My lettuce, sprouts, peas, and artichokes are doing well, as much as one can do well with nightly visitors.  But my new pepper bed, about which I’m worried irrespective of the weather, does not need the continued rain.  My ripening strawberries don’t need it, either.  Or my tomatoes.  Or roses.

I love my new front bed (floating in the sea of grass above).  If you recall, I named it the Dissertation Draft Memorial Bed to commemorate the thousand-or-so pages of shredded dissertation drafts that went in to fortify the “brown” material in the layered compost.  Through the winter, I layered vegetable and yard scraps to the decaying mix of page and leaf. (The haskapberry hedge-to-be is on the left (east) running along my neighbor’s irise, and my currants are also to the left middle.  I’ll be taking out the failed (another failed!) rhubarb and the lone leftover potato plant and putting in squash.)

The plan was to move my pepper bed from the southwest bed I put in last year, so I could have a hot bed for tomatoes in back, and a new hot bed in the front.  Last year’s peppers:

The problem is that the front bed isn’t quite done, since cold compost takes many months to rot down, so I used a technique often done in so-called lasagna planting beds.  I dug a hole in it, and filled it with new soil, then planted directly in the soil.  I figured that any heat generated by the rotting compost would actually help to keep the peppers warm and toasty.

But I didn’t count on constant rain weeks into the “dry” season.  The rotting mix, of course, is a haven for slugs and all kinds of decomposers.  The wet weather has made me anxious and vigilant.  Even though I put down Sluggo bait, one of the leaves of one of the pepper plants that was touching the mulch got eaten the very first night.  Another stem was chomped on, and the plant likely won’t make it. And none of the plants will even grow until they see some sun and warm weather.

But if they do, and my bet that the bed is placed well for a full day’s worth of sun, they will be excellent.  I purchased almost all of the unusual Hungarian varieties available at new grower Garden of Eaton.  Jeff Eaton has the dream setup for suburban plant propagators — a mini farm in an otherwise unfarmlike suburban development, complete with hoop houses and a green house on every square inch of the property.  I spent an hour or so going through the hundreds of small pepper plants.  His plants aren’t as far along as most of the other starts I’ve seen at the market, but the varieties are promising.  I wish other growers would branch out.  Then again, the anxiety I feel about these little unproven cultivars would make me, if I were a farmer, stick with the tried and true.

So here’s the list.  Hungarians in the west, other peppers in the east.  I’ll probably break down and buy a jalapeño and plant it in the back, since I’m so worried about the new bed.

West row from S to N:

  • Eggplant – Kermit – 60 days
  • Eggplant – Kurume Long – 65 days
  • Pepper – Paradiscom Alaku Sarga Szentes (seeds from Matrafured, Hungary but developed in Szentes) – 80 days
  • Pepper – Szegedi Piacos (probably misprint for Szentesi) – 85 days
  • Pepper — Leutschauer Paprika – 85 days
  • Pepper – Feher Ozon – 80-85 days.  “Excellent for container growing, early gardens, and cool areas. The conical-shaped pods are 4″ long by 3″ wide and are born in clusters.”
  • Pepper – Szegedi Paprika – 85 days.  “4-5″ long by 1½-2″ wide with a pointed bottom. Thick flesh. Matures from yellow to orange to red.”
  • Pepper – Paradiscom Alaku Sarga Szentes – 80 days.  “Yellow, flat, ribbed pumpkin shaped fruit with very thick, crisp and juicy flesh and the tremendous flavor that peppers from Hungary are famous for.”

East row from S to N:

  • Eggplant – Kermit – 60 days
  • Eggplant – Orient Express – 45 days
  • Pepper – Round of Hungary – 75 days
  • Pepper – Liebesapfel – Early
  • Pepper – Lipstick Pimiento – 73 days
  • Pepper – Padron – 65 days
  • Pepper – Pasilla Chilaca – 80 days
  • Pepper – Pasilla Chilaca – 80 days
  • Pepper – NuMex Anaheim (variety?) – 75 days

3 thoughts on “rain, rain, GO AWAY IMMEDIATELY.

  1. TheBon 3 June 2010 / 2:04 pm

    My tomatoes look so sad right now. I still have my peppers in pots out of the rain, so I have hope for them, but I fear I’m going to need to rip up my tomatoes and buy starts.


  2. Tara 3 June 2010 / 5:59 pm

    I’m glad that I bought pretty hearty and cold-tolerant tomato plants this year. They’re growing and starting to fruit despite the weather. My blueberries don’t seem to mind, either.

    My corn, sunflowers, eggplants, and squash-type things are not happy, but whoever is chomping away at them sure is. :(


  3. Tara 3 June 2010 / 6:00 pm

    My basil, which is potted, looks like crap, too. It needs sun!


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