Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Habañeros Appear!

My plan of moving the habañeros to a warmer location worked! Three of the five have visible sprouts and I am hoping the other two follow suit. I am attaching photos of two of the sprouts as well as a photo of some cabbage seedlings. Tomorrow I will be planting the rest of the pepper plants. Because of the way things went with the habañeros, I will start the rest of the peppers in the 'warmer' area.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Habañeros; Where are you!?

It has been a week since I planted the Habañero seeds, and there are no signs of sprouting. I am assuming that means the temperature in the room I put them in, is not high enough. Since I cannot spring for a warming mat, I have moved the tray to a less convenient, but warmer area. The outdoor forecast for this coming week looks rather promising too, which means lots of sunlight streaming into the mini greenhouse. Crossing my fingers for signs for growth!

Monday, March 22, 2010

USDA Hardiness Zones

I thought I should comment on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, so that people know why I am planting all this stuff indoors and at the particular times I am doing so. I am following the planting guidelines for my area, which is zone 5 on the USDA plant hardiness map. If you do a search for the USDA hardiness map, you will most likely find several difficult to interpret maps. Although there are many places where it is obvious what zone one resides, there are also several locations where it is extremely difficult to tell. Most local garden stores will have that information for you, but you can also look it up online. I used a link on my local plant store's website which allows you to type in your zip-code. ( Other sites, such as local horticulture and agriculture extensions, also list zip-code maps. These make it much easier since they simply tell you what zone you are in. That way you don't have to guess! Planting at appropriate zone times helps ensure plant survival when transplanted and allows full germination and harvest of plants that may otherwise die, or not fruit, if planted directly outdoors.


I planted five habañero plants this weekend. I added them to the cabbage flat, since there was room in there and the existing warmth (from the mini-greenhouse) will aid germination of the habañero peppers. The flats I have hold 18 peat pots, so it seemed a little silly to give the five plants their own flat! It would take longer for the humidity and heat to rise in an almost empty flat as well and hot peppers need high temperatures to germinate. Luckily the sun has decided to stick around for the next few days, which will also help!

This particular variety of habañero is a hybrid called "Burning Bush". It has all the heat of normal habañeros, but has been bred to have a 'pleasant' after taste. I was confused when I first saw on the package: "Hot Chichen Itza" listed under "Burning Bush", but I think I have figured it out. Chichen Itza is a popular early habañero hybrid that mostly has been taken a step further to create the "Burning Bush" variety. It is also most likely named for the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza found in Mexico. I am much less confused now!

I will be planting four other types of hot peppers, but they don't need as much start-up time. The habañeros called for 8-10 weeks, where the other varieties only need 6-8 weeks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cabbage Babies

I was surprised to see yesterday that the cabbage has already started sprouting! I guess I was a bit shocked because the leeks took so long. It is rather exciting! And speaking of the leeks, I will have to remove the lid on them soon, because they are getting rather tall. I have tall domes that I may end up using until the leeks get to a significant height. That way they will stay warm. And since the temperature is supposed to drop back down to 'snow' temps this weekend, the extra warmth will probably be needed. I will get around to putting up some photos one of these days. Visuals are always nice. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Indoor plantings!!

Today I planted my cabbage 'babies', for early harvest. You don't need to start cabbage indoors, but if you want cabbage ASAP, then you can get a jump on things. It also allows for more than one harvest, and keeps the harvest times far enough apart that you don't feel like you are living on cabbage every day for months.

The cabbages I planted are three hybrid types that are smaller than normal cabbage heads, making them better for people like me with only two mouths to feed. Hence why they are called 'babies'. Since I also tend to give a lot of my extra produce to my empty-nest parents, the small size is doubly usefully.

On a similar note, I planted leeks about a week ago and they have already started sprouting. They need a lot of growing time, so they have to be started indoors. Next on the list is Habaneros followed by the rest of the peppers!

Why am I blogging?

Hello. I have decided to make a blog about my gardening efforts, since it seems to have garnered much attention from my friends and family. This is year two of my gardening adventures, and I predict that it will be full of too much produce and lots of hard work; And I can't wait! Let the planting begin!