March 08, 2007

Pruning Back Chiles

We have been having our front yard re-landscaped this week. A new sprinkler system, a new section of concrete to our driveway, new boxwoods forming a hedge and a new sod lawn laid down. It all looks so pristine. I love it. The gardeners are doing a good job, although the project is taking a bit longer than was originally planned. I'm still waiting for my new boxwood hedge to go in, but hopefully that will happen next week and we'll be all done.

With all the activity in the front yard, it has motivated me to return to my organic salsa garden in the backyard. I spent time this morning going over each and every chile in my garden with garden clippers. Most of the stalks had budding new leaves and a few tiny flowers on them, but I decided to be ruthless and cut back the chiles as far as I could. I want them small enough so that I can put cages over them and to promote new growth this spring. I also did a little light weeding, mainly pulling wandering jew vines from where they were invading from the neighbor's yard.

I ended up losing a few plants to the last winter cold snap we had this past February. Two of my chiles were nothing more than dried up sticks. I have two blushing beauty bells, one Corno de Toro Red, one gypsy bell, three fresnos, one cherry bomb, one fatali, one fish, one kung pao, one scotch bonnet and one chocolate habanero. I discovered two bulgarian carrot plants, although I only planted one last year. I think that one of the fallen chile pods must have sprouted during the winter. I have not moved any of the plants to new locations, but I want to get more of the bed fixed up before the pepper sale. This way I will have a better idea about additional peppers to purchase at the sale. Now that the chile plants are smaller in size, they will be easier to transplant.


saya said...

You still have a enviable list of chilli plants despite the 2 dried up ones :)

May I ask if growing your choc habanero differed from your other pepper varieties? The reason for my curiosity is that I have started some peppers from seed but I have had a really difficult time with the chocolate habanero. Just wondered if I should be doing something different?

Bobbi C. said...

Wendy, if you find termites around your house, look for alternative methods of eradicating them. We used no chemicals when building our house. There is a very safe method where you use sandblaster's sand...very fine stuff that the termites can't get any traction in, so they can't crawl up into the house. It's spread around the outside perimeter of the house. You can also use it for fencing, too. Sounds like it's too late for that. Too bad, cause any termite spray is bad news for gardens and groundwater.

I'm envious of your perennial peppers. I have to replant mine every year.

bobbi c.

indigogarden said...

Thanks for the advice Bobbi. Unfortunately, since the wooden fence is a common fence, we didn't have much say in how the termites were to be treated on the other side. I'm simply grateful that I was able to stop the neighbor from pumping poison into the ground under my organic garden!

The infestation of termites next door was huge. They were in the house and in all the fences that surrounded the house. We are considering getting an inspection done of our property because of this. If we do treat, we are looking into using orange oil to kill the termites instead. It is natural, non-toxic, and supposedly does a great job with dealing with the insects.

indigogarden said...

Saya - I found that the chocolate habanero grew more slowly than some of my other peppers and it wasn't until close to November that I finally got pods. In all other respects, it grew the same as all my other chile plants and it turned out to be a great producer in the end.

saya said...

Cool! Thanks for the info :)