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Old 04-08-2011, 12:38 AM   #61
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Heat (Pungency):
Hot (5,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units)

according to this site
PlantFiles: Detailed information on Chile Pepper Capsicum frutescens 'Hot Portugal'

You can have my share of hot peppers. I can handle jalapenos only if I have cheese to soothe the burn on my tongue. Ouch!
Thanks for the info freebird5825. 5,000 SU is very mild and to me I'd say no heat but to someone that is sensitive to heat, like I used to be, then that is hot. 30,000 SU is getting hot but again to me that is so so hot. When you get up into the 100k SU that's getting hot to me, someone that eats habaneros would laugh at 100k SU! Like many things in life it is an issue of relativity.

Dairy products will tame the fire of hot peppers due to the fat in the product. this is why yogurt is so often used in Indian dishes. Cheese and milk would help too.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:01 AM   #62
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Well I did not want to say it so thanks for doing it for me!

I've been growing food for 20 years and I have had some success with containers, I think that it depends upon the plant.

For eggplant I have had great results, far better than in the ground. I attribute this to 2 factors. First the 5 gallon pails were placed on the asphalt portion of the driveway and they heat up fast and stay hot. Secondly, there are no flea beetles outside of the garden and flea beetles decimate eggplant.

The other success is with parsley. I can put them in the sun early on like next week but when it gets hot I can move them to a location that gets less sun and more shade to cool them down in the heat of the summer Come fall I can move them back into full sun.

Tomatoes were not that great in 5 gallon pails. I'm on a gardening forum with lots of container experts so I knew how to do this re soil mixture/composition, watering requirements and fertilizing. Great tasting tomatoes were so so and produced far less than in the ground. I wouldn't grow tomatoes in a container again.

I'm not a fan of containers but I have the space and willingness to do the work a garden requires, not everyone has the ability so for them containers are a better option.
I use containers because I have no room for an in-ground garden. But my dad (nth generation of farmers with a lifetime of experience) has a huge vegetable garden which I used to tend as a kid.

With my containers, I can't compete with his root vegetables and squashes. But, I think I am doing pretty darn good with most fruiting vegetables and greens. Using self-watering containers has made a huge difference.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:02 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
Well I did not want to say it so thanks for doing it for me!

I've been growing food for 20 years and I have had some success with containers, I think that it depends upon the plant.
...
I'm not a fan of containers but I have the space and willingness to do the work a garden requires, not everyone has the ability so for them containers are a better option.
Well, I don't have the space, so I am one of those who needs to try containers if I want to try my hand at gardening. Hopefully I will have some success...even if it's not as good as in the ground. I will temper my expectations...thanks for the heads up!
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:32 AM   #64
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This year in Phoenix I just planted 6 basil plants and one rosemary in containers until I get into the swing of this heat and learn how to do it out here. So far, tho, eating lots of pesto ...
You can also make a nice pesto with spinach, or a blend of basil and spinach if you are running low on basil. It'll be different from a pure basil pesto of course, but a very nice variation, and sometimes better for times you want something not-so-basil-y.

Giada herself uses it:

Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto Recipe : Giada De Laurentiis : Food Network


And judging by these pics, it must be good for you!

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Old 04-08-2011, 09:20 AM   #65
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So, about $22 for each container with medium. I will buy plants soon and add that cost.

Not bad, especially if this turns out to be a long-term hobby, b/c I won't have the "start up" costs for the containers every year.
Yep, from what I've read and my two years of experience, you'll get 4-5 years from the potting mix. The only thing you'll need to buy next year is the fertilizer.

If you are growing tomatoes, you'll also need to add some calcium to prevent blossom end rot. Buy some cheap hydrated lime and mix it into the soil before you add the plants or the fertilizer strip. I can't recall the quantity I used--maybe google around a bit.

I didn't use the expensive osmocote, the plain old store brand fertilizer worked well for me because the fertilizer strip (being on top) did a good job or parceling out the needed food over the growing season.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #66
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If you are growing tomatoes, you'll also need to add some calcium to prevent blossom end rot. Buy some cheap hydrated lime and mix it into the soil before you add the plants or the fertilizer strip. I can't recall the quantity I used--maybe google around a bit.
Thanks - will do!
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:56 AM   #67
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You can also make a nice pesto with spinach, or a blend of basil and spinach if you are running low on basil. It'll be different from a pure basil pesto of course, but a very nice variation, and sometimes better for times you want something not-so-basil-y.

