Picked a few peppers yesterday morning
I thought you said "a few", you have enough to build a bomb. I just came in from checking my garden, everything is fine but the wind did blow down some sun flowers and made one row of tomatoes lean south. I keep my peppers trellised also and try to keep the plants from getting so loaded to help in times of strong winds.
Beautiful! I got mine in late this year. I can just see some little ones forming.
Nice haul. How many plants do you have? I had great peppers last year, this year they just don't want to grow.
Nice haul! Looks like your weekend is going to be spent pickling. :)
This year I only planted 3 Habanero and 9 Jalapeno. This is the third good picking like this. I have 6 banana pepper plants and have been picking a couple dozen peppers every few days.
Our Propane man just came by to fill our tank. I loaded him down with veggies from the garden. He seemed to be happy with all the veggies, but he was very happy with the jalapenos, and I gave him a bunch. The Jalapeno and hot banana are doing very well, the bell are lazy this year.
Very nice. What do you do with them ?
Last year I had so many and gave most of them away. I don't eat a lot of hot peppers.
Nice harvest of peppers! Has anyone here planted any cubanelle peppers? I accidentally bought 4 instead of 2. They are heavy producers. I started getting them in May and they haven't let up yet.
I planted some Cubanelle year before last, and the year before that, they were heavy producers.
Kim, we don't eat a lot of hot peppers either, but my wife makes Jalapeno jelly that I love. She even made pickled onions yesterday. I would say that the onion was more like candied onions. I am still not sure about the onions, I think they will be great under the right conditions.
Nice pepper harvest. Are the green ones on the left habaneros? Are you picking them green?
It is a nice pepper week here too. In fact, it is a nice pepper year. So far I've canned 12 pints of jalapenos this week and am working on getting the rest done this afternoon and evening because tomorrow......
I will be canning Habanero Gold Jelly. Dicing all the veggies into little pieces that look like confetti is time-consuming, so making and canning Habanero Gold is pretty time-consuming. Once I start making it, I make a couple of batches a day on whichever days we have orange Habaneros to pick. I grow far too many Habaneros (believing it is always better to have too many than not enough) so once I start making jelly, it goes on and on for weeks.
I've been trying to alternate harvesting peppers with cucumbers so that one day I harvest cukes and pickle them, and the next day I harvest peppers and can them. It is so hot lately that I am not spending enough time out there harvesting, so I've been having trouble staying caught up on the harvesting and canning.
I did make pepper jelly the last few years and I use a few in fresh salsa.
Larry I bet the onion relish would be great with hot dogs sausages or fish. I like a sweet tangy relish with anything but I don't usually splurge with sugar anymore. My blood sugar gets mad. I make almost everything to give away. I am going to learn pressure canning this year so I can really branch out.
Dawn too many than not enough is better. Last year I kept giving stuff away since I didn't have enough to can at one time and I really didn't want it to spoil so I ended up with not so much to preserve. Fall and next year I am focusing more on quantity than variety.
I have a large pool of friends/ family that do not garden, so I never have trouble giving stuff away. I also have a grandmother-in-law that cans, and she puts up quite a bit of our harvest on the half for us. I make fresh salsa throughout the summer, and I usually pick the habanero green for the salsa cruda. Later in the season, I let the habanero get fully ripe for pepper jelly, and for general eating. Last year, we put up several quart jars of the habs in olive oil after they were fully ripened, and they were wonderful. We freeze quite a bit also.
It really has been a good year for peppers. I have harvested several pecs of jalapeno and only God knows how many banana peppers. I got a late start on planting this year, which has actually been a blessing for the peppers.
Walking through the garden this afternoon, I counted 60+ watermelon getting close to ripened (sugar baby and crimson sweet), and more cantaloupe than I could count. Corn is heading out well, and purple-hull peas are just going nuts. I have harvested a LOT of cucumber of my straight 8's, but my pickling cukes are just now taking off. The only real plants I have had any issue with so far are my tomato (curly top virus sucks) and my chard (blister bugs are just tearing my chard to shreds).
I also picked few sand plums this morning. Will likely be picking another round at dawn tomorrow.
It sounds like your garden is really productive this year.
