Pepper , tomato and herb garden

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jcam222

Epic Pitmaster
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SMF Premier Member
Jun 13, 2017
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Northeast Ohio
My big garden spot is just to wet / low and also about 75 yards from the house making watering a pain. Decided to try some new techniques this year. Also have mostly super hot peppers to support my fermenting sauce addiction haha. My buddy built me the raised bed. It has three prepped bales of stra in the bottom and about 14” of a high quality soil mix on top. Those bales as well as the bales on the sides were conditioned for about 14 days. Threw 8 more plants in grow bags to see how they do. Have about 22 hot peppers comprised of red habanero, chocolate habanero, Butch T scorpion, ghost, yellow scotch bonnet and white zan coyote. Only have 1 each of the last two. For tomatoes a couple Sun sugar cherry (best cherry ever), large red cherry, an early girl and two better boy, no heirloom this year. Herbs I have thyme, lemon thyme, bbq rosemary, Italian oregano, purple basil, lemon basil and Italian large leaf basil. My buddies got dill, cilantro and parsley covered. Doesn’t look it but I spent about 10 hours getting this ready today. Didn’t help that the potting soil I bought was damn near mud. Spent quite a bit of time mixing 160 lbs of it with composted manure and peat moss to make it useable!! Thanks for looking.
 
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That's interesting. Will be watching to see how well the plants do.
I’m especially interested interested in how the plants in straw do. For the grow bags I’m hoping to get a few hearty peppers to bring into a grow tent I plan on buying to winter them.
 
Looking forward to how well this works out!! Got a spot picked out for a elevated bed and like the idea of the hay bales covered in soil. Keep us updated.

Jim
 
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Looking forward to how well this works out!! Got a spot picked out for a elevated bed and like the idea of the hay bales covered in soil. Keep us updated.

Jim
Straw bales get conditioned for about 14 days. Day 1-3 soak with water, 4-6 sprinkle one cup of urea per bake and water in , 7-9 1/2 cup urea and water in. 9-12 to 14 just water. In the 9-12 day range the heat up some as they self compost. Planted in holes dug in bales filled wit h pitting soil. Some folks use hay but you get far less weeds with straw they say.
 
I love the set up Jeff, that’s something I always wanted to do but keep putting it off until it’s too late. Looking forward to seeing what you get out of it.
 
Looking forward to how well this works out!! Got a spot picked out for a elevated bed and like the idea of the hay bales covered in soil. Keep us updated.

Jim

I love the set up Jeff, that’s something I always wanted to do but keep putting it off until it’s too late. Looking forward to seeing what you get out of it.
I’ve toyed with the raised bed idea for a few years. My buddy building me this one got me in gear finally lol. It’s great to have awesome friends. My daughter has done the straw bale thing with success. I’ll post some updates for sure as things hopefully grow and do well.
 
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Great looking setup Jeff but I am jealous. Every time we have tried growing a garden of any sort all we do is provide food for the animals. I've been wanting to get a large greenhouse but things seem to pop up each year that puts the brakes on my idea. One day though....

Robert
 
Great looking setup Jeff but I am jealous. Every time we have tried growing a garden of any sort all we do is provide food for the animals. I've been wanting to get a large greenhouse but things seem to pop up each year that puts the brakes on my idea. One day though....

Robert
Man I have tons of squirrels and rabbits so it worries me. I did dust everything with garlic and red pepper. I put that fence up on the low pots. Will keep it up until the plants are bigger.
 
JC222, Looks good, I know that your small containers will need to be watered more so than the rest of your plants, my small container plants seem to dry out very quickly. I am interested in seeing your plants grow in the straw set-up but I am convinced you will have some beauties!
 
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I did dust everything with garlic and red pepper.
Jeff , get a spray bottle ( clean ) and fill it with dandelion greens , then water . Let it steep out in the sun . Water will turn green . Use that to spray on the plants if something starts in on them . Idea is to use something they don't eat , but won't harm plants . Also shave some bars of soap around the area . Bad thing about this method is you have to reapply ever couple days .
 
Your garden setup sounds fantastic and well thought out! It's great that you have taken measures to overcome the challenges of having a wet and distant garden spot by using raised beds and grow bags. The combination of straw bales at the bottom and a high-quality soil mix on top should provide a good growing environment for your plants.

Your selection of hot peppers sounds exciting, and it's always fun to experiment with different varieties and spice levels. The mix of habaneros, scotch bonnets, and superhots like Butch T scorpion and ghost peppers will surely add some heat and flavor to your dishes. Having a variety of herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil is a great addition as well, as they can enhance the taste of your culinary creations.

It's understandable that preparing the garden took quite some time and effort, especially when dealing with heavy potting soil. Mixing it with composted manure and peat moss will enrich the soil and provide essential nutrients for your plants.

Overall, it seems like you have a well-planned garden setup with a diverse selection of plants. Enjoy the growing season and the fruits of your labor, whether it's making hot sauce or simply enjoying fresh produce from your garden!
Thanks for the kind words. The herbs are going crazy! Tomatoes and peppers are lagging some but starting to show growth. Hoping for some pepper yields for sure. I have noticed that the straw bale plans are behind the others on growth.
 
A few folks seemed to be interested in updates so here we are at about 3 1/2 weeks. Herbs have gone bonkers. The purple , lemon and Italian basil are especially doing well. The peppers in the raised bed have really taken off in the last week. Tomatoes both in bags and bales are done ng very well. I had started to worry about the bales but this past week those 3 plants really took off. Hoping to see the same on peppers in the other bales.
 
Thought I would post and update at roughly the two month mark. I've been blown away by the growth of the tomato plants in the bales and the peppers in the raised bed. I am 100% sold on the soil mix and fertilizer I've used. Note the bed has treated bales in the bottom topped with a 50/50 blend of the soil mix. I thought my spacing was good on the peppers based on past experience. (see original video at top). They grew so well I'll have to space more and add a bed or two next year. They are close to 3 feet tall and very busy. The three sun sugar tomatoes turned into a giant tomato bush lol. Here's pics of the fertilizer, soil and plant updates from today.
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For plants in my zone in NE Ohio planted end of May I'm very happy with progress. Thanks for looking.
 
Lookin' good .
I did a test one year with spent coffee grounds on peppers . 3 plants with used grounds , just sprinkled on the surface and 3 plants without . The ones with the spent grounds went nuts . After that I mixed in in the soil in the off season .
Looks like you have a system down .
 
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Your garden setup sounds fantastic, and it's clear you've put a lot of effort into it! The raised bed with conditioned straw bales and quality soil mix is a smart move for dealing with wet ground. Your pepper varieties sound exciting, especially for your hot sauce adventures.
Thanks! The productivity and growth of the tomatoes I'm the bales was astounding. Plants ended up over 6 ft tall and yield was plentiful and constant.
 
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