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SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007
Wow, its been a while since I posted on this thread...

September 22nd, 2017
  • Was in garden mode after work today and decided to clean out one of the beds. I left one eggplant and the marigolds, the eggplant had a couple possible fruits on them.

  • Pulled the leeks for a buddy, they were puny but he didn't care. Gave him a bunch of Cherokee purples, celebrities, Box Car Willies, some basil, and some rosemary. I kept a few leeks for dinner. I had given a few of the CP's earlier to a neighbor

  • The Leeks in the Air Pruning Pot will be pulled next, Ill leave the leeks in the ground go till late October early November. I still have another pot of leeks that will be harvested sooner.

  • The Zucchini plant is doing well, I need to hit it with some BTK. I never grew Zucchini in the fall, we will see what happens.

  • Cut back the Raspberry and planted some more Garlic.

  • Time to play in the dirt, it is really nice being able to garden and not need a jackhammer. The Hori Hori wasn't even needed. Tore out most of the Oregano and left a little in each corner for next years pollinators.

  • The compost bin was full, it was actually about a foot higher a few weeks ago and the lid was just floating on top, it dropped quite a bit the last few weeks but I needed to make more room for the end of the season cleanup.

  • I pulled about 4 bucket loads and top dressed the top of the upper retaining wall, I'm concentrating on building the soil up there especially the ends because I plan to plant Asparagus beans and Spaghetti squash next year on either side.

  • I really need to do something with the Ghost Chili's, I'm thinking on drying a few and making a Ghost Chili salt.

  • The Tabasco and the ghost chili plant are really doing well here, I'll probably try a Serrano in place of the Ghost Chili next year.

  • I'll also space them a bit better and try not to shade out my Bee Balm. I also need to cut back the iris.

  • Since I was in garden mode I decided to have a garden dinner.

  • Thickened with Eggplant Flour

September 24th, - 26th, 2017

  • Made some Horseradish and Horsey Mustard for a buddy and myself.

  • Made some Datil Pepper salt and Ghost Chili Salt

  • Got a chance to try the eggplant flour on some flatbread pizzas, I used it 7 parts wheat one part eggplant flour, I'll try doubling the EP Flour next time 6 to 2, and go from there.

  • Had to pull a few of my leeks, the neighbor trampled them.

  • Prepping an area for some Phlox Transplants

  • Harvested some peppers and played a little.

  • Since I had the smoker going, I Roasted, Smoked and dried some Poblanos

Since I removed the Laurel, the Koi pond area is now so bare, I wanted to dress it up a bit so I ordered some fake flowers and topped my Wendy filter. I think it looks good, better than the blue anyway, and most importantly, Laura likes it.
  • Before

  • After

  • Eggplant from moms Hugelkultur bed, Her eggplants are still putting out fruit, this guy was peeled, diced, blanched and dehydrated for winter addiction needs.

  • Prepped a third area to plant GARLIC, waiting for garlic to sprout.

  • Strawberries are still spitting out some fruit here and there, just enough to enjoy a treat when in the yard and to share with the turtles.

  • Sprayed the Zucchini and Broccoli with some BTK and put out some "Sluggo Plus"
  • Planted some Oat seeds and covered with cardboard to keep the birds off of them, they were up in three days. I'll be tossing down some more Crimson Clover as well. Prepped the garden area by the back fence with a load of compost and some rabbit dung. I really need to suck it up and pull the eggplant plant.

  • I had to get away from the garden for a few days, I was starting to obsess over everything. Saturday we walked at Challenge Grove Park in NJ for "Energy For Life Walkathon" to benefit United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

Nice Park.

  • Stopped at my Daughters Fall festival at the PennyPack Environmental center and Celebrated my SIL's birthday as well as mine with the family. It was actually nice to get away from the gardening.

The rest of this week I'm just putzing around a bit in the yard but will be away this weekend, I still feel I need a break from the gardening, hopefully this weekend will do the trick!
Its been high 80's most of the week with mid 80's nights, this morning it was 50° so I guess thats it, anyhow here is a quick walk through of whats going on.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007

September 28th, 2017

Garlic first and 2nd planting.
  • August 27th

  • September 22nd

  • Oats in one of the raised beds on the hill, they're not even a week old yet, covering in cardboard the first three days really helps.

  • The other raised bed still has a few Cherokee purple plants that seem to be doing pretty good, the tomatoes are actually coming off less cracked, split and bug infested. Maybe due to a lot less rain?

  • Ghost Chili's and Tabascos are doing great, the entire pond area is doing great, I'll have to cut back the irises this year.

  • Front pond, the Poblanos, Corno Di Tori Giallo and Ruby Red peppers are still producing. The plants are definitely deficient in something here, but this is a balancing act between the nutrient, plants and fish. The plants are mainly there to clean the water, the veggies that are harvested are a bonus.

  • Asparagus

  • Side Hugelkultur bed.

