pepperhead212
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

TNCatHerder wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:20 am
How do you get your pepper flowers to pollinate when they are covered from wind and bugs?
I had that same question the first year I grew covered peppers, back then in a hoop house. I first grew a Thai pepper under the cover, along with the prone varieties, so that I could compare those inside and out. When I first saw flowers through the fabric, I watched closely, and soon opened it up briefly, and it was incredible all of the peppers on them! Even more than the outside plants! And no others ever seemed to have any shortage of peppers, or flowers dropping off, from not developing into peppers.
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TomatoNut95
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Pepper blossoms are self pollinating.

pepperhead212
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Yes, peppers are self pollinating, like tomatoes, and eggplants, but it seems they have even more likelihood of crossing, in my experience. With any of them, however, I isolate them, to be safe, when saving seeds.

I picked 12 more eggplants today, from just 3 plants! I could have left some of the ichibans on another day, but there were so many on both of them, I just figured this would help those grow more.
Image5 Ichibans, 7-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Image5 more Ichibans, plus 2 neons, 7-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

You can see why I've been growing Ichibans since back in the 80s! Usually the heat stops them, but it doesn't seem to have made them drop any blossoms yet, this year.

Just 6 varieties of tomatoes ripening (4 picked from today), but they are on their way! Picked a couple of blushed ones by accident, that were right next to one of the others.
ImageTomatoes are starting to ripen quickly! Just 6 types of plants, so far, out of 21, so just the tip of the iceberg! 7-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Strange.... those Flickr images showed up on my tablet. Looks good!

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

9 more cucumbers today, 5 dark ones all from the one County fair. Still a bunch of all different sizes on the two Wisconsin 58s.
ImageCucumbers on 7-12, all 5 below from one County Fair! by pepperhead212, on Flickr

More tomatoes today, but only the ones in the shade - I'm waiting for the other side to get out of the sun! The Green Tiger is just starting to ripen, while some years it has ripened before sunsugars.
ImageTomatoes on 7-12, green tiger just starting to ripen. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

More eggplants today, including the first Indian Hari variety, which I could have left to get larger, but there are so many on the plant that I wanted to start harvesting them.
ImageMore Ichibans, and the first Hari to be harvested. 7-12 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

These are the cukes I have to pickle - every time I look out there, it seems like I missed another! This is just 3 days worth, from the same 3 plants, and I've used 5 in some refrigerator pickles, and other ways.
Image11 Wisconsin 58s, and 3 County Fairs, ready to pickle. 7-14 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Today, by accident I knocked off my largest tomato so far this season - a 15.20 oz. Big Beef. It was green, but has a faint blush, like another I knocked off, so they both should ripen.
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

It's getting to be tomato season! The cherries are starting to recover, and I got 2 quarts today, of the cherries, tigers, and grapes. And a generous number of Matina, Marian, Big Beef, and Prime Ribs.

Here are those two Big Beef tomatoes I knocked off yesterday, including that one 15.2 oz one - they definitely started ripening in just a day. I knocked a bunch of the grape tomatoes off today while picking, but that didn't bother me as much.
ImageThe two Big Beefs I knocked off the plant the day before, each with a slight blush. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here are today's tomatoes:
ImageHarvest on 7-15, about twice that of the day before. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageThe cherries are finally catching up! 2 qts in just one day. 7-15 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Dave, what variety are your large red round tomatoes in the 2nd to last photo?

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

It always surprises me when knocked off green tomatoes ripen inside the house they always taste just as good as vine ripe garden tomatoes. I use to expect them to taste like no flavor grocery store tomatoes but they never do? Even when I pick 40 green tomatoes the day before first frost then we eat the last ripe tomato for Christmas dinner 6 weeks later it tastes just as good as vine ripe tomatoes. ???

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

TNCatHerder wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:20 am
Dave, what variety are your large red round tomatoes in the 2nd to last photo?
Those red tomatoes without the splits are Big Beefs. The ones with the shoulder splits are Marian, which got those splits from the 4.73" rain we got last Friday, but repaired themselves. And those black tomatoes are the Prime Ribs, which got some minor circular shoulder splitting. Fortunately, no major problems with splitters.
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Thanks. I want to grow some slicers that are round not rippled like the Brandywines I had last year.

