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    Dirt and the fertilizer strip are added. The dirt is just topsoil with a little peat moss added. The placement of the fertilizer strip and plants are done following the recommendation on the Earth Box website http://www.earthbox.com/earthbox-planting-guide.asp

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    A cover is formed using 6 mil plastic. I use clear (white works as well) due to the heat. In northern climates black is recommended. Another option (maybe next year) is to holes in the lid for the plants instead of removing most of the lid as I did.

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    Plants are added. These are mild Jalapeno Peppers.

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    We also have some Yellow Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Strawberries, and several varieties of tomatoes working. Mrs. Crash is in charge of the tomatoes again this year. We weighed everything last year and were pleased with the yield. For the tomatoes this year we are using the 5 gallon containers again, but are using on Earth Box (2 plants) to compare the performance. I'll keep you posted.
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  20. #60
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    Slick setup. Container gardening can be done just about anywhere and the method you've used makes it pretty simple, economical, and convenient. Nice job!! A little rep for you.

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