2013 – The P4P Year in Review

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s been mostly because I’ve been swamped with year-end nonsense and the chores that came with the conclusion of our growing season and the cleanup that that activity entails.  So, I thought that I’d give everyone a wrap-up (albeit a very late one) of what worked this year and what, well, didn’t quite meet our expectations.  So here are the highlights of P4P 2013:

Hot Thai Peppers

I loved these peppers.  They were hot as Lucifer’s backside but the color and variation were awesome and the yield was very good, even those that I planted in the buckets.  I got so many this year that I don’t know that I’ll plant more than a couple of them next year but overall a definite yes for 2014.

Chili Red

In a word – bust.  One container plant yielded something like three peppers.  The flavor was bland and when combined with the yield I was not impressed.  A definite no for 2014.

Hot Cherry Red

I have mixed feelings about this pepper.  I liked the distinctive look and the flavor of this one but the yield was just wasn’t there.  The plant that I had did well but the nature of its structure (only one of two peppers per branch) means that you only get a handful of yield per plant (I think I got maybe 6-8 peppers total).  I get the feeling that in a warmer climate (or some type of greenhouse to compensate) these would do very well.  Bottom Line:  a “lean no” for 2014.

Tobasco

I was pleasantly surprised by what we got this year since I’ve never planting this variety before.  The plants didn’t get very big but the yield was impressive given their small size.  The heat factor was intense too.  All in all the season yielded about a quart and half so all in all not too bad.  A definite yes for 2014.

Poblano

This was the most prolific pepper that I grew this season which was completely unexpected.  In fact, I had to look up a few recipes to see what to do with them all I had so many.  Stuffed poblano’s are awesome (with sausage and cheese, yum!) and I would highly recommend growing these if you have the chance.  I didn’t have the opportunity to roast/smoke and can any of these but I will next year.  A definite yes for 2014.

Tomatoes 

We grew a few varieties this year but the type that yielded the most was our cherry tomatoes.  In fact, I posted in October what happens when one allows their tomato plants to get too large too quickly (they fall over, imagine that).  We grew some larger varieties but they only yielded a fee pounds total which is considerably below what we usually get.  The truncated season (due to an unseasonably cold start) slowed our progress.  White flies and too large plants did in in most of what we’ would’ve generally gotten in terms of usable plants two years ago.  I plan to plant my tomatoes in used whiskey barrels next season and see if this renders them a bit more manageable.

Container Gardening

I tried for the first time this year to grow some tomatoes and peppers in containers (5 gallon buckets) and the result was a bit underwhelming.  The tomatoes were basically a bust.  Scrawny plants and low yield (if not outright death) were the prevailing themes.  I found that the containers were too small to keep the soil cool enough on hot days and the amount of dirt was insufficient from a nutrient standpoint to allow the plants to really thrive.  Definitely not going there again in 2014.

As for the peppers, they did much better than the tomatoes but compared to the same plants that I placed in our raised beds, they fell short as well.  Toward the end of the season some of them really started to do well, but it was mostly too little too late because the season turned soon thereafter.  Next year I plan another attempt at container gardening but this time I’m going to use half cut whiskey barrels.  We’ll see how that goes.

Until next time, everyone have a Happy New Year!

 

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