Giada herself uses it:

Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto Recipe : Giada De Laurentiis : Food Network


And judging by these pics, it must be good for you!

Giada in Paradise : Pictures : Chefs : Food Network

-ERD50


Fabulous idea, ERD50! Thanks for passing it on cause I'm using that one!!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:59 AM   #68
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My yard is rock (yes, folks, I said rock) underneath the gravel in my yard in Phoenix. The plus is no more paying lawn cutting fees. The minus is no garden. Welcome to the Southwest!


(Slathered catfish fried in a little butter the other night with pesto....mighty yummy!)
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
Well I did not want to say it so thanks for doing it for me!

I've been growing food for 20 years and I have had some success with containers, I think that it depends upon the plant.

For eggplant I have had great results, far better than in the ground. I attribute this to 2 factors. First the 5 gallon pails were placed on the asphalt portion of the driveway and they heat up fast and stay hot. Secondly, there are no flea beetles outside of the garden and flea beetles decimate eggplant.

The other success is with parsley. I can put them in the sun early on like next week but when it gets hot I can move them to a location that gets less sun and more shade to cool them down in the heat of the summer Come fall I can move them back into full sun.

Tomatoes were not that great in 5 gallon pails. I'm on a gardening forum with lots of container experts so I knew how to do this re soil mixture/composition, watering requirements and fertilizing. Great tasting tomatoes were so so and produced far less than in the ground. I wouldn't grow tomatoes in a container again.

I'm not a fan of containers but I have the space and willingness to do the work a garden requires, not everyone has the ability so for them containers are a better option.
I agree in ground is better. had tomatoes in pots and in the ground. The ones in the ground far out did the ones in the pots. Plus they were volunteers. I didn't even plant them!
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:38 PM   #70
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Great suggestions and great thread! I like the idea of pointing a couple of the wires upward. I think my husband would love that part. How much cayenne pepper do you use? Last year I made a spray and put it on the leaves of my zinnas. I put too much in and it burned the leaves!

Have you ever tried to make your own spray with the eggs? I have a bunch of egg yolks that I could use (won't let my DH eat them because of cholesterol.)
I just sprinkle the cayenne pepper powder on top of the potting mix and/or mulch....it won't harm the plants that way, but if a pesky squirrel goes snoopin' around he'll get a snoot full and won't be back for a while...at least not 'til he forgets and does it again. If it rains or it gets washed away when you water, you'll need to reapply some.

As for making my own egg-based repellent....nope, I haven't tried it. As little as I need to use, it's a lot easier to buy the commercial stuff. I bought a quart spray bottle of the stuff about 2 years ago, and it's still about half full.

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Make sure you bought Miracle Grow Potting mix, not potting soil. With self-watering containers, I don't think you need the polymer moister crystals. As for the mulch, it is my understanding that pine mulch is slightly acidic. But since most vegetables strive in slightly acidic soil, I think it should be OK.
Right, moisture crystals really aren't needed in the self-watering containers. I still use a small amount though, just in case I forget to water one of the containers. But I only use about 50% of the normal recommended amount. And speaking of the recommended amount....that's ALL that you need in your other containers and pots! If you get nuts with the stuff and use too much, it can cause the potting mix to expand enough to overflow out of your container along with the plants. I've come close a time or two, and I've seen pictures that friends have taken of their mistakes experiences.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:56 PM   #71
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...As for rabbits, usually the stray cats and the redtail hawks have handled the situation for me.......

And for stray cats that come around to try to prey on birds, or to use parts of my garden as a litterbox, I spray a little cider vinegar around those areas, and the cats stay away!
UPDATE:
I learned of two more predators protecting my garden this Spring! I saw a fairly good sized rabbit hopping around in the front yard across the road from me today. About 5 minutes later I saw another neighbor walk out of his house with a gun and execute our garden raider.

