Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homegrown produce: Not a fantasy anymore

Several weeks ago, in Spring, we placed in our sandy Nevada back yard vegetable seeds and plants.

We were immediately slapped down my Mother Nature, twice, and freezes killed two rounds of corn, potato and tomato starts. The ornamental trees came back, as did the fruit tree foliage, but the delicate flowers which should have led to fruit -- dead (late season snow and ice even killed off two rounds of established iris buds).

We really weren't overly disappointed: Little confidence in our gardening skills and living in Nevada prepared us for failure (in the garden, anyway).

But, if you've been reading along for awhile you know that we've been shocked as week after week the onions proved to be stronger than Nevada weather, the corn fought back for a third round and a shelf in our dining room turned out to be the Happiest Place on Earth for two serrano chili plants.

Honestly, the serranos didn't make it to the garden because we purchased them the same day we picked up tomato, basil boxwood, dill and Asiatic Lilly plants.

The tomato and dill made it to the garden that day, but work obligations meant the rest had to wait. So, the remaining plants were given a reprieve as within two days the first freeze took out the tomato plants (the dill seems to enjoy the cold).

The Asiatic Lillies bloomed in their home improvement store pots and died off as they should, the boxwood basil disappointingly crisped and died.

But the serrano plants just kept growing. Terrified of another freeze I refused to take them outside until I was sure they'd be safe.

Just about the time I was confident the freezes had passed -- you guessed, the second freeze came along.

So, I figured, what the hell. Nobody Touch The Peppers. I placed a plate under the peat pots to catch water and admonished My Guy not to move the plants. Not an inch. Not a centimeter. Dining Room Peppers.

Then, about two weeks ago a friend told us to rub together the pepper plant flowers to emulate bees who would normally pollinate the plants.

Which brings me, aren't you glad, to the end of today's gardening post: Our corn is producing, despite a Greek army of ants, the onions are looking beautiful, the herbs are happy and our Dining Room Peppers ... well, we're gonna have some Texas-style chili soon, folks!


  1. Way to go, CB! You're a triumphant gardener, even with the uncooperative weather, and I hope you get to enjoy the (literal) fruits of your labor for a long time!

  2. wow nice garden pics!! yum..thanks for the hint on the b cuke/creamcheese sandwiches..sound delish..but what is oreoroot??
    as for the rubbing together to pollinate..yup yup..i do that with my cukes..or take a broom and lightly sweep over the blooms woks the same way..tfs..loves ya..Gail