March 31, 2006

Rain Delays

It has been raining on and off for the past few days and the temperature has been cold. Sometimes it is a hard rain, sometimes it is just a sprinkling. All of it is too wet for me to go out and get to work on my garden. I put on sweaters to keep warm, make hot green tea, create stews and bean soups in my crockpot and look outside at the raindrops as forlorn as a little kid. I'm glad that I did go out and feed the roses and citrus tree during a break in the weather. With all this rain to active the granuals of the plant food, they are going to get a big boost this early April.

I have purchased the 26 cinderblocks that I need to complete the raised bed project and they are stacked up near my garden area. More rain is predicted for this weekend and on through Tuesday. So for now, my cinderblocks will remain in their stack in the backyard.

I have not purchased the additional soil and compost that I will need for the two raised vegetable beds, but this is gardening. Things will happen in their own good time. Meanwhile, my little pepper plants remain in the small pots that they were purchased in and they seem to be doing just fine. If there is a good break in the weather, I will have to check out the local nursery and search for a few of my favorite fresno chiles. I miss having them in my morning omelettes.

March 19, 2006

Preparations for Spring Begins

There was a massive thunder and lightning storm that lasted most of the night. This means that the soil in my gardens will get a good long soak and be easier to work with in the next week or two. More rain is promised later in the week. Its been a very warm and dry winter, so cool rain is most welcome.

Since there was a break in the rain this morning, I decided to start work on getting my pepper bed prepared for the spring planting. Many vines and weeds had sprouted up in my raised bed, but as usual, they all came out easily from both the bed and the gravel pathway. The four peppers that I had overwintered got a bit of a pruning. They are still producing pods, but not as well as they could be. I am considering pulling them all out and starting over with fresh plants. It will mean another trip to a nursery, but what gardener doesn't enjoy that???

As you can see, I still am sporting a single layer of cinderblocks around my raised bed. In order to give my peppers more root space and perhaps allow them to be more sturdy, I am considering buying a second layer of cinderblocks for the bed. I will need 26 bricks to complete the project. The cinders are very inexpensive, maybe 20 cents each. Upgrading my garden space should not be too difficult, except for finding the time to get the work done.

March 17, 2006

New Pepper Plants!!!!

Another wintery storm is blowing through our area. The rain was pounding on my windshield as I made my way to the Fullerton Arboretum and the Annual Chile Pepper Sale. Amazingly, the outdoor lot where the sale was being held was packed with people despite all the rain. Since it was Friday, the first day of the sale and in the morning, I was able to get good healthy plants of the peppers I wanted. They cost a little more than what I would pay at the Home Depot or my local nursery, but the selection was incredible...and I'm very tempted to return tomorrow and pick up a few more plants...but I'm going to try and be good to my pocketbook.

I bought blushing beauty, ariane, corno de toro (red and yellow), fatali, a gypsy, long thick cayenne and a fish pepper. In total, I bought ten plants. This might not sound like alot to many growers, but I have a very small garden plot that I can fill and I need to be selective of what I put in. There are a few more chiles that I want to grow, but I should be able to find them at the regular nursery. I'm glad that I decided to grow more bells and medium heat chiles this year. I feel that I will get more value from them in my kitchen this year.

March 09, 2006

Monster Tomato and Pepper Sale is Coming

The dates that I've been waiting for! The Fullerton Arboretum Monster Tomato and Pepper sale will be taking place in the Garden Shed March 16th - March 19th! I missed my chance to buy pepper seedlings locally last year due to not watching the Fullerton Arboretum website and deeply regretted it.

This year I have my eye on Fatalli, Chilepins, and Cayennes along with Blushing Beauty Belles, Corno de Toro Reds or Yellows, Gypsy Hybrid and hopefully an Ariane. I want to grow a few more bells to cook with and more medium hot chiles...but I will always include a few hotties to dry into powder. I probably won't buy all my peppers at this event, but a good portion of them certainly will find a home in my little salsa garden this spring.