I was talking to him after the execution, and he said he's been seeing a fox roaming around my yard for the last week or two. That probably explains why I've noticed a measurable decrease in the stray cat population lately too!
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:12 AM   #72
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Last year my tomato plants were about 6 feet tall and the branches were so heavy with fruits that they broke the metallic cage I had installed around them.
What did you feed them? Mine never get to be taller than my waistline and have few tomatoes.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:21 AM   #73
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Right, moisture crystals really aren't needed in the self-watering containers. I still use a small amount though, just in case I forget to water one of the containers. But I only use about 50% of the normal recommended amount. And speaking of the recommended amount....that's ALL that you need in your other containers and pots! If you get nuts with the stuff and use too much, it can cause the potting mix to expand enough to overflow out of your container along with the plants. I've come close a time or two, and I've seen pictures that friends have taken of their mistakes experiences.
Thanks - making up my containers today!
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #74
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And here are my 5 containers planted! Yippee! Still waiting to make up another smaller container for the thai basil plant in front.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #75
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And here are my 5 containers planted! Yippee! Still waiting to make up another smaller container for the thai basil plant in front.
Nice job! ooops...j*b

I have about another week before I will fill my very first Earthbox with ProMix and some compost from my outdoor tumbler. I've added nothing to the tumbler for an entire year, so it will be completely ready for action. I will transfer the tumbler contents to a clean plastic garbage can so I can start composting all over again. Off to the dollar store I go...

I plan to get an early start with a small planting of filet bean seeds, keeping the EB indoors until they germinate. I think the beans might be ok outside in the plexiglas covered screened porch on the warmer days. I'll wait 2 weeks then plant another round.

It's still way too cold at night for my tender tomatoes and peppers out in the porch.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:24 AM   #76
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Yep, from what I've read and my two years of experience, you'll get 4-5 years from the potting mix. The only thing you'll need to buy next year is the fertilizer.

If you are growing tomatoes, you'll also need to add some calcium to prevent blossom end rot. .


I went to a talk the other night about growing herbs in Phoenix--but it was mainly for those that have actual dirt in their yards and not all gravel like mine. Regardless, the Ph.D. (degree in something to do with plants and herbs) said that you can get calcium for your plants from plain old egg shells.
She also said that rosemary is a plant that needs calcium, also, so egg shells it is.
Seems to me you could put egg shells in your tomato soil then, too.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:46 PM   #77
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Seems to me you could put egg shells in your tomato soil then, too.
That would probably work. IIRC, the soil's pH has a lot to do with the ability of plants to use the calcium--just having calcium in the soil wasn't sufficient to assure the minral is available for use.

Stuff like this is one reason I like self-watering container gardening--it takes a LOT of the variables out of the equation. If I do what everyone else does, provided we get the dame amount of sun and the temps are close, I'll get the same results. Real soil is complex stuff, and I'm sure minor problems with the soil mixture have been the cause of some of my earlier gardening flops.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:28 AM   #78
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So, I've had my first garden "predator"...the local outdoor kitty cats! LOL Night before last they decided to use two of my tubs as their litter box. (Well, the dirt was scratched up, so I'm assuming that's what it was, since we have several local strays.) So, yesterday I bought some chicken wire and cut out holes for the plants, etc. to keep them from scratching up the dirt and plants. No problems this morning.

I got to thinking, though...is there a health risk to eating veggies that grow from the two tubs they apparently used as their litter box? Kinda gross...but I hope not...I really, really don't want to have to redo all of the dirt. Opinions?
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:14 AM   #79
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As for making my own egg-based repellent....nope, I haven't tried it. As little as I need to use, it's a lot easier to buy the commercial stuff. I bought a quart spray bottle of the stuff about 2 years ago, and it's still about half full.
I got the stuff in pellets and sprinkled it around my garden two days ago. Rabbit came by sniffed and turned away. Great! It works except today rabbit came by sniffed and started munching!

ANy ideas? I put some more out but at this rate the big jug will be empty in a month and the it says its suppose to be good for 2 months!
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:43 AM   #80
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So, I've had my first garden "predator"...the local outdoor kitty cats! LOL Night before last they decided to use two of my tubs as their litter box. (Well, the dirt was scratched up, so I'm assuming that's what it was, since we have several local strays.) So, yesterday I bought some chicken wire and cut out holes for the plants, etc. to keep them from scratching up the dirt and plants. No problems this morning.

I got to thinking, though...is there a health risk to eating veggies that grow from the two tubs they apparently used as their litter box? Kinda gross...but I hope not...I really, really don't want to have to redo all of the dirt. Opinions?
I remember a caution about dealing with cat litter during pregnancy because of toxoplasmosis. If you're not pregnant or immunity impaired it should not be an issue.

Should I Keep Cats Out of My Veggie Garden - Dr. Weil
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