  • Zucchini test, direct sowed August 21st, next year if I have issues with the SVB and the Btk does not work, I'll try planting zucchini late July. I have sprayed this twice with Btk and will continue for another week, but I don't think that the Squash Vine Borer is active this time of year.

  • Side hugelkultur bed, year 2.

  • Backyard hugelkultur bed, left side year 2 (section with patio), right half year 1, (section with mulch). Got some romaine in the 2 year Hugelkultur bed. Have some struggling broccoli in the 1st year Hugelkultur bed.

  • Eggplants in the first year Hugelkultur bed (mulch section). I wouldn't bet on these getting any bigger than a baseball, but we shall see. The eggplant plant on the hill is getting flowers but no fruit. The plant in the side Hugelkultur bed have quite few flowers and may have a few eggplants forming.

October 1st, 2017

  • Zucchini has some flowers, I'll start hand pollinating this week.

  • Got some pond work done I decided to cut the iris back completely so I had to go in, it was getting out of hand, it should come back next season. Since I went swimming I decided to work on the Koi pond as well, I just stirred up the bottom, picked out some pavers that had fallen in and replaced the filter sponges with a coarser sponge. The filters were clogging up almost every third day.

  • Transplanted a bunch of Phlox.

  • Planted the rest of my Oats and some of my Crimson Clover. I really need to find a supplier for oats and get 10 pound bags.

  • I'm still rooting for these guys

  • My romaine is finally perking up, somewhat.

  • I might as well give up on broccoli, this is my best plant.

  • Clover is growing nicely.

  • Playing with my peppers.

  • The Tabascos are going on year two, started these summer of 2016, these are resting on charred oak and I will try some fall of 2018 to see if it is ready for processing.

  • Made some bio-char burning a lot of the marigolds, some cardboard, tomato plants, sunflowers, some old tree trimmings, woody plant stems, weeds, dog poo, and some pallets. I got about 2.5 five gallon buckets, I'll be adding some urea to the 5 gallon buckets and then topping the one raised bed on the hill or dumping in the compost heap. This stuff is great for amending clay soil but I don't think it does much good in my Hugelkultur beds due to the healthy soil, none the less I add some here and there and also will add ash.

  • Pulled my Corno Di Toro Giallo pepper plant to make room for the garlic. This thing was so heavy with peppers that it completely toppled over when I removed the support.

  • I'll try stuffing these this week and see how they are.

  • Planting the garlic

  • The eggplant plants in the Hugelkultur beds are doing well but the eggplants are growing slowly, I am not holding my breath for a late harvest, but I'm curious how far these guys will get.

  • The side Hugelkultur bed is doing real well and noticed a few eggplants on this plant as well.

  • This Jalapeno Pepper plant in the Vertical Garden is simply amazing, this will be my 4th harvest this year, I need to make sure and keep picking the peppers next year to promote new peppers. The first two harvests were about 18 each, the third was a dozen, looks like I'll have another 18 coming off in a bit.

  • Time to shut down the veggie filter. The cover to the veggie filter was looking a little weathered, so I sanded and stained it.

  • The pepper plants in the Koi ponds veggie filter are DEFINITELY finished.

  • Impatients are still looking good so I need to bypass the overflow. The soil is recycled into the compost bin with the plants The pots, saucers and fabric are stored away.

  • Bypassing the lower veggie filter to drain directly into the pond. Oh crap, just noticed in this picture that Laura stuck a fall decoration in the upper veggie filter, I hope she didn't tear the liner.

  • Pond work always requires a beer

  • Had to catch a frog that insisted on staying in the veggie filter, I called Amanda out to get him, she loves that kinda stuff. The weather is still fairly warm so technically I could have removed the stuff from the filter, placed on the cover and kept it running. There... all finished, now Laura can decorate this area with her festive fall stuff.

  • Planted a few Sunchokes on the upper hill. Planted two varieties of spinach and will let them go through the winter, I'm curious if they'll make it.

  • Played with the Swallowtails for a bit, easily two dozen on this one plant.



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007
October 10th, 2017
  • Dam... Look at my parsley lol.

  • The everlasting gobstopper jalapeno pepper plant, I'll pickle a lot of these and make some Taco ABT's

  • Corno Di Toro Giallo, they really love this Hugelkultur bed.

  • Oats and Crimson clover are doing well, pulled the eggplant plant and diced the fruit up for my Saturday Garden Jambalaya. The marigold blows my mind, this was cut back twice.

  • The Box Car Willie still putting out red tomatoes, I got my first tomato off of this plant and it looks like I'm gonna get my last from it too.

  • The rest of the eggplant plants will be pulled Saturday.

  • The Composter is kicking @ss. My compost bin was full when I poured this 2nd batch of trub on it, a few days later it dropped a foot, must be the yeast.

Last edited:


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007
October 23rd, 2017

Well, I did my end of year cleanup this weekend and I made another batch of Bio-Char, using, pallets, cardboard, junk mail, documents, dog poo (only what was collected this week), Bones, woodsy plant trimmings, some hardwoods and the tomato plants.
I tore out all the summer veggies with the exception of a Box Car Willie tomato plant, a celebrity, Matts Wild Cherry and a Corno Di Toro Giallo.

