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Organic Gardening

Im starting my first garden this year... a big one... and i think im in over my head!  Im planning on planting tomatoes, zuchinni, cucumbers, carrots, seedless watermelon, cauliflower, broccoli,peas, asparagus and swiss chard. My plan was to plant a bunch of different things and to see what grows best.... but i have so much more work to do by next weekend , i dont know if i will be able to plant everything :(    I already know im planting tomatoes for sure-- our neighbor heard i was starting my first garden and gave me 15 plants! (I dont know if i'll be able to use all of them, so i'm going to do the "Plant a Row" thing, that i think Davedrum mentioned a few weeks ago!) Does anyone know which things grow the best/ are good for first time gardeners? :P Also, do you guys use any organic or homemade sprays to get rid of bugs? If so what brand.. or how do ya make it ? Yesterday i noticed there were TONS of ants and a few other creepy crawlies. I Dont want to hurt them, but i just want to deter them from eating my stuff!
Thanks in advance!

very pretty storm.

km i have a raised bed all ready for next year, i can't wait! i am definantly going to do the double weed fabric thing.

i have only forgotten the variety of one of the plants in my garden this year (woohoo!) and these peppers growing look like they are going to be hot hot hot!whatever kind they are...


Fall seeding has commenced and the fall crop includes:

lacinto kale
Russian red kale

merlot cherry tomatoes
fox cherry tomatoes
Kimberly tomatoes
Wisconsin55 tomatoes
Paul Robeson tomatoes

devil's serrano peppers
chocolate habanero peppers
red savina peppers
white habanero peppers
tabasco peppers
Vietnamese black dragon peppers
jalapeno peppers
aji limon peppers
fish peppers
Peter peppers
wild boonie peppers
goat's weed peppers

I love my peppers!  :)>>>


my love peppers :)

saddly we haven't gotten a hot pepper all summer. what hot varieties do you recommend storm? we did these ones, can't remember what they are, and some cherry peppers, and some pablanos (which aren't hot but taste yummy). your fall crop sounds amazing btw.


Those look like cayennes and you just reminded me that I need to seed some cayennes! 
How hot do you like it Jess? 

You live all the way across the country from me so what works best for me may be different than what works best for you, but here is what I have had the most success growing in containers.

Serrano and Devil's Serrano: taste like jalapeno, but smaller and hotter.  Devil's Serrano is not a heavy producer like the regular Serrano, but it packs a better punch.  Both varieties tend to drop all their leaves after the second big crop but if you throw a little poo on them they come back bigger, greener and healthier than ever so don't think they're dying and pull them out.  They reach about 3 feet tall in containers and leaves are dark green.  They are most often used green, like jalapenos, but I often let them ripen to red and make hot sauce with them.  They are great for salsas, pica de gaillo, chili, etc.  The "regular" Serrano is a high producer and the Devil's Serrano is a moderate producer.

Chocolate Habaneros: very freakin' hot!  They ripen from green to dark brown and are commonly used in jerk marinades.  Like the Serranos, they lose their leaves after the first harvest or two but come back strong.  They reach about 2 feet tall in containers and bush out nicely and the leaves are bright green.  They are moderately high producers.

Red Savinas: very freakin' hot!  A cultivar of Habanero bred for increased heat.  Until 4 or 5 years ago, they were listed as the hottest pepper in the world.  That title now goes to Bhut Jolokia/Naga Jolokia (Ghost Peppers).  The plants are similar in appearance to the Chocolate Habs except that they get about 3 feet tall in containers and don't bush as much.  The peppers are sweeter than Chocolate Habs and ripen from green to bright red.  The are moderately high producers.

Aji Limon and Lemon Peppers: both are hotter than Serrano but no where close to Habanero.  Both ripen from green to bright yellow and have a slight citrus taste.  Plants get about 2 feet tall in containers and bush out.  They are very heavy producers and are excellent for drying.

Vietnamese Black Dragon: also called Hairy Peppers because the leaves are "fuzzy".  Very hot, but not as hot as Habanero.  I've had these grow up to 4 feet tall in containers, they don't bush out much and produce loads of peppers that ripen from green to red/reddish black.  They are moderately high producers and are excellent for drying.

Fish Peppers: medium heat, these are beautiful plants.  The leaves are variegated, green and white, as are the peppers which ripen to red.  They are good producers and somewhat compact.  Mine didn't quite reach 2 feet tall and bushed out.  They are traditionally used in fish dishes which is where they got their name.  They are moderate producers.

I've had moderate success with jalapenos, cayennes, and Anaheims.  They tend to be susceptible to blight down here, but that's likely because of the humidity.  If you're ever looking for seed sources here are a few of my favorites.

Word of caution: if you should come across Reimer Seeds, they have one of the best listings for hot pepper varieties I've ever seen, but their seed quality is highly questionable.  Germination rates are poor and they have many many bad reviews for their product and rude customer service.  I've used them a couple of times in the past when they had varieties I couldn't find elsewhere and I had very poor germination rates and in one case, none of the 20 seeds germinated.  They like to blame the growers for "improper seeding techniques" which is a bullshit excuse for selling seed that is too old and no longer viable.


storm - ii am not ignorning your awesome reply, I am just in awe of your responce. I AM going to try to grow zimbabwe bird peppers, my good friend (who is almost 50) has put fourth a challenge of heat, and with the amount of siracha the woman uses, i want to make her sweat! I wish it wasn't fall now, we are just getting a 2nd growth on our pablanos and the cherry peppers, didn't even know about the possibility of the 2nd growth, i am a pepper virgin.... but this new crop is better than the last! thank you storm!


My dehydrator has been working over time trying to keep up with the chile pepper harvest.


I have been gardening for a few years now and if you are lasagna gardening you can pretty much grow anything and it will do well as long as you pay attention to the plants needs. If you are gardening in your soil you have then you need to take soil samples to see what your working with then you will know exactly what you can and cant grow or what you need to do to amend the soil for growing what you want. This year i am experimenting with hay bails and the tomatoes are gorgeous! I have never seen so many and i have had no problems so far. I definitely recommend trying it. :o)


I'm gathering materials to make my own Earthboxes this fall. I have an actual Earthbox and it works beautifully but they are so expensive. Making your own is less than half the price. Here's a nice tutorial if anyone has any interest.


I'm thinking of growing pumpkins for near year (and maybe also some winter squash??) -- does anyone have experience with this? Any tips??



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