Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jalapeno Carelessness

I have been de-hybridizing a jalapeno pepper for about 4 years now. Every year I have saved the seeds and replanted. The first year I was very careful when handling the seeds. I wore gloves and carefully placed the seeds in plastic envelopes. I did however test the seeds for heat the first year and to my surprise, they were not hot at all. In fact, for some reason unknown to me, I could put a handful of the seeds in my mouth and chew on them without burning.

So, for the past 3 years I have been saving the seeds without any skin protection. And every year the seeds were almost heatless.

Until this year

When collecting the seeds this year, I followed the same procedure as before. No gloves, just cut the pepper open and scraped the seeds out.
I laid them on a paper plate to dry for a few days and sat down at the computer to check my email.

You can imagine what happened next. My eyes started burning, and my lips actually became numb. I thought I was going into shock.
Then I remembered. I just cut open the jalapenos.

I quickly went out to the kitchen where my seeds had been cut and picked up a piece of the flesh and ate it.

Wholly Moley, that sucker was scorching.
I swiftly ran into the bathroom and scrubbed down. It was however a little too late at this point. The damage had been done.

The moral of the story

Never assume that your hybrid plants are going to produce consistent results year after year. One year no heat.. then HEAT.

Of course it’s my fault for being careless.

So until this plant stabilizes, I’m not going to take it for granted.
Even if it may be another 5 years or so.

As one reader said to me GLOVE UP!

I Grew A Square Tomato

Yes I did. In my previous post, I showed how to do it. Even though I started this project on a hybrid, I finally got the results I wanted. You may be wondering why I did this on a cherry variety. Well, I wanted to do this inside so I could keep an eye on it.

Purple Tree Collard Cutting Amazes Me

It is no surprise to my subscribers how much I love the tree collard. Not just for its looks but for its usefulness.
One thing that people will tell you though, is that it almost never goes to seed. This is true.

However, I planted a few cuttings from one of my largest plants. I put it into a small 6″ pot and waited for it to grow.
I was pleasantly surprised at how fast it starting producing shoots.
I was not, however, expecting it to start producing flowers. After just 1 month, I am seeing shoots forming and this thing is going to go to seed on me.

Of course I do not plan on saving the seeds as I believe genetically they are probably inferior.

I have to say, that the purple tree collard always seems to amaze me.

3 Natural Homemade Weed Killer Recipes Tested

I am testing the three most popular all natural weed killers from the internet.
Many people swear by these.
I will say that the methods did kill the grass to a certain extent.
Although it’s a good thing to want to use natural methods to kill weeds, we have to remember that if we kill weeds, we are also killing natural microbes and fungi in the soil and that will inhibit growth of vegetables and flowers.

Now if you’re doing this on a sidewalk or somewhere you never plan on growing anything then this could work.
But my suggestion is to use cardboard.
It will not only smother the weeds, but as it breaks down, it will add nutrients to the soil.

Plant Problem Solver

 

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Plant

Problem

Possible Cause

All Plants Seedling Dying soil disease, temperature, bug damage, no air circulation, irregular watering
All Plants Slow Seedling Growth compacted soil, no aeration, root bound, too low temps, soil disease, bad nutrients in soil
Broccoli Bolting temps too hot, temps too extreme in either direction varying days (hot then cold, etc), root bound, too much nitrogen, any kind of stress, end of life cycle
Broccoli Holes in Leaves bug damage (possibly cabbage butterfly larva or slugs)
Cabbage Holes in Leaves bug damage (possibly cabbage butterfly larva or slugs),
Carrot Tops Disappear slugs, birds, or bugs bunny (rabbit)
Carrot Tops Falling Over stepped on by humans or animals, storm damage, voles, weevils. heat, insufficient water
Kale Holes in Leaves bug damage (possibly cabbage butterfly larva or slugs),
Pepper Blossom (flower) Drop too cool temp (especially with hot peppers), too much nitrogen, low moisture, lack of pollination, uneven watering
Not flowering Lack of pollination, Temps below 50 or over 80 at night. Daytime temps below 60 deg f.
Curled or wrinkled Leaves Pests (aphids, thrips, whiteflies, mites), Environmental stress, Virus, Root bound
Tomato Blossom (flower) Drop too much nitrogen, too warm or too cold nights, high temps during day, lack of pollination, high humidity (pollen too sticky to fall), low humidity (pollen to dry to stick to female part of plant)
White Spots (not on fruit) Powdery mildew, leaf miners, septoria leaf spots
White Spots On Fruit white flies, grubs, stinkbug damage (fruit damage has starburst pattern), sun scald, bacterial canker
Yellowing Leaves early blight, late blight, bug damage, nutrient deficiency, end of season, fungus or bacteria, irregular watering
 Lower leaves dying fungal infection like Fusarium wilt, early blight, late blight or Septoria leaf spot

Making Your Own Compost For Your Garden

How to make compost in my Lifetime 80 gallon compost tumbler. The biggest challenge is finding the right combo with greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon).

 

Propagating Container Grown Strawberry Plants

The life expectancy of a strawberry plant is usually only a few years. The plant knowing this is aware that it most have offspring. I’m not suggesting that plants are self aware, but this mechanism is built into its genetic code. That’s the way the plant works.

Container grown plants are unable to propagate themselves so they rely on us to help them.

Strawberries replicate by shoots, also called runners. It sends out these shoots looking for soil to plant itself. Once the runner takes root, it severs its ties to the parent plant. Leaving a separate independent plant.

To propagate the plant, just lay the runner on top of soil in another contain (or on the ground). Within a couple of weeks it should have taken root. You can then cut the runner away from the parent plant. You now have a new plant.

Ultrafire Cree XML T6 2000 Lumens Flashlight Review

If you’ve ever been in a power outage, I’ll bet the first thing you did was run to kitchen to grab the candles and matches. Because, I know that running to the nightstand for the flashlight is futile since it isn’t there. Who knows where it ended up. Besides, the last time I used it I had to shake it continuously just to make the contacts work enough to see little flickers of light out of it. Piece of junk. Candle will never fail you, except they burn down, smell horribly and make you stay up worrying about when the wick burns down will the house (and me) still be here in the morning.

Worry no more

The Ultrafire Cree XML T6 2000 Lumen Flashlight is perfect for emergencies.

It is powered by 3 AAA batteries or the 3.7 volt rechargeable 18650 battery.
There are 5 modes. Low, medium, high, strobe and SOS.
The casing is made of steel with a raised surface for easy grip.
Battery time on the AAA is about 1.5 hours of intermittent use.

I’ve also been told this flashlight can be mounted as a tactical light.
After field testing, my initial analysis is that I would guess the output to be somewhere around 800 lumens.
It is still the brightest mini flashlight I now own.

If you’re looking for a great flashlight for camping, hiking, survival or just general use, you will be happy with The Ultrafire Cree XML T6 2000 Lumen Flashlight.
For the money, it can’t be beat.