Garden thread

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  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 1,042 Member
    edited April 28
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    Today, I was clearing out last year's garden debris in preparation for this year's plantings. I went to pull last year's peppers when I noticed that roots were still supple and there was about 2"-3" of green at the base of each thick dry stalk. I'm guessing that I should trim to the top of the green? Has anybody ever grown peppers from this sort of "dead" plant? Or is this just mold? Four of six stalks have this green at the base.

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  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,802 Member
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    @MsCzar, I vote that the green is not a sign of a live plant. Whether it's mold or something else (algae, lichens, early-stage moss . . . .) I don't know, I'm not expert on those. But that sure looks like a dead stem underneath.

    Pepper plants are quite sensitive to cold (might over-Winter in roughly 8b or warmer in the US) . Even if we could somehow protect them over Winter in a colder climate, I don't think they'd thrive. I'd start over with new plants.
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 1,042 Member
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    Thanks Ann - I would have thought that if the roots weren't so good looking. I'll chop into it after I mulch. I do have pepper seedlings started. We only had one bad cold snap here. Surprisingly, my kale, beet greens and Swiss chard all made it through the winter and have new growth.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,802 Member
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    MsCzar wrote: »
    Thanks Ann - I would have thought that if the roots weren't so good looking. I'll chop into it after I mulch. I do have pepper seedlings started. We only had one bad cold snap here. Surprisingly, my kale, beet greens and Swiss chard all made it through the winter and have new growth.

    If you want to try an experiment, sure, leave one and see what happens. Even if it lives, I'd expect it to be not very robust, but I could be wrong.

    Kale, beets, and chard are quite hardy. Kale can tolerate temperatures well below freezing, and with coverage, the roots reportedly will survive to as cold as zone 2, and sprout again in Spring. Chard can survive somewhat below freezing, but I believe not quite as cold-tolerant as kale.

    Beets are also quite cold-tolerant, especially the roots. In case you're not aware, most beets are biennial, i.e., grow leaves and nice roots in year 1, then flower in year 2. I believe the leaves are still edible in year 2, but I don't know if the flavor is impaired when they flower, or whether the roots get woody in year 2. (Some other biennial plants get bitter during the 2nd season or roots are less acceptable texture.) Here - previously zone 5b - I'd always planted beets early in Spring, or occasionally in late Summer for Fall/early Winter harvest. I love beet greens, but would usually harvest the greens when thinning the plantings, since they have those funny multi-part seeds so plants end up closer together than ideal for root growth.

    Just my experiences here, though.

    If you're in the US, what zone are you in? Knowing that could let others give you more tailored advice. The map got updated recently, BTW: I used to be 5b, now 6a, and there have been more dramatic shifts elsewhere.) If you don't know, you can look up by zip code here:

    https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/

    Here, even in the 5b years, quite a few root crops or the tougher leafy greens like Kale can be harvested well into the Winter if not all the way through, with some straw or other mulch, some row cover, a mini-hoop setup, or something like that. Some taste sweeter after a frost.

    The tender things like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, most of the vine-y things (cucumbers, squash, melons) for sure are done out doors here with hard frost or freeze, even with some protection.
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 1,042 Member
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    6b here with the east facing plants within 8 feet of the house which provides a good wind break.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,802 Member
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    MsCzar wrote: »
    6b here with the east facing plants within 8 feet of the house which provides a good wind break.

    Then the kale, chard, and beets don't surprise me. I still suspect the peppers are goners, but like I said, maybe leave one and see. :) If it's going to re-grow, that'll show up once consistent warm weather arrives. If nothing happens, there'll still be time to plant some fast-growth thing in that spot if you wish.
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 454 Member
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    b1s8irh8106u.jpg
    Baby brassicas 😃
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 454 Member
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    e75mu8t77ehu.jpg
    The leaves at the bottom of this container include the first head of pak choi I've harvested this year.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,996 Member
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    MsCzar wrote: »
    Thanks Ann - I would have thought that if the roots weren't so good looking. I'll chop into it after I mulch. I do have pepper seedlings started. We only had one bad cold snap here. Surprisingly, my kale, beet greens and Swiss chard all made it through the winter and have new growth.
    MsCzar wrote: »
    6b here with the east facing plants within 8 feet of the house which provides a good wind break.

    6b here too. (Massachusetts.)

    My Swiss chard also survived the winter...but has since bolted, which means it's pretty much done. Has yours bolted as well?

    I didn't grow any kale last year, but it often survives the winter...and then produces tiny leaves the next year.
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 454 Member
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    It's been so, SO windy here for the last few weeks, everything is drying out super fast after I water. My tomatoes are all droopy and sad! On a better note I've finished the first crop of pak choi and debating planting more, and starting to harvest small amounts of spinach as well.
  • jess2023mac
    jess2023mac Posts: 25 Member
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    This is the first year I've planted spinach and it seems to be taking forever to grow. Hoping it amounts to something.
    Other than that I've got green beans, edible pea pods, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and pumpkins(growing from a leftover Halloween pumpkin) and a small strawberry patch. I pulled up my 2 patches last year because they'd become so overgrown and saved about 2 dozen healthy looking babies. I can't wait until the tomatoes and cucumbers start producing.
    We started with very dry weather, now we're in a very wet spell.