peppers and eggplants for 2008

sweetwm007(6 b)January 12, 2008

started the season tonight:

early jalapeno

hungarian hot wax

beaver dam

wenks yellow hots

big early hybrid

sweet banana

mariachi hybrid

college 64L


florida high bush



listada de gandia

tomatoes to follow in 4 weeks!


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I wondered if everyone on the forum had left the country!

Why so early? Do you have a greenhouse to grow them on? I won't start my peppers until mid-February and the tomatoes not until the first of April....then they may still be a bit too large.

I definitely want to do banana peppers this year. I love them pickled and just bought some from the store and don't like them nearly as well as mine.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 12:11PM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

gldno1- i am gonna ramble on if no one responds. guess i just have something to say.

i built a greenhouse last yr. all the peppers wil be started inside though. peppers seem to take longer for me. tomatoes will be started 2nd week feb. a lot of other things too!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 10:23PM
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William, when is your last average frost date?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 11:49PM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

james- supposed to be the 18th april. i think we had that late freeze last yr about 13th april. 3 days of 10- 12 degree weather.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Well, we aren't too far off from that. I always feel safe around the first of May, but don't put out warm season things like tomatoes or peppers until May 10-20. I raise my plants under a 12-tray light stand on the back porch and they seem to get too leggy if I start them much before the last of March or early April. I will start the peppers earlier.

I just sent in an order to Baker Creek for some tomato and flower seeds also Calif. Wonder Bell pepper. They didn't have any banana sweets that appealed to me.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 4:14PM
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pauln(z7B Arkansas)

Does anybody have any advice on seed starting lights. I found one from Burpee that had flourscent tubes on a chain for height adjustment. It looks about big enough for one tray, which I figure will come out to about 70 peat pots. The cost is about $100. I also saw some halogen light systems, but really don't want that much light or heat. Should I also buy a heating pad? I bought some heirloom tomato seeds and am going to give it the ole college try. I'll give away most of the plants because between lack of light and critters I don't have very good luck with maders. I hope that some of the plants given away will eventually reward me with some fruits.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 4:45PM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

paul- save your money and buy a 6-7 dollar f. light from walmart. get you about 3 ft of jack chain and some j hooks and build the frame out of wood. the lights can be adjusted with the jack chain. you can be in business for under 10 bucks. keep the f. lights as close as possible to your seedlings. send me your email address and i will send you some pics.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:24PM
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I agree. I have been using cheap f. lights for years in my shed with no problems. But this year I will be using my greenhouse. My last frost date is April 1, but I got bit by the late freeze as well. I'll put my toms out around the 15th this year. I was wondering when you put out your broccoli. I always grow in the fall, but would like to put out a spring crop. James

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 1:21PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

William,bet you'll have plenty of peppers this year.
Had anybody heard of a USDA zone change because of Global Warming. I saw it on the news the other day but i was on the phone at the same time and only heard parts of it. I guess everyone was pushed up a zone. On the back of Select Seeds catalog is a US zone map and i'm now in zone 7and even a little part of MO is.
My first frost was in line with zone 6 last fall so i think i'll stick with zone 6 for a few years anyway. I can't find the date right now.
Has anyone else noticed this change?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 5:30PM
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Yeah, I'm in NE Oklahoma and my former 6b is allegedly now 7a.

Except it actually did freeze I think it was mid-April last year? I can't remember, but it was pretty late.

I'm afraid to rely on the 'warmth factor' of the new zone in the winter, but afraid to rely on the 'cool factor' of the old zone in the summer. I think it's more like I'm zone 6 from mid-November to mid-May, and zone 7 from mid-May to mid-November. It may even be that way officially but I bet they'd say that was too complicated for the general public and just make it global.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 6:15PM
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So when would you put out broccoli transplants this spring in zone 7a. James

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I had heard about the zone changes but hadn't paid any attention to the map. It looks like all of Missouri is now Z6 except maybe the boot heel. So nothing has changed for me.

As for the lights, for years I used shop lights and fluorescent on a homemade system, even draped plastic around it and created a mini greenhouse. I have used a regular heating pad sometimes or the top of the frig (before they were all built-ins). Now I just sit the flat on the top of the fluorescent light until the seeds sprout and then put them under the light. I did start using a fan on the plants like Ceresone to make stronger stem on the tomatoes.

I still have hopes of building a small greenhouse with all the old windows............

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 5:13AM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

james- i think mid feb and NLT mid march for broccoli.

is yout greenhouse heated?


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 3:46PM
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James, I have been planting broccoli from seed raised transplants for years with very good success. First, pick an early maturing variety. I used Early Emerald from Parks for years, but they discontinued it in favor of Early Dividend. It doesn't get quite as big, but otherwise as good. Then start them with bottom heat. I have a wooden plant bench with two inches of sand over the top and heating tape buried in the sand. This sits in the south window of a glassed in porch.(Someday I will have a real greenhouse.) I use two 4' long flourescent fixtures over this bench. Don't be fooled into treating broccoli like cabbage even though they are related. The cultural requirements are more like tomatoes. Timing is crucial I am in z7a or 6b here in NE Ok. I plant my broccoli seed when I plant tomatoes in early March--right after I plant out the Super Sugar Snaps. I plant two seeds each in small plastic cups (More about that later) filled with sterile mix,set them in cheap cookie sheets over the sand in the bench. I water the planting, cover it all with a couple sheets of newspaper which I take off when the seeds break the soil. After the broc seedlings are up good, I snip off the smaller one in each cup and toss them into a salad (or my mouth.) I start hardening off the plants the first week of April, and plant them into the ground the second week of April, around the 13-15. Now about the plastic cups. I don't take the plants out of the cups, but cut the bottoms out and pull the cup up around the stem, cutting a slit in one side so it can expand later. This becomes a cutworm collar as they are a real nuisance here and love broccoli. Keep them well watered and mulched, forget about picking side shoots, and pull the plants as soon as you pick the main head--unless you are more prepared to fight cabbage worms than I am to get strongtasking side shoots. I have raisd HUGE heads this way---between 100 and 125 a year for years. Happy growing Oh, if you were asking when to buy transplants from the plant sellers to plant out, don't waste your money. I've never been able to get any decent broc that way. They keep them too long in too small a pot and they produce buttonheads and bolt to seed. Last year that yucky April Freeze took out almost half my broccoli and I (Knowing better) bought plants to put out, but I was disappointed. Oh one other thing, if the plants get a little leggy--mine did last year, because it was so cloudy--they can be planted like tomatoes with the stems buried. The stems will put out roots.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 3:49PM
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cherig22(MO 6a/6b)

