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stella1751
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It's Almost Over

I don't know what the low was last night, but whatever it was, it was definitely prolonged. When I lay down last night, the temperature was 35. It was 28 when I got up this morning. Despite the tarps, two of the remaining four beds--the Super Chile/Nu Mex Big Jim cross and the Habaneros--were lost. Tonight I covered the last two beds, which are the tomatoes and the Frankenchilies. I'm going to do my best to get keep them both alive through Saturday night, and on Sunday, I will strip them and let them go.

They both look pretty rough. On Sunday, the last day of my weekend and two days before the pre-winter stretch hits, I will have sufficient free time to strip these pepper plants of everything. I will then perform Gardener Assisted Suicide (GAS) on my beloved peppers.

My students have written so many papers on the human version that I know all the arguments by heart. I assure you I have nothing personally to gain from this, financially or emotionally. There is no possibility of a cure for winter in the near future. I am a lapsed Catholic who has committed far worse sins in her life than planticide. I believe this is what the peppers would want, if they could somehow communicate their wishes to me. It is time for a cessation of the pain and suffering.

May the plant deities have mercy on my soul.
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mydakota
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Lol!!
Bloom where you are planted!

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Hey mydakota, good to see ya' posting again. ;)

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applestar
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Stella, maybe you should say a few Hail Marjorams or Rosemary's. Are you helping them all to the Big Garden in the Sky, or will you be dragging a few of them into your lab and performing Frankenstein's extreme winter torture on them by rending their branches and roots from limb to limb and stuffing them into too small "caskets"? :lol:

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stella1751
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applestar wrote:Stella, maybe you should say a few Hail Marjorams or Rosemary's. Are you helping them all to the Big Garden in the Sky, or will you be dragging a few of them into your lab and performing Frankenstein's extreme winter torture on them by rending their branches and roots from limb to limb and stuffing them into too small "caskets"? :lol:
LMFAO

You made me guffaw with this one, Applestar. Only a lapsed Catholic can truly appreciate how funny that was! One stone at a time, I am paving my way straight to hell.

None of 'em are coming in this year. I learned my intellectual limitations on that last year, and these poor fellows deserve better than that. I do, however, plan to perform a complete harvestectomy on each one prior to their timely demise :lol:
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gixxerific
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I'm doing it the natural way. It is supposed to freeze tonight. Though I have removed most of the garden there is still a bit of stuff out there. If it makes it through tonigh it was meant to be. If not the quick harvest and compost is a comin'.

Survival of the fittest. I could use a break anyway's. Not to mention I'm growing a few dwarf tomatoes in the house this winter along with peppers and whatever else I can shove in a pot. :lol:

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It's never over! I'm not doing much this winter, but was inspired by the "over wintering peppers" thread a while back. So I thought I'd give it a whirl. Here's my best producing cherry pepper that I cut back and brought inside about a month ago.

[img]https://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g75/LillianLizStellaDoug/2011/October2011070.jpg[/img]
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soil
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we wont see frost until late nov or early december. tomatoes will be pulled before then for other crops.
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stella1751
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Stella Blue wrote:It's never over! I'm not doing much this winter, but was inspired by the "over wintering peppers" thread a while back. So I thought I'd give it a whirl. Here's my best producing cherry pepper that I cut back and brought inside about a month ago.

[img]https://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g75/LillianLizStellaDoug/2011/October2011070.jpg[/img]
In my heart, I want to keep gardening. I don't want to propagate cuttings or bring plants in for the winter; I'm not very good at that and can still remember how low I was when Frankenchile the First was wiped out by a violent fungus gnat onslaught.

I want to play with seeds, though. In 2010, I got a late start on these favorite peppers, little knowing how much joy they would bring to my life. Because of this, when it came time to save seeds, I had no mature peppers and had to hope that the 8 biggest peppers would have viable seeds.

This spring I planted 4 seeds from each of the 8 peppers. My germination rate was pretty low, ranging from 0% on 4 of the peppers to 75% on the oldest one. I want to experiment with seeds from the 4 peppers that didn't germinate.

However, I'm worried. This is Wyoming. My house is cold and drafty in the winter. If I play with these seeds and am fortunate enough to achieve germination, will I be able to keep the pepper plant alive for the next five months?

Also, I have fluourescent lights (plant lights). Will that be enough to keep them from getting too leggy? If I put them in a window, they will probably get too cold.