I haven't seen a blister beetle yet this year (knock on wood) but some years they are awful. And, every time I say I haven't seen any of some type of pest, they immediately show up, so I'll probably find them out in the garden tomorrow. The garden looks better and is more productive than in other Extreme Drought summers, but I think that partly is because about half the rain we've gotten all year has fallen in June and July. Even though we've had some really hot/humid days, it still is a cooler summer overall than the last few years and that helps too.
It is a wonderful melon and cuke year too, and I am so glad. I'll keep being glad until the water bill arrives. We're still in Extreme Drought, so the garden is only having a good year because I've been watering it to make up for all the rain that isn't falling. Without the irrigation, I imagine my garden would be dried up and blown away.
Grasshoppers are awful in our county this year, but that kind of comes along with living in a rural area surrounding by thousands of acres of grassland. It isn't even the worst hopper year we've ever had, but it is close.
I canned 16 more pints of Candied Jalapeno Peppers today, so that used up all the jalapenos from today's and yesterday's harvest. Tomorrow I need to harvest southern peas, cukes, tomatoes and melons but at least I won't have to harvest peppers again until Sunday or Monday.
I agree with you that curly top virus does suck. I've only seen it here in our garden one year, and I've only had tomato spotted wilt one year. So, while having those diseases hit your plants does suck, at least it isn't necessarily something you'll have every year. I hope it didn't hit all your plants.
I always plant far too many tomato plants so that no matter what happens, we'll have tomatoes. This year I put about 100-120 plants in the ground, and we've had a great harvest. After I have canned all I want to can, I yank out almost all the plants, put something else in their place, and keep just a handful of plants for fresh tomatoes. I've been yanking out a lot lately, having done all the tomato canning that I want to do. On Monday a friend of ours, who also is a gardener, asked my husband if I needed any tomatoes for canning (I guess she had canned all she wanted to) and he told her "No, she has 400 plants and she's canning day and night." Then he remembered I had told him I was yanking out plants after their main harvest was done so I could use the space for something else, so he told her "Well, she had 400 plants. Now she's down to about 200." I was rolling on the floor laughing as I informed him I did not plant 400 tomato plants. (He is not a gardener.) He looked confused like he didn't even know why he thought I had 400 and finally he said "Well, it looked like 400 plants to me." lol lol lol There might have been days when I was canning all day long that I might have felt like we had 400 plants, but we didn't.
Grasshoppers have eaten my beans down to the ground repeatedly, but I think maybe their numbers are starting to drop a little bit, so I'll plant more for fall. The beans are the only thing they have damaged badly enough that they didn't get to produce. All in all, it's been a really good year and I hope the good harvests continue into fall.
Hippy are those your personal thickets you get sand plums from? I thought plums were done for the year. Oh my those sure are pretty.
I froze some peppers last year too but I didn't get near as many canned as I wanted to. I am doing much better this year and hope to be pickling tomorrow.
Dawn that is too funny 400 plants. To a non gardener your tomato jungle might look like 400. I had to buy some green tomatoes today just to have enough for canning tomorrow. mine are too slow this year.
Kim, I was so horrified that he told her that. I said to him "she must think I am crazy". Next time I see her, I'll have to tell her that he mis-spoke and I am not a tomato-crazy woman who planted 400 tomato plants. One year I did plant 600, but I was trialing 100 varieties I'd never grown before and I wanted to see how they did when compared to one another in the same year. Luckily it was a horrific drought year so none of them produced tremendously huge yields per plant, except for Super Boy, and still all that I did was harvest tomatoes, wash them, sort them, bag them and give them away. I mean if someone who was driving down the road stopped to talk to me about the garden while I was down at the mailbox, I'd say "wait it" and run get them a bag of tomatoes.
My current fenced garden wouldn't even accomodate 400 plants properly spaced even if I grew nothing else, but back then, the deer hadn't really bothered the garden and I planted a lot of those outside the garden, which at that point had a 3' tall fence. By mid-summer the deer were eating everything planted outside the garden fence, but I was sick of picking tomatoes by then so I didn't care, and they never bothered the ones in the fenced area. Many droughts later, I only plant within the garden areas' 8' tall fences and the deer eat everything growing on the fence or sticking through the fence.