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

TNCatHerder wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:00 am
Thanks. I want to grow some slicers that are round not rippled like the Brandywines I had last year.
Any beef steak type tomato makes good slicers they do not fall apart before you can put them on a sandwich. They have good flavor too and the flavor changes from the day it is picked to about 3 days later. After 3 days my tomatoes loose most of their strong acid flavor, color is much more Red, flavor is a much stronger tomato flavor. 3 days of ageing gives them a much better tomato flavor for pizza sauce & spaghetti sauce and I like the full body flavor on, sandwiches, salads, salsa, chili. I use to have good luck with Jet Star but the past 4 years plant die early and tomatoes rot on the vine I stopped growing jet star. Beef Master is a terrible tomato it grows in sections and each section gets ripe at a different time so you get tomatoes that are rotten on 1 side and not rope on the other side. Beef Steak use to be the best but the past 5 years I had so many problems I stopped growing those. Big Beef is the best beef steak tomato i have found I have had very good luck with them for several years, good slicers, good flavor, don't split, very productive about 20 lbs of tomatoes per plant. This year I rediscovered Rutger tomatoes they grow very large, best flavor ever, too much rain makes them split but they repair them self, my Rutger tomatoes have a bug problem no other tomatoes in the garden have so ripe Rutger tomatoes need to be picked just as soon as they are almost ripe get them out of the garden before bugs get them. Beef steak varieties grow in random patterns not pie shape sections that fall apart. Here is a Rutger tomato I cut just for a photo I have never heard any claim Rutger is a beef steak variety but judging by the cut pattern it looks like a beef steak. Never put all your eggs in 1 basket grow a minimum of 4 different tomato varieties every year if it turns out to be a bad year for 1 or 2 varieties you still have good tomatoes to eat. Rutger & Big Beef are both big round tomatoes. I planted 20 Rutger seeds in a 2 gallon pot yesterday I should have transplants in about 3 or 4 weeks first frost in TN is about Nov 7. It is not too late to buy plants. Rutgers are BIG 1 lb tomatoes, Big Beef are Big 14 ounce tomatoes. Don't give tomatoes much nitrogen or you get BIG plants and not many tomatoes. Tomato plants like P&K potassium & phosphorus.
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Large diameter tomatoes are Big Beef
Large diameter tomatoes are Big Beef
Rutger are BIG about 1 lb tomatoes.
Rutger are BIG about 1 lb tomatoes.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Every day there's more tomatoes and eggplants, plus a few cukes. Soon, the dehydrator will be fired up.
I got my first round bottle gourd, so far. It's a 41 oz gourd, from the white flowered plant - not sure what that orange flowered plant is - maybe one of my other butternuts, in the flat part of the garden? I still haven't seen a female blossom on those, either, with all these fruits on the bottle and tinda gourd plants; no bitter melons yet, but a lot of blossoms. I also got 2 Rosita eggplants, and 5 more Ichibans, but the Ichibans finally stopped flowering, from all the heat, which is typical for them, but none of the others have stopped.
ImageAbout 2 qts of Sprite grape tomatoes. 7-17 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Image2020-07-18_04-58-24 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageEggplants, rosita on top, neon on the bottom. 7-18 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Image41 oz Round Bottle Gourd, next to two 8 oz Rosita eggplants. 7-19 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Also har



Soon, the peppers will be ready. I harvested my first ripe ones today - the superchilis, which are always the first ones, though a little late this season.
ImageFirst ripe peppers of the season, 7-19 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

I saw my first Thai peppers ripening yesterday, so soon I'll be picking a lot of those!
ImageFirst Thai Vesuvius turning red! 7-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Today, a bunch more tomatoes, 5 more eggplants, plus the first long bottle gourds.
ImageFirst long gourds picked - 7-21, long one 18 inches, 43 oz, small one 33 oz. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Also saw my first butternut formed today, though, of course, it will be quite a while before harvest!
ImageFirst butternut squash formed, about 5 inches. 7-21 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

