Sweet Peas Blooming! Dahlias Planted, Finally!

Sweet Peas are definitely worth the wait. I walked into the hoop house the other day and was overwhelmed by an incredible sweet fragrance. Whoa!

The range of colors, diversity and the heady fragrance, are quite a combination! This experience is quite a learning curve. The Elegance Mix and Spencer seedlings were started in cell trays using a compost enhanced potting mix. The seeds best germinated at 60° to 65° (F). The seedlings were placed 6 inches apart in a raised bed with plastic netting to allow the peas to climb to a potential height of 8 feet.

Next year I plan to direct seed some of the sweet peas for a comparison. I believe the plants and subsequent blooms will be stronger.

Next up are seedling dahlias. Started in cell trays with well nourished potting soil, cactus flowered and double flowered mixed colors should be a delightful opportunity for our local florists. The amazing fact is dahlias can grow in 120° (F) heat. Originally from Mexico, dahlias are a natural to grow in a hoop house. I am looking forward to a plentiful harvest.

We will keep you posted on our progress!



The Amazing Chili de árbol!!

The Chile de árbol grows into a small tree. In a greenhouse the pepper trees grow more than 10 feet. The Tree Chili is originally from Mexico and is a staple for cooking and seasoning. They are presently growing in my hoop house reaching 6 feet!

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The plants have started to flower as the temperature is a little cooler. I am starting to see fruit set. This variety is a Capsicum anuum type of pepper. The degree of heat is 50,000 to 65,000 *Scoville Units. They may be substituted for Cayenne peppers, with similar flavor and heat.

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When dried the peppers (also called bird’s beak or rat tail chili) hold their beautiful red color which makes them ideal for wreaths.

I will publish again when the trees are full of chilies.


*Scoville Units – The idea was to dilute an alcohol-based extract made with the given pepper until it no longer tasted hot to a group of taste testers. The degree of dilution translates to the SHU. In other words, according to the Scoville scale, you would need as many as 5,000 cups of water to dilute 1 cup of tobacco sauce enough to no longer taste the heat.   Smithsonian Magazine