Spring Has Sprung!

So the harsh winter months will not be missed my many, myself included, but those cold winds and icy conditions do make the experience of warmer days all the more enjoyable.  Lately, when I’ve found myself lamenting cooler that normal days, I need only remind myself that not too long ago I was having to endure sub-zero degree temps (the record being -45 in late January) and that 50 degrees and overcast really isn’t all that bad.

So, with the temps ever increasing my thoughts again turn to our garden and what types of peppers ill be growing this year.  But before I get into that let me tell you some of the things that I’ve been doing to prep our growing area.  Since I’ve grown peppers and tomatoes on the same bed for the past three years I thought that it would be a good idea to rebuild some of the nutrients in the soil.  I’ve been adding compost to our beds and I’ve also been working in Starbucks used coffee grounds when I can get them (on a side note, everyone should do this, it’s free and it’s makes your garden smell like a coffee house – what’s not to like?!).  I like to use organic fertilizers as much as possible so some blood and bone may be in order a few weeks before I put the final plants in.  I also meant to plant a cover crop last fall and then chop and drop it all but time got away from me and I never got around to it.

Another idea that I’ll be working on this year is quality vs quantity.  In years past I’ve tried to grow as many pepper plants as possible but what ultimately ends up happening is that I’ll plant too many in an area too small and they end up growing into each other so much that they become unmanageable.  I think that I’ll more aggressively prune the plants this year to experiment with growth patterns.  Finally, I plan to visit a local pepper grower to see what she might recommend for this year.  Her pepper offering is quite impressive, so much so that I plan to write a post about her later this week.

As an aside, you’ve heard that cockroaches could survive a nuclear holocaust, right?  Well, I think that the mint plant is the cockroach of the gardening world.  I haven’t planted mint in my one bed for two years but guess what I saw there a couple of days ago?  You guessed it – mint.  Not that I mind too much; at least it smells good.  Until next time….




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