I want to experiment, but I get attached to my plants, irrationally so, and it will hurt to lose them!
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Yes, the fluorescent lights will be enough to keep it going through the winter, if you can hang them close to the plants (just a few inches above) on chains so that it can be raised as the plants grow. Leave them on 16 hrs a day. They may not flower and fruit with this light, but the plant should live. Cold and drafty is more problematic. Would probably help if you could find a way to protect them a bit and/or have them on some kind of heat mat.
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Its always sad when those first frosts lay your garden low, but it is going to come. I was out of town when it happened this year. Now I still have to pick up the pieces and put the garden to bed for the winter. Even though It has frozen the tender crops, the garden keeps giving. Potatoes, carrots, onions, plums, apples, strawberries, and raspberries. Better come over and get some apples.
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It is almost over. I was out today and stripped nearly a bushel of green tomatoes off the tomato plants. I was sad to do it; it's still a pretty day out there, but they aren't going to last much longer. Brought the last peppers in, harvested more lavender.... Not too much left out there, but there is some baby lettuce and spinach, that I planted very late and the garlic is sprouted for next year. Few more herbs including more basil ... never thought I would get tired of basil :)

Lots of flowers still blooming... the wild asters went crazy this year and the mums I planted a few years ago are gorgeous this year. Marigolds, trumpet honeysuckle, salvia, miniature roses, jerusalem artichokes, petunias and impatiens and other things blooming. Yard still looks pretty. But, yes, it is almost over...

Next week will be our last week of getting farm fresh produce from the CSA farm... I always miss that when it goes away.
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Just out of curiosity stella, why did you cut the pepper down to the bottom like that? I have a pepper and a basil plant that I brought in. I cut the tops off them, so the plant wouldn't have so much leaves to support through the transition, but they are both still more than 2 feet tall and bushy.

It's been about a week that they've been in. I've been misting them daily, but not doing anything else. The basil has new little leaves popping out all over. The pepper not so much and a bit droopy looking, but when I looked closely I found a couple pair of tiny new leaves.

Anybody think I should cut them back more now, vs waiting to see what happens? This is my first time to try to over winter either of these plants.
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There was a light frost on the ground this morning. They weren't calling for an advisory last night.

I checked everything out this morning and the peppers are still firm, the basil hasn't wilted, and the beans aren't floppy, so I think that the garden made it through!

I'll probably pick everything soon, though. Since one or two more weeks probably won't make much difference anyway.
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Rainbow, I think I went into detail in last year's winter pepper torture thread, but what I did initially was trim lightly, keeping a good many green peppers, and stick the rootball in plastic grocery bags instead of pots. They stayed in the unheated garage under a shop light while I continued to harvest peppers until the garage temp went down to near below freezing and the plants started to shed some leaves.

I made the decision at that point that I wasn't confident that the garage temp will be sufficient to let them overwinter in a dormant state.

I then pruned them to mostly sticks. The recommendation in a bonsai website was to prune them to nothing more than a Y. ...and I potted them up in smallest pot I can manage without drastically cutting down the rootball.

You can see the growth progression I posted in that thread. They grew a lot by spring. I'll post a link later if I can.... Or maybe you'll find it first.


I have to bring mine in -- NOT as many as last year, but definitely a few. Overnight temp was unexpectedly low -- 38°F Am in a mild panic now since I thought I had until next weekend.... :roll:

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Mine has three small green peppers left on it; I cut most of them off to bring it in. Since this is all an experiment anyway, I think I will see what happens the way it is. It is indoors in the (more or less) warm house, with some additional light (not as much as it could use, but what I could do). So the idea isn't for it to go dormant, but just to keep going. I imagine if I lived in the tropics that's what it would do.

If it looks like it's not making it, I will cut it back further.

Continuing the fall work, actually shut down the first couple beds, weeded out, cut everything back, pulled off some of the old mulch to compost, getting ready to put some more down. Brought in a few more tomatoes and peppers that were still out there and ALL the rest of the basil, no more out there!!
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Fall work: Yesterday I harvested all the peppers and what was left of the tomatoes. I have peppers hanging from every protrusion in the house. One of the plants gave me 55 peppers ranging in size from 1 to 3 ounces.

Once the peppers have been in the house for at least a week and there is no danger of a stray fungus gnat showing up, I will bring in a big pot of potting soil to begin my experiment with the seeds that didn't germinate this spring. I have no houseplants, so fungus gnats can't stay alive for long in my house, right?

