So as usual, when this time of year comes, I go over board at the nursery thinking that my deck is bigger then it is. Or it could just be that everything looks smaller then it is until you get it all home... For example, what happened to me when cutting my Christmas tree down last year... It didn't look that tall in the open field with all the other trees but sure enough when I got it home and upright in its stand...
Anyway, on to the outside planting... This year, since the herbs are so successful in the AeroGarden, I am going to skip them on the deck this year. Instead I went an unventured route... Fruit. Not sure how much success will come of this or, even more of a concern, end up just feeding the birds (not intentionally of course) but I figured it would be fun to try. Along with the fruit there is the excessive amount of hot pepper plants (I can't help it, I am a spicy food fanatic) and tomato plants.
In each pot I went with a 50/50 ratio of Miracle Grow Oraganic Potting Mix and Composted Manure (I can't believe I have to pay for cow poop). So here is what we have so far (there will be one more hot pepper pot coming shortly as well)...
Four strawberry plants in a large pot. I still need to add some mulch as I have been told they like cool soil and hopefully the mulch will help keep the humid heat away from the roots as the summer approaches. There are three types of Strawberries. I went with Quinault, Everbearer strawberries. I was told they produce the largest, sweetest strawberries with 3 harvests in the spring, summer and fall.
Raspberry Bush (Someday):
I realize I won't see much of anything from this during the upcoming season so I will call this a long term project. I have a feeling I will be transplanting this next season to a larger pot if all goes well but I am just hoping to see some successful growth this year. While it looks like I just planted a twig, there is a root (dormant) on the end in the soil. Just so it is known, I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to this. I think I need to put some bamboo stakes in to potentially support what could be coming.
Going for variety this year. Instead of just growing two types like previous years, I am going for five. Serrano pepper plant (back left) which is supposed to get up to several feet tall. This pepper is a bit hotter (10,000 to 25,000 Scoville) then the typical Jalapeno and I have plans for some pico de gallo with its output. Cayenne Long Red (front left) which is expected to be one to two feet tall. This little thin walled pepper will be used in some of my favorite thai dishes. Packs even more of a punch then the Serrano at about 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville. Caribbean Red Hot (front center) is a pepper I grew last year. I had no idea what I was in for until I tried one. All I have to say is WOW. Twice as hot as an Orange Habanero, this little sucker is not to be played with (upwards of 400,000 Scoville). I used them in my chili recipe last year that was a favorite. This plant gets to nearly two feet tall and is very branchy. Jalapeño pepper (front right) is always a must. You can pretty much use it in everything from eggs to salsas to you name it. Not that spicy at 2,500 to 9,000 Scoville. And the last one in this pot is the Red Cherry Hot Pepper (back right). This is a first time for me growing these little guys. Apparently they look just like a cherry but obviously won't be sweet like a cherry. I have some hot stuffed poppers in mind for these guys. I put a 4 foot stake next to each on in anticipation of each one growing nice and tall. Better to do it now then risk hurting any roots later.
This year instead of one tomato plant, why not grow three. Each one is getting its own large pot with 6 foot stakes.I planted them pretty deep, trimming off the lower leaves as these plants create roots at these points.
Carmello - Heavy juicy tomