A Garden Blog by Kevin Milaeger

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Kevin 2015 

2015---Not the Year of the Pepper!

September 29, 2015     
(See below for archives)

It’s normal to have a few issues in the garden. Every year it’s some new problem, it seems---we kind of expect it. Recently I heard a customer say “I’m never growing peppers again!”  Gardeners are optimistic by nature, so the idea of giving up is unusual and kind of distressing.

By most accounts, this was not a good year for peppers. I think the cool June got things off to a bad start. This should remind us that we must wait until June to plant peppers, and then only if the forecast is favorable. You need a good, strong start if you expect great results. An experienced friend of mine has had his ups and downs with peppers over the years. His solution: plant lots of them. If the yield is low, you’ll still have plenty of fruit. If the yield is high, you will have even more to give to friends.

That works for me, provided you get your plants at Milaeger’s.

This year I grew a new “no-heat” jalapeno pepper called ‘Born to be Mild.’ It looks like a typical jalapeno. I’ve eaten an entire pepper, seeds and all (that’s where the most intense heat is, if there is any), and I can verify there is no heat. It tasted sweet, and it looks great. But I prefer another “no-heat” variety that we have been growing for a number of years--- ‘Fooled You Jalapeno.’ It has a more intense jalapeno flavor, also sans heat. In addition, the pepper walls are much thicker, so they are better for stuffing and grilling. I guess you could say that the ‘Fooled You’ is not quite as pretty, because the skin crazes, but that doesn’t bother me. In the end, it’s flavor that counts.

We had some extra space in the garden this year so we decided to try growing some gourds. We chose some mixed gourd seed, and a wonderful mix is what we got. We planted them very late, which turned out to be fortunate. Like peppers, gourds like it hot. But the cool June weather didn’t bother them because we didn’t plant the seed until after Fourth of July! I was afraid it was too late, but we picked our first gourds around mid-September. Many of the plants look pretty shabby now, but the unpicked gourds that remain on the vines still look terrific.

It’s time to harvest the first Brussels sprouts. I planted them on April 15th. They could have been harvested as early as a few weeks ago, but they are still in fine shape, and will be for weeks. I plan on grilling them along with some whitefish that I bought in Bailey’s Harbor last weekend. They are easy to grill---the only ingredients are olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.

My raspberries are doing really well this fall. This year there have been fewer problems with Japanese beetles---in previous years I found lots of them devouring both leaves and fruit. The only pest I’ve seen on the berries this year is wasps---at least that’s what I think they are. They love the sweet fruit, and actually eat quite a lot. I haven’t tried to control them with spraying, but if were raising berries for a living I’d have to do something. They are very intent on the fruit; they haven’t bothered me even when I am picking fruit an inch or so from them. The raspberry variety I am growing is ‘Heritage.’ It bears in June, and again in fall. This year my fall crop seems to be exceeding the June crop. My raspberry patch is only about 10 x 15 feet, and it produces about a cereal bowlful every few days (despite the wasps.) Sweet autumn berries---Yum!

Please email me (kevin@milaegers.com) if you have any questions or comments.


Archives  (Click on the green text for links)

September 2015 - 2015---Not the Year of the Pepper!

September 2015 - Top Varieties at Tomatomania 2015!

September 2015 - Get the most from September tomatoes!

August 2015 - Tomatomania 2015---Coming Soon!

August 2015 - Oh No!!!......Freaky Tomatoes

July 2015 - A Marvelous Community Garden

July 2015 - Finally----the first ripe tomato

July 2015 - Is it Possible to overdose on peas?

July 2015 - The Garden in July --- I'm still planting!

June 2015 - And Just When Things Were Looking So Good...

June 2015 - Tomatoes, Cukes, and a Whimsical Onion

June 2015 - Trials and Tribulations in the Veggie Garden!

May 2015 - Trouble in Tomatoland!

May 2015 - Tomatoes are Claustrophobic

May 2015 - A Little Chilly, but it's Rhubarb Time!

May 2015 - Joan's Rhubarb Torte Recipe

April 2015 - "Ketchup and Fries" plant video

April 2015 - Early May in the Vegetable Garden

April 2015 - What Vegetables Can I Plant Now?

April 2015 - Making Salad Interesting

March 2015 - Ready... set... GROW!

March 2015 - Unusual Potatoes --- Not Just for Tots Anymore!

February 2015 - Next Month is Spring!

February 2015 - Greens to Grow 2015


September 2014 - Tomatomania Review 2014!

September 2014 - Tomatomania Results by Category or Cummulative

August 2014 - Kale! Kale! The Greens are Here! Click here for Recipe

August 2014 - The August Harvest Begins

July 2014 - Greens to Grow for Fall!!!  Click here for Spreadsheet

July 2014 - My Tomatoes are Blushing

June 2014 - Some Tomato Concerns

May 2014 - Garden Update --- the Cold Weather Experiment

May 2014 - Is it Time to Plant Tomatoes?

May 2014 - Vintage Veggies #4 and Vintage Veggies List 2014

April 2014 - A Chilly Spring... What Can I Plant Now?

March 2014 - Start Growing Your Own Food Right Now

February 2014 - Greens to Grow   Click here for Spreadsheet


October 2013 - Keep Calm and Garden On!

October 2013 - Autumn Vegetables

September 2013 - Tomato Popularity Poll Results Blog

September 2013 - Tomatomania Category and Cumulative Results

September 2013 - Tomatomania 2013 Blog, Video and T-Shirt

August 2013 - Greens to Grow and Spreadsheet

July 2013 - Spaghetti Squash

July 2013 - New Tomato and Zucchini Recipe Blog
July 2013 - Tomato and Zucchini Recipe

June 2013 - Cold Spring - What it Means for Vegetables
May 2013 - Tomatoes in Containers
May 2013 - Vintage Veggies 2013
April 2013 - My Tomato Garden Preview 2013
April 2013 - Don't Forget Rosemary!
April 2013 - It's Planting Time
March 2013 - Onions
March 2013 - Vintage Veggies
March 2013 - Greens to Grow Update
February 2013 - Hot Peppers
February 2013 - Grafted Tomatoes
February 2013 - Greens to Grow

September 2012 - Tomatomania Results
July 2012 - Compass Plant
July 2012 - Heat Wave
June 2012 - Okra
June 2012 - Potato Onion
May 2012 - Gas Plant

May 2012- My Tomato Garden
May 2012 - Vintage Veggie Fest
March 2012 - Growing Raspberries in SE Wisconsin
March 2012 - Winter Tomato Project
February 2012 - Success with Sweet Peppers
February 2012 - Vegetable Cukes Miniature
January 2012 - Tomatoes New Varieties

September 2011 -Tomatomania Review 
August 2011 - Tomatomania Preview
August 2011 - Racine Vegetable Garden Tour
Summer 2011 - Vegetables in my Garden
July 2011 - Vegetables - Squash and Tomatoes
June 2011 - Vegetables - Diseases made Simple
June 2011 - Vegetables - Container Growing
May 2011 - Vegetables - Squash and Tomatoes
April 2011 - Vintage Veggie Fest Event Preview
March 2011 - Vintage Veggie Fest Announcement

September 2010 - Tomatomania Review 
August 2010 - Flowers Late Summer Color
July 2010 Vegetables Cukes and Tomatoes
June 2010 Tomatoes New Varieties

September 2009 - Tomatoes End of Season Review 
September 2009 - Tomatomania Review
July 2009 - Tomatoes General and Fruit Set Problems
June 2009  - Tomatoes Fertilization
June 2009  - Tomatoes Personal Experience
May 2009 - Tomatoes General
May 2009 - Tomatoes Diseases
May 2009 - Tomatoes Selecting and Growing
April 2009 - Tomatoes General


Any questions or comments, please contact us at: gardenquestions@milaegers.com