Today, if I can find the time, I will prepare one of the beds for garlic. Tomorrow, the forecast high is 44. On Wednesday, the forecast high is 38. Then we have a stretch in the 50's. I can't decide whether it will be better to plant garlic before or after the two-day cold snap. I think after would be better.
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your really worried about fungus gnats? i consider them more of an indicator species rather than a pest. if you have them your soil is out of balance.

what soil so you use?

i have pepper plants that haven't even had one pepper ripen. some of these thai's take forever. and the chili tepins never even bloomed this year lol.
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I am not worried about fungus gnats; I am terrified of them. My soil must be sadly out of balance! I use my own soil. Not in the house, though. I use Miracle Gro Drought Control in the house. However, I killed a fungus gnat yesterday on one of the peppers I brought into the house. He must have just been hanging around the plants. Therefore, I want to wait at least a week before I bring any soil into the house, just in case there was one I missed :shock:
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soil
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I use Miracle Gro Drought Control in the house.
thats why!! that crap is loaded with pests and pest eggs. your better off sticking with some healthy compost from your garden imo. and IF it does come with fungus gnats, chances are there is something else that eats fungus gnats.

horrible choice in soil sorry to say. mix your own and youll never look back to bagged soils.
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Well, that light frost on the ground yesterday was enough for me to go out and pick everything. The frost messed up all of my peppers last year and I really wanted to beat the frost this year.

There are still some chilli peppers that are on the plants that have not ripened yet. These are plants that are in gallon pots that I want to try to over-winter. However, these potted plants are bulkier than I expected, so I'm thinking about cutting down the plants and putting them in smaller containers, like 4" pots.

However, they are currently outside and I have not been strict about bringing them in for the night. Once I can get more peppers to ripen, I will probably cut the plants down then.
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Trust this lazy gardener. :wink:
If you are not ready, just dig them up with garden shovel -- plunge deep diagonally from three directions and with the third, scoop up and put in a doubled plastic grocery bag. Bunch them in the garage and rig some lights over them, and you've gained another two or three weeks as long as you remember to water them once in a while. :wink:

You can trim off unwieldy excess upper foliage at this point and try to root the cuttings, but my experience last winter is that peppers take a long time to root and the new shoots don't start until late winter/spring. Survival rate atrociously low for me, and by that time, the winter-started seedlings are almost as vigorously growing. So I don't think I'll be trying to overwinter peppers by propagating from cuttings again.

HOWEVER, if you do manage to pull it off, the cuttings will start to bloom right away and will have a strong headstart over seedlings.

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Nice day today, but its supposed to get down to 32 tonight and 22 Wednesday night. 22 will definitely put an end to everything. I will try to get everything buttoned up tomorrow and ready for the cold one Wednesday.
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stella1751
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jal_ut wrote:Nice day today, but its supposed to get down to 32 tonight and 22 Wednesday night. 22 will definitely put an end to everything. I will try to get everything buttoned up tomorrow and ready for the cold one Wednesday.
Ditto. Today or tomorrow we get our first snow. Have you planted your garlic yet?
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stella1751
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Yep. It's over. It's snowing outside. That always feels so odd the first time it happens each fall.
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I imagine it would, since in my mind snow is a winter thing, not a fall thing. We often don't get our first snow until January, usually not until Dec.

I'm not moving to Wyoming! :?
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Little update, my basil and pepper plants have now been indoors about two weeks. The basil has lost most of the leaves it had when it came in, but that's ok because it is putting out new growth like crazy. It is not a very pretty looking plant right now-- the bottom foot or so is all bare brown wood and then the top has lots of bright green new growth and even a couple of little white flowers. I'm assuming that I can't cut back into the bare wood where there are no leaf nodes and expect that stem to grow any more. So it may forever after look a bit strange.

The pepper plant has kept most of its leaves, though they still look a bit droopy. They were looking all chewed, so I finally found a little brown caterpillar that had managed to come in with it! Put him in the kitchen scraps bucket where it can munch away until it gets dumped on the compost pile outdoors to finish its normal life cycle. The green pepper plant is being slower to put out new growth, but does have a number of tiny baby new leaves. The three little peppers that I left on it are slowly growing.

So far, so good, but they have a lot of months to get through before spring!
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It's definately over for us now... with all the snow and the ice, any veggie plants I had outside (except for my carrots) are dead and gone. I'm heartbroken- no pumpkins for me this year I guess, even late!

I'm freaking so happy that i brought the bell pepper inside and into the kitchen. It looks a bit miserable, but is otherwise doing alright@

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Ditto. Today or tomorrow we get our first snow. Have you planted your garlic yet?
Yes. Monday I tilled the plot and planted garlic. Next planting will be in April.
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