Well, I was sad to see a good size branch on my Gypsy Pepper plant snapped in a storm. I had even looked at in the morning and thought I needed to tie it to a support. Well, I did not get to it in time. 😦 I have had little luck in rooting pepper branches. I have been treating them like my tomato cuttings that I have had so much good luck with. I decided to try a different method. One closer to how I am propagating a hydrangea at the moment.
The process: I cut the stems down into 6 different sections. As far as I can tell, they all have nodes on a part of the stem. I have some OLD root hormone my dad gave me, so I dipped all the cut ends in that before planting them. I prepared 6 plastic solo cups with wet soil. I also added cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cinnamon to help keep away any fungal problems and cayenne in hopes that would keep fungal gnats/bugs out of the plants. The solo cups have a cutout in the bottom and are sitting in another solo cup. I covered the pepper plants and cups with plastic bags. This was to help keep the moisture level high. I am a little worried it might keep it too wet. We will see!
I would be really excited if this experiment works! That would be 6 new plants!!! I will keep them inside under my grow lights until the crushing heat of FL summer is over. Currently, I do have my big Gypsy Pepper plant outside. I am watching it to see if it needs to be brought inside or if it can sustain the heat, which is in the 90s most of the time.
I got my strawberries in the mail today. They had been in my mail box, which I am little concerned about. Not sure how long they were there. They did not look terrible, so I don’t think it was too long but still very warm in there!
I wanted to go ahead and plant them. As I looked around the house for a good pot, I noticed an old garbage can with some hole patterns going up the size. Well, it looked enough like a Strawberry pot that I decided that is what it would become! I cleaned it out really well. The bottom was turned into a self-watering system. I used hay to block up some of the sides and then poked the strawberries out the holes. Fingers crossed it is big enough for all the plants I put in it! I don’t think they need a lot of space given the DIY strawberry towers I have seen.
Currently, it will live on the porch. I think my porch has become my nursery for the newly planted plants and seeds. Hopefully, they will get established soon. I am sure it will be a few months until they start to produce.
** About a day or so after I planted these, I started to notice mold in the hay. I am not sure if this is actually a problem yet, but I am pretty bummed. It is REALLY wet in FL right now. We were having a drought, but now, it has been raining every day for about 4 days. The forecast has it raining for another week. So I am not sure if it is the weather or something in the hay. I hope the plants are already strong enough to handle the problem! I did spray the planter with Neems Oil, but with all the little holes and all the hay, I am not sure this will work.
***Two weeks later, I did not think the strawberries were getting enough light, so I moved them outside. 7/1 I brought them inside. about half of them on one side did not survive. Not sure what to make of it.
Well, over the past few weeks, I have learned some interesting things about gardening in Central FL. Things like tomatoes and other nightshade plants do not do really well in temperatures over 90. Not that the plants cannot take the heat (although that can happen too) but that their flowers will not set and might fall off. That was not fun to learn given that my plants were just starting to really produce.
SO PLAN B! I brought my tomatoes inside and put them under a grow light. About a week after bringing them inside, I picked some of my first ripe tomatoes. It felt good! Since they have been inside, I have had 4 more tomatoes develop, so I am happy about that. I have not seen any new ones in about a week, though. I did find some green caterpillars on the plants about the same time. Over the next 3 days, I checked my plants over and over to pick them off and rid the plants of the little buggers! I have also had some dry leaves and fungal gnats. The fungal gnats are my current battle I am determined to win.
Since bringing my tomatoes in, I decided to plant a few other vegetable plants inside. I also brought in a few of the olds that have been struggling with the weather. I will keep some notes to see how they progress inside.
Currently inside with big grow lights:
Tomatoes (Full plants and cuttings)
Zucchini (Full plant and seedlings)
Brussel Sprouts (seedlings)
Under a small grow light and kitchen window. About 3 weeks old.
Minor leaf lettuce
Beets (3 weeks old where inside until 2 days ago, although read they like cold so might be moving them back inside. FL is in the 90s now)
Turnips (3 weeks old where inside until 2 days ago, although read they like cold so might be moving them back inside. FL is in the 90s now)
Outside in parking spot
Peppers (has full-size peppers and still set fruit about 1 week ago)
Eggplant (setting fruit but 2 blossoms fell off in the past week. Might be getting too hot)
Winter Squash (just starting to produce flowers)
Tomato (small and has never flowered)