Thursday, October 25, 2012

One man went to mow...

The mowing beastie has been less than well the last while. It turns out(as James and I diagnosed - but where told it was the choke)that it's not firing on both cylinders. It has been seen to... and now does it sometimes. It went from very feeble to its old self while I was using it today, and I managed to cut all sorts of areas it just gave up on before (the garden was a total jungle and needed to slashed with a tractor to get the initial area cut. Since then, with a brush cutter and the mower, I've pushed it back and back. We're now down to about 10% of jungle, part of which is trees. It's probably close to half an acre in total - a lot of grass. Anyway, one man went to mow...

And spent 3 hours at it. And then one man worked, and then cleared a bed and planted some Dutch creams (a kind of potato). I still have purple Congo and some 'elephant' to go in. My germination of capsicums has been utterly dismal, and tomorrow I must contrive some kind of mini-greenhouse for them.

And that's about all that happened today.


  1. My recollection from my Mum, capsicum need hot and dry - cracked clay style hot and dry, then warm and moist, almost rice paddy wet, then just keep the soil slightly moist.

    Hope this helps.

    I've never grown them myself.


  2. You'll get your best germination if you can keep the sir temp between 70 and 80 Fahrenheit(21 to 25?) so the pots keep a soil temperature of 65. If your air temp goes below 55 and your soil temp below 60 they won't germinate. Your soil needs to be loose and slightly moist. Too wet and they, even more so them their cousin the tomato, will develop stem blight. This can happen even if the leaves haven't popped the soil and they die before seeing the light of day.

    Many people around here try to get their peppers in the ground as early as possible so they have a well developed root system before the heat hits. To do this we lay out sheets of black plastic. This has two effects, it kills the weeds and warms up the soil. Turn your soil with mulch in it, then cover.

    1. I've been lucky enough to bring quite a lot of the capsicums in big pots through winter - they're flowering already in the 'greenhouse'(which is too full for more plants, or a seed tray - i have pots standing in other pots. I was pretty sure it was temperature - in the last house I kept them indoors with lots of sun (and the heat from the house) Here they've been exiled to the shed! Anyway, I'll contrive another plastic home with a wooden floor (ground temp is low) and maybe a black bag for them, this weekend. Oddly I had really great tomato germination 90% + in the same place 2 weeks earlier - just no room for the capsicums, and I thought the tomatoes were a gamble.

  3. Also, and you may know this, never plant peppers and tomatoes in the same bed as they, being cousins, share and attract the same diseases. If you get stem blight or root rot in a bed neither plant can go back there for three years. However, cucumbers and peppers play very well together. They're water hogs and will keep the surrounding soil from getting over wet. Both do very well with drip irrigation as they both prefer to have their leaves dry.