  • The Corno Di Toro Giallo peppers are from one plant

  • And I had 2 surprise Eggplants that were growing through the fence on the neighbors side in the side Hugelkultur bed. The two big ones will be fried, the little ones go in the Jambalaya.

  • My compost bin has been kicking @ss this year the lid wouldn't fit on this 4 days ago.

  • Cleaned out the freezer and tossed everything on top, yes I tossed in meat like, pepper steak, chicken noodle soup, old chicken breast, cheesey dishes like stuffed shells etc...

  • This is the only problem with composting any type of meats and cheese. I could have burned these foods but wanted to try them directly in the compost bin first, the dog was up there before I could even get the lid on.

  • I start off with a few pallets with all the junk then started tossing on hardwoods to make my end of year Garden Jambalaya. Preheating with oil.

  • While the pallets and junk burn down, I started making some ABT's to snack on. I just cant believe I got another 32 peppers off of this plant, this is the 4th harvest.

  • Separated the peppers, some for pickling and some for stuffing.

  • My basic "Chicken Taco ABT's". Boiled Chicken breast, three cheese blend, taco seasoning, chili powder and a bit of chicken broth.

  • ABT's are tossed into the smoker with some Apple wood

  • Tossed in some Poblanos, these will be fully dehydrated in the dehydrator for later recipes. (Awesome in my Baked Beans)

  • Added the rest of my Tabasco peppers to my Tabasco sauce that has been resting on charred oak over a year now.

  • OK, time for the jambalaya. preheated oil, Chicken thighs, Hot Sausage, ground meat, onions and eggplant.

  • Corno and anaheim peppers

  • Roasted tomatoes from earlier in the season, can of crushed tomatoes, Montreal steak seasoning.

  • While that simmered I installed a rack for my garden tools.

  • Barley.

  • I snacked on some ABT's, sampled a bowl of the Jambalaya, then the rest was put in containers and placed in the freezer.

After I was done making my Garden Jambalaya, I spent a few more hours burning up some hardwood. When the last flame flickered out, I busted up all the hot coals, let it burn down a bit more, then covered the coals with some potting mix from a 10 gallon Air Pot of spent potting mix, perlite, peat, potting mix.

The next day I mixed the rest of the potting mix in with the coals real well, dug it out and put about 20% in my raised beds and the rest in the compost heap, then poured 3/4 gallon of urea on top of the bio-char in the compost bin.

I made sure to cover the top of the compost bin with the Bio-char and urea to keep critters out, on the other hand my dog was quicker than me.

I know that there is going to come a time when I will have to stop adding bio-char, but for now, a half a dozen fires a year should be OK for the next 10 years... I still have an entire front yard to do.

This end of season clean up works out well for me because, I get to clean out the freezer, clean up the gardens, add to my compost bin, use up all my extra veggies, have lunches at work for a month and have an excuse to hang out all day by the fire, listening to music, smoking, cooking and tossing back a few beers.

  • My daughters car blew up on the turnpike.

So what do we do?
  • We go out to eat of course.

  • A few more turtle rescues being rehabbed.

  • And I fear this may be my last tomato, a Box Car Willie, we will see, I left the BCW in the bed. (Roast beef is from Manday 6 cook)

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
That's some great pics my friend. Sorry to hear about your daughters car,



Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Feb 21, 2009
Looks like you had a heck of a year for your garden, congratulations. I especially like your Corno D Toro peppers, where I live the temperature gets too hot too fast to make large peppers. Sorry to hear about your daughters car.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007
That's some great pics my friend. Sorry to hear about your daughters car,


Looks like you had a heck of a year for your garden, congratulations. I especially like your Corno D Toro peppers, where I live the temperature gets too hot too fast to make large peppers. Sorry to hear about your daughters car.
Thanks, yeah she was a bit upset, were gonna pick her up a used car this week.
I was very impressed with the Corno Di Tor Giallo peppers, they earned a spot for next year too.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007

October 29th, 2017

  • Smoked and dehydrated my Poblanos and into the jar they go..

  • Made my Fall Leek Potato soup.

  • I finally got around to making my Dill Bread. First I needed a way to separate the seeds. I used a colander for the first screening, most of the seeds went through the colander.

  • The next step was a coarse strainer to let the smaller particles and husks fall through.

  • There's still a good amount of Dill seeds in the screened pieces, these are placed in a jar to grow some dill next season.

  • Worked beautifully.

For the bread I just used a box of Bread Machine mix (white) and added a few of my own ingredients.
  • 1 box of Bread Machine mix follow directions, I cut back on the water 2 tablespoons and added an extra tablespoon of oil.
  • 1/4 Cup of Cream Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Dried Minced Onions (will increase to 5 teaspoons next time)
  • 2 teaspoons of Dill Seed (Will increase to 1 tablespoon next time)

  • The bread was fantastic, everyone loved it, but I want to increase the Dill flavor a bit next time I make this.


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