I went out to the garden early this morning to pick a few habanero peppers so I could make a batch of Habanero Gold jelly, and I found so many large jalapenos (I had just picked some on Mon and Wed and then again yesterday) that I had to pick them. I don't know if I missed them the other two days or if they just grew really fast, because I was pretty sure that I'd picked every jalapeno of a usable size yesterday, only to find about 200 more today. Isn't that crazy? I picked slightly fewer than I pickled yesterday, so probably enough to can 12-14 pints. After a few hours picking produce this morning, I am wiped out by the heat and not in the mood to spend the rest of the day in the kitchen canning. I imagine I'll do it anyway. I didn't even get around to harvesting melons, southern peas or okra. I might try to do that late this evening or very early tomorrow.
I'm looking forward to next week's cooler temperatures. It would be nice to spend a whole, entire day working in the garden and then be able to come in without feeling so completely wiped out by the heat.
Yes, these plums came from our property. We have several thickets, as do all my neighbors. I made up two dozen quart jars of fresh salsa this afternoon, so it will be time to pick more peppers soon.
Dawn I hate to say it but to people that have never grown or just grow 1 or 2 plants , 200 is crazy too 400 is just double LOL.
Well I am definitely headed to the crazy club I just bought 300 pks of seeds, $Gen was clearing out @ 2 cents a pkg. Not my favorite brand but they will work for me.
If I were closer I would pick for you just to get to see your operation. it sounds like mine only 20 x bigger.
hippy do you give your thickets any special treatment/ I am interested in moving some trees this fall maybe 20 and want to treat them right. We have about a third of an acre to put the orchard area.
I am trying to convince my leg right now that canning is what it wants to do
No real special treatment. We have so many, and they are scattered over 40 acres of land that has lain unworked for the past 12 years. Every few year, I will go out with a machete and cut paths through the thickets to make harvesting a bit easier. We didn't get any plums last year due to late freezes, but we generally have plenty by just letting them grow wild. We also have grapes, blackberries, and currants that are scattered throughout our property and neighboring family land (1/4 section total).
We have been amending soil in an area covering almost three acres, and getting ready to run irrigation. We will be planting a large orchard next year. The plan so far is to put in peach, nectarine, cherry, apple, pear, persimmon, and hopefully pomegranate (if I get my way.. gotta figure out a freeze protection solution). I have also heard that there are some cold hardy varieties of kiwi available, so we might go that route as well.
Lots of the families I know here in our area who can a lot of tomatoes often plant as many as 100-150 plants. I can only assume they're like me and want to have their max harvest in a fairly compact period before heat shuts down pollination. Also, it generally is more pleasant to be canning in June and early July's milder weather than in late July and early August's hotter weather. So, if you have the space, why not make the tomatoes produce heavily when you want them so you can finish the canning and be done with it?
Tim was a gardener in his youth, but he is happy to leave that to me now, so I shouldn't say he isn't a gardener or at least I should say he has been a gardener. Usually he mows when I am in the garden. In our early years here, when he worked in the detective division at his PD, he was on call all the time and always getting called in to work, so I did all the gardening and most of the mowing. After he switched to a different division a few years ago with more normal hours (at least he isn't on-call 24/7), he gradually picked up more and more of the mowing and now he does it all. I don't miss the mowing at all since not mowing leaves me more garden time.
I am going to finish canning tomatoes today, and I have been dragging my heels on finishing them up because I've been distracted by all the peppers needing to be canned, and now we're getting cucumbers. At least my plan to space them out so I wasn't canning them all at the same time is more or less working out. The early pepper harvests provided enough peppers for the 235 pints of salsa I canned, but now that the salsa is done (lately I've been canning tomato sauce, paste sauce and chili base), the peppers are piling up. I have a bunch to can this morning before it gets insanely hot. Actually, insanely hot might be the description of the whole weekend---day and night. The high temp at our house was 106 yesterday and everything wilted like mad, but the plants have perked up this morning....and our morning low is 80, although it has the potential to drop another degree before the sun rises in a few minutes. Getting up early to can means I can heat up the kitchen and get it all hot and steamy, which Tim hates, while we are only in the 80s and 90s and be done with it before we hit the 100-degree mark. I really wanted to be out in the garden early, but we've had so many snakes out in the mornings that I am not in any hurry to step foot outside.