I have a bunch of those determinate types starting to ripen, so I am going to have a lot of tomatoes soon! Actually, I have a lot now.
Here is what I got from two varieties today:
ImageOver 3 quarts of Sprite tomatoes, one day harvest 7-27 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The Peachy Keen is one of the determinates that doesn't have a second crop, as all of the branches are turning brown after the tomatoes ripen, and there isn't another flower on the plant. So I pulled every tomato off the plant, and pulled the plant - not sure what I'll plant there. All of these will go in the dehydrator, as the flavor was good then - sort of like sunsugar dried.
ImageAll of the tomatoes from one Peachy Keen plant, 7-27 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I also cut some squash blossoms from all those winter squash:
ImageSquash blossoms, from 7 plants - 7-27 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And I cut the largest bottle gourd, so far:
ImageLarge round bottle gourd - 7-27 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I cut up all those eggplants (except 4 that I gave away), and put them in the dehydrator - 4 racks packed, along with another packed rack of tomatoes. Here are the packed racks of eggplants and tomatoes from before, showing how much those things shrink!
ImageDried eggplant and tomatoes. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

I didn't do much today, though I picked my okra - a daily chore now.

I picked my first bitter melon today, and saw the first of one of one of my white varieties. Plus I saw a number of new ones forming.
ImageFirst Bitter Melon picked, 7-28 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageOne of the white varieties, only about 5 inches, so far. 7-28 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageTwo tiny bitter melons forming, 7-28 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Pepperhead, how did you dry your tomatoes? Did you peel off the skin before drying them? I attempted to dry some of San Marzanos, but after being in the dryer for days, the pieces refused to get crispy. The shrunken, shriveled up pieces just felt rubbery, and not the least bit crispy and they would not ground up. Are you SUPPOSED to remove the skins prior to drying? Idk what I did wrong, but wasted a bunch of SMs and Romas.

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Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

My two bits worth (?)

I dry tomatoes, in pieces or sliced, skin-on in the greenhouse when it's sunny. They don't get crispy; maybe they would if I left them longer. You could call them tough - a bit like fruit leather. We store them in jars of olive oil or frozen in plastic bags; use them chopped on pizza. Intense flavor! The olive oil ones are hard to chase around on a chopping board. Scissors may be called for, and/or Bandaids :).

I've never tried to dry them to a crisp for powdering. I'll be interested to hear Pepperhead's comments.

Had a pricey dehydrator for a while but got fed up with the time it took, using power and taking up space in our wee kitchen. There's free hot sun out there!
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

That's why I don't prefer to dry stuff in my oven. Makes my little kitchen hot, and uses power. I just wonder if you were drying them to powderize, if you were supposed to peel off the skins.

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

I also don't dry tomatoes until crispy - they just feel leathery, when I finish with them. I dry them at a low temp - 110-115° - for around 2 days. Tomatoes dry from 16 oz to 1 oz, to get leathery, like that. I dry them to soak, and then use in things like Mexican, or that tomato paste I made with old dried tomatoes. I never powdered them for anything.

Harvested 4 more cukes today, along with a 3 qt bowl of just Cherry Bomb, along with Lucky and Green Tigers. I also uncovered my peppers - the ones prone to pepper maggots, as I saw no PM flies in the sticky yellow traps there. Most of those varieties are harvested ripe, but only two, so far, starting to ripen - the Superthai, and Aji Colorado, which is the only Aji ripened, as well as the most productive. However, the Hanoi Market is the most productive of any, though none ripe yet - typical, as it starts about a week into August, and many are full sized. A good number of jalapeños - already picked once, and still a lot of small ones, as well as flowers.
ImageOne of the uncovered Earthboxes, almost all of the peppers the Hanoi Markets. 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageAji molocoton, a couple of those formed so far. 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageUncovered peppers, Aji Colorado on left, Craigs jalapeños, and Super Thai, on bottom. 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And something funny happened earlier - when I was on my front porch, about 2 pm, I saw some okra, that seemed to be getting large, faster than usual. I almost always pick this in the morning, as that is when it's in the shade. I saw a number of larger ones, then I realized that I hadn't picked them today! :lol: That is something that has to be picked daily (some varieties twice a day), or it will get fibrous. I'm lucky I have those varieties that will let me slip up occasionally, though I almost always pick them.
ImageOkra, 7-29, Emerald still behind in production. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

That reminds me - I have to make something with okra tonight.

