Monthly Archives: February 2016

2016 Garden Plans: Bed 1, Continued

While we are planning on growing a wide variety of peppers in most of Bed 1, we have the two square tiers that are also part of Bed 1. We chose to plant lettuce in those beds for the spring, followed by cover crops, followed by a fall planting of garlic.

However, we aren’t just planting lettuce in rows this spring. We wanted to change it up and show how you might use lettuce to be part of an edible landscape in place of other ornamentals.

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24609065600_66282941f6What do those look like? If you said quilt blocks, you would be right! I found the idea in some youth gardening materials and thought it would be a fun way to arrange some of our usual spring salad gardens rather than the straight rows. We are trying a couple new (to us) varieties of oak leaf¬†lettuce, ‘Mascara’ and ‘Encino.’ The other lettuces are leaf and romaine lettuces that we grew last year.

The two garlic varieties are a couple that I thought looked interesting, but we will see what is available when the time to order garlic arrives this summer.

2016 Garden Plans: Bed 1, Peppers

We have been hard at work planning what will go in each raised bed of the Demonstration Garden the past few weeks. Now, the plans are done, seeds are ordered, and we are getting geared up for planting. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing our detailed bed plans with you so you can plant along with us or at least garden vicariously!

24811149601_8034464002Since Capsicums are the Herb of the Year this year, we wanted to feature a wide range of peppers, including some that are typically used as spices or for seasoning. There are also some new sweet pepper varieties out there, including some new All America Selections that we wanted to try.

Half of the bed will feature “hot” peppers / seasoning peppers. The other half will have the various sweet peppers. Normally I like to have us try more than a single plant of a variety. However, hot peppers are typically such heavy producers that we were afraid we would be swamped in a sea of hot peppers. We opted to plant single plants for each of 10 hot pepper varieties. The sweet peppers will have 3 plants of each variety.

Hot Peppers

  1. ‘Feher Ozon’ Sweet Paprika pepper – This is an heirloom pepper that is dried and ground to make sweet paprika powder.
  2. ‘Leutschauer’ Hot Paprika pepper – This is an heirloom pepper that is dried and ground to make hot paprika powder.
  3. ‘Flaming Flare’ Fresno pepper – An All America Selection, sweet red pepper with mild heat.
  4. ‘Aji Amarillo’ pepper, aka Aji Limon, aka Lemon Drop Hot Pepper – This Peruvian hot pepper is yellow and has a citrusy accent to the heat.
  5. Thai Chili – Sometimes called Birds Eye Chili, these peppers are quite spicy and used in Thai cuisine.
  6. Hungarian Hot Wax – Another heirloom, these peppers start pale yellow and ripen to red. They are often pickled.
  7. ‘Espelette’ Basque Fryer Pepper – This is a type of frying pepper that is from the Basque region. Also dried and used for powder.
  8. ‘Tabasco’ pepper – Yes, used to make Tabasco sauce.
  9. ‘Sweet Heat’ Pepper – Another red, sweet pepper with some mild heat. I’ve grown this one at home, and it is great on pizza.
  10. Aleppo Pepper – A Middle Eastern pepper that is typically dried and crushed.

Sweet Peppers

  1. ‘Red Knight’ is a bell pepper that turns red at maturity.
  2. ‘Escamillo’ is an All America Selection that is a golden-colored, bullhorn type pepper.
  3. ‘Tawny Port’ is a bell pepper that is a brown/maroon color.
  4. ‘Tangerine Dream’ is a orange, sweet snack pepper.
  5. ‘Great Stuff’ is a green bell pepper that can reach sizes of 5″ across and 7″ long!
  6. ‘Goddess’ is a sweet banana pepper.

I think we may be swimming in peppers this year, if all goes well. I’m excited to try some of these new (and old) varieties!