Hippy, For pomegranates, how about a simple high tunnel? You could leave the plastic on the high tunnel until the cold weather had passed and then you could remove it, leaving the structure's frame intact.
If you go to the GW Fruit & Orchard forum, Fruit Nut raises all his fruit inside his greenhouse in Texas. You might find some ideas from some of his posts (and other people's as well) there. Ardmore's Noble Foundation also has done a lot of research with raising various groups in high tunnels, low tunnels, etc. and might have something on their website about the kind of plasticulture they've done.
Hippy that is awesome. my first encounter with wild plums I just fell in love with them and the way they taste in jam.
Dawn that definitely must be the key because I get enough at one time to share but not can. Right now cucumbers are doing enough to can a batch a week.
Hopefully next year I will be in a different position to plant a lot more for canning. That is my focus now to see how much seed I need for next year.
The high tunnel is an excellent idea, and I have been bouncing it around for the past few seasons. I think the only thing that has prevented me doing it already is the amount of work involved at the very beginning. I have a LOT of projects I am working on right now, plus I work insane hours, but I may have to bite the bullet if I want the pomegranate. I know there are some varieties that tolerate our weather moderately well... if you give them a northern wind break.
My tomato crop is really breaking my heart this year. I am finally picking a few (and I do mean few) at the breaker stage, but losing so many plants has really put a dent into my harvest. Last year, I only had 27 plants, and was picking gallon upon gallon at this time of the season. Maybe these will finally start playing ball, but I am not holding my breath.
On a positive note, one of my co-workers just brought 4 dozen homemade tamales to me, so it is time to bug out for home and a wonderful dinner.
Kim, In a year when I plant fewer plants [I've been known to plant as few as 50 tomato plants every now and then],and do not necessarily get enough, at times, to do whole canning batches, I often toss freshly-picked, washed tomatoes into freezer zip-lock bags and freeze them. I keep adding to them until I have a bunch of frozen, whole tomatoes, and then I take them out of the freezer, let them thaw out and process them. You also can freeze surplus tomatoes that you don't have time to process in this way. Later on, when you have more time, those tomatoes will be sitting there in the freezer just waiting for you. Using this method in 2012 when our tomato harvest was incredibly heavy, I froze dozens and dozens of whole tomatoes that I used months and months later to can salsa during the normally quiet (in terms of canning) winter. I first learned here at Garden Web that you could freeze whole tomatoes and can them later, and I was just thrilled to pieces to learn that.Prior to that, I had frozen them and used them for cooking, but not for canning.
My tomato philosophy is simple: It is almost impossible to have too many tomatoes. Plant them early and protect them on cold nights so you can start harvesting them early and do your canning earlier in the summer. Eat all you are able to eat fresh, and then preserve or give away the rest. Either plant new, fresh tomato plants for fall, or cut back the old ones, feed and water them and push them to go back into bloom in late summer for fall tomatoes.
Based on the above philosophy, we normally harvest fresh tomatoes from the last week of April through the last week of November, and we preserve enough to carry us through the winter every year. I rarely have a bad tomato year but when I do, it is just painful. I always try to freeze, dehydrate and can enough tomatoes so that we still have tomatoes in those forms even if we have a total crop failure the following year (which never has happened, but we've had some poorer than average tomato years, like 2011 and 2003).
Hippy, I hope to one day have a heated high tunnel reserved exclusively for growing fruit, but it likely is a few years away. Like you, our project list is very long and Tim works crazy hours so we never get to work on things on the list very consistently.
I am sorry to hear you're having a bad tomato year. Sometimes things just happen that cannot be overcome. I hope yours will bounce back and produce well for fall.
I have tried to contemplate how I'd fill the summer hours if I wasn't picking and canning tomatoes, and I don't know what I'd do!
I hope you enjoyed your extra-special dinner.
Dawn that is a good idea and even though it feels silly to freeze 5 or less tomatoes at a time it may be the only way I ever get enough to can besides robbing my fil garden every time I get near it. Usually I just get a few and give them away but I think I will freeze until I have at least a gallon bag full. Mine just struggled so hard to recover from the drifting roundup. I did lose 2 plants completely over that deal. and my early girl dropped all the blossoms and stalled for the last 6 weeks. Theres always cucumbers!