And later, 2 more bottle gourds.
ImageTwo more bottle gourds, 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Vanisle_BC wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:01 pm
My two bits worth (?)

I dry tomatoes, in pieces or sliced, skin-on in the greenhouse when it's sunny. They don't get crispy; maybe they would if I left them longer. You could call them tough - a bit like fruit leather. We store them in jars of olive oil or frozen in plastic bags; use them chopped on pizza. Intense flavor! The olive oil ones are hard to chase around on a chopping board. Scissors may be called for, and/or Bandaids :).

I've never tried to dry them to a crisp for powdering. I'll be interested to hear Pepperhead's comments.

Had a pricey dehydrator for a while but got fed up with the time it took, using power and taking up space in our wee kitchen. There's free hot sun out there!
I have the same problem with tomatoes never getting crispy I think the biggest problem is humidity in TN is always very high near 100% all the time. If you buy a Bell Jar and vacuum pump you can make tomatoes dry crispy. You need a good vacuum pump that will pump to -28 psi water will boil at room temperature and vacuum pump sucks moisture away. You can dehydrate almost anything in small pieces & thin slices crispy dry in 30 minutes or less at room temperature. What is the humidity where you live?

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Ah. Humidity. That was probably my problem as well. Humidity here in Texas is worse during, and right after a rain spell.

Either way, my tomatoes refused to crisp. Pieces felt rubbery. I just didn't want to use my oven, it makes my kitchen too hot. I can sweat just standing there doing dishes

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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

I think I'm going to grill a lot of these tomatoes, then can them - good to have around for Mexican dishes. Surprisingly, I only knocked those 4 green ones off, harvesting all of these!
ImageProbably the most tomatoes I ever harvested in one day. 8-1 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I've never had this kind - sounds totally different from most others, as the seeds are supposedly edible.
ImageThe Okinawan Pure White Bitter Melon, from Baker Creek. First harvest 8-1 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

Everything looks fabulous! REALLY ENJOYING seeing your harvest. :clap:
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Re: Re: pepperhead212's 2020 garden

I got a lot done today - even though I really didn't want to be out in that heat and humidity, it was windy, so that made it bearable. I took my canner outside, to jar some tomatoes, without putting all that heat into my house, but first I cooked a bunch of tomatoes on the grill, for "fire roasted" tomatoes, to use in Mexican food. I got 4 quarts, though one didn't seal, so that's in the fridge.
ImageRoasting a bunch of tomatoes, for canning. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageTomatoes roasted on the grill, to make sauce. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageThe fire roasted tomatoes, for canning. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I also picked many of my cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tigers. I left the sunsugars for tomorrow.
ImageAbout 3 quarts of Sprite tomatoes. 8-2 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageAbout 2 quarts of Cherry Bomb tomatoes. 8-2 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageGreen and Lucky Tigers, 8-2 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And a few eggplants, as usual.
ImageEggplants, 8-2 harvest. That whitish one is a neon I missed for a few days! by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I also pulled those 4 Red Bor kale plants, that were still out there growing, without bolting. I trimmed the leaves off all of the stems, and had about 3 full 12 qt bowls of it, before washing and cutting! But it steamed down to about 9 qts.
ImageThe 4 Red Bor kale plants, finally pulled up, 8-12 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageThe kale, after being cleaned, cut, and steamed, in a 12 qt bowl, ready to freeze. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageKale, Foodsavered and ready to freeze. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I was going to make Thai grilled chicken, since I was using the grill, but I ran out of time! That will be early tomorrow, before the rain gets here.
ImagePaste for Thai grilled chicken. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageMarinating the Thai chicken. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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