Sunday, July 27, 2008

Solanaceae Crops

This year is not my best year for the solanaceae crops. Their location really sucks. My major planting area is in three beds that are on a three year rotation. Each bed is four feet wide and they vary in length from about 15' to 20'. This year they are in the shortest one. In addition it is now in partial shade until around 1pm. In late June and early July the sun is high enough in the sky for them to get full sun, but now as the sun gets lower in the sky each day they get less and less. I have one little eggplant that has set and it is now 3" long and touching the ground. I don't know if I should pick it or if I should let it grow longer. It is a mini eggplant anyway - Slim Jim variety. Its eggplants only reach 4-6". I hope they are getting enough sun to set more. They are such beautiful plants with the soft purple leaves.

My jalapeño peppers are the worst off. I almost didn't plant two of them in the spring because of the sun situation. They are right up near the fence, so not only does the tree shade them in the morning, but the fence shades them in the afternoon. You can see the four jalapeños that I have all in a row. The ones on the left are half the height as the one on the right that actually see a few hours of sun each day. But they are all setting fruit. I'm really surprised they could pull it off. I've harvested two jalapeños from each of the two tiniest plants.

As always my Super Chili peppers are doing the best. These are the prettiest plants I've ever seen. They hold their multitudinous fruit upright above the foliage and when the pepper turn red they are stunning. I eat a few of them green, mostly pickled, but the strength of the peppers is when they are red. They are very hot and dry extremely easily.

What I wish I could grow was sweet red peppers. But for some reason sweet peppers don't like growing here. They tend to rot out before getting ripe and since I'm not a green pepper fan, it just doesn't seem worth the space. I wish I could however since it is really hard to find organic red peppers in the store.


  1. Try lipstick or Carmen peppers, seeds available from Johnny's. I grew them last year and they were fabulous! I did not grow them this year because of the hoop house project. I need to rethink my garden rotation schedule with that change.

    I sounds like your carrot seedlings germinated well under the burlap? Mine did not, need to post about that soon. Of course I did not set up a control group so I don't really have good information about the failure!


  2. The heat lovers are not having a good year here either. June was so cool and cloudy. We do now have fruit on all the peppers escept for the habanero type. And most of the tomatoes have fruit too. Our favorite, the Sungolds, are the most developed.

  3. Ali: My carrots germinated spottily but not too bad. I have a few gaps. So I reseeded in the gaps. Those were even more spotty. A few of them have come up, but not many. In general the burlap seems to have worked better than the non-burlap so. It seems to keep our heavy rains from washing away the seed.

    Curmudgeon: Sungolds are my favorite too. I've been eating them for a while now and they are so tasty.