Hillary is longing for Spring over at Folk Magazine. This week’s Folk Journaling topic is the type of plant we will soon be planting. For me, that is peppers.
I’ve been asking myself, If Peter Piper can pick a peck of pickled peppers, why are mine so peaked?
My childhood friend, Vicki, has a pepper plant growing on her kitchen counter continuously. It is cheerfully bright and loaded with peppers at all times, giving her kitchen a healthy, natural feel. I have attempted to emulate this look about 165 times over the course of our friendship, enjoying success in exactly zero of my attempts.
This year I am committed; I shall have peppers. The day will come when my great-great-grandchildren speak of 2013 as The Year of the Pepper. I am arming myself with gardening tips and superstitions, and all the equipment a serious gardener needs. Come County Fair time, this little pepper fellow here will be Grand Champion material. (One article I read hypothesized that plants have feelings too, so nothing but encouraging comments shall pass these lips!)
One article suggested that the pepper blossom must be pollinated. Apparently, this can be accomplished by crossing pollen with other blossoms. So, the prized pepper will soon be getting some pepper buddies to hang out with. Although, it seems another option is for the gardener to rub each blossom on the plant by hand thereby passing along the pollen manually. This made me wonder about Vicki. I have only seen single pepper plants at her house. Could she have been fondling pepper blossoms all this time without my knowledge? Yeah, I am sticking with the buddy peppers.
I was confused by one article which suggested I don’t water too frequently….or too infrequently. I never did figure out what they thought was the right frequency, so I will stick with my method: water when I remember to.
Several articles explained that blossom drop on peppers can be traced to an excess of nitrogen in the soil. If I knew how nitrogen got into soil, I have a feeling this would impact my pepper production strategy.
One person on the internet suggested adding a banana peel to the soil. Naturally, I did. I stepped back and surveyed my peel and pepper. At this point I decided that some of the gardening “experts” I was consulting might just be giving outrageous suggestions to see if people would actually attempt them, so I stopped reading.
Nothing to do now but sit back and wait for the bountiful harvest. Oh, and to water when I remember.
I sure hope it is the slime that has formed on the inside of the discarded banana peel that really packs the nutritional punch to my soon-to-be-prolific prized pepper.