Haven't thought about the eggplant yet, got to dig them out of storage. But I do have some peppers planned....

Pepper, hot Tam
Pepper, hot Anaheim
Pepper, sweet Red Marconi
Pepper, sweet Golden Treasure

Just a start, I will have more later. I figure to start the seeds around Mar. 15, so I have time to add to the list!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 6:20PM
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Thanks all for your advice. Yes, my greenhouse is heated although I let the temps get down to around 50 at night. My biggest problem is the heat on sunny days. When I leave for work in the morning it is around 28-30 degrees so i don't want to open the door, but then it warms up to 45-50 degrees and sunny, which pushes the temps up to 90 in the greenhouse. I guess i'll have to get an exhaust fan. James

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:06PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Sure wish i'd kept my geenhouse going after reading your posts. I'm getting the itch to sow seeds. I've got my tomato seeds from William and i've seen some container peppers,cukes,and cantelope seeds,i'm thinking about trying. Have to think about it tho.

I found an old planting guide from Organic Gardening. I can't get the headings to come out right on the forum website,just on my computer. :^(
So-o-o the first column is "Crop", the second is "weeks from sowing to transplanting", the third is "planting out date (relative to last frost date)"

....Basil.......6 wks.........1 wk after.........

....Broccoli....4-6 wks.......2wks before........

....Brussel sprouts 5-7 wks....4 wks before......

....Cabbage.....4-6 wks.......4 wks before.......

....Cauliflower...4-6 wks......2 wks before......

....Cucumber.....3-4 wks.......1-2 wks after.....

....Eggplant.....8-10 wks......2-3 wks after.....

....Kale.........4-6 wks.......4 wks before......

....Lettuce......4-5 wks.......3-4 wks before....

....Melons.......3-4 wks.......2 wks after.......

....Parsley......9-10 wks......2-3 wks before....

....Peppers......6-10 wks......2 wks after.......

....Spinach......4-6 wks.......3-6 wks before....

....Squash.......3-4 wks.......2 wks after.......

....Swiss Chard...4-6 wks......2 wks before......

....Tomatoes......6-8 wks......1-2 wks after.....

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:41AM
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Yes, you will absolutely need an exhaust fan to raise broccoli in a greenhouse, because if the temps get that high the plants will bolt to seed before you ever get them into the garden. Dorothy

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 1:47PM
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Mulberryknob, am I understanding you correctly in that pulling the whole plant after that first large head means no worms on it. By planting early are you missing them? I will definitely be trying that. The only reason I hate raising them is the darned worms!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 2:01PM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

james- growers supply [ farm tek ] has auto vent openers for a starting price of 55 bucks. they are wax operated and open at 60- 75 degrees.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 9:33PM
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I do have an auto vent, but it still doesn't keep the temps down. What if I put some shade cloth over the southern side of the greenhouse?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 10:51AM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

james- think i would do both. it appears you are going to use your greenhouse a lot and for sure you need shade cloth in the summer.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 9:24PM
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When I had my hoop house I kept the shade cloth on from the beginning of the season of use. The heat builds up so fast, especially in a small house. I also used a thermometer that registered the high and low for the day. That would be especially useful to you if you aren't there of a day to check on things.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 5:29AM
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I bought a shade cloth today and installed it on the south side of the greehouse. I will keep tabs on my temps as I do have a min max thermometer. Hopefully this will keep the temps down. James

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 5:13PM
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gldno No pulling the whole broccoli plant after picking the first big head doesn't completely prevent worms. We use Bt powder and do handpicking of the cabbage worms and keep them knocked down. Then as I bag them to freeze, I look over them real good to make sure I don't miss one. But most years we just don't mess with the side shoots because they are strong tasting and it prolongs the time to fight the worms. Besides, the chickens LOVE broccoli leaves and br Worms, so we throw the plants into the chicken pen after we pick the main head. Now last year, we made an exception and left them in the garden a bit longer--my own plants--to pick the side shoots, because the late freeze outright killed so many of the plants. Our weather was cool enough and wet enough that it worked and I did get several extra bags. But the plants that I bought and planted after the freeze didn't make very big heads so I threw them to the chickens as soon as I picked the main one.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 8:12PM
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sweetwm007(6 b)

very poor germination this yr. have had peppers up for about a week:

jalapeno 0%
hungarian hot wax 0%
beaver dam 20%
wenks yellow hots 90%
big early hyb 80%
sweet banana 100%
mariachi hyb 100 %
college 64L 70%

florida high bush 20%
prosperosa 20%
antigua 60%
listadia de gandia 0%


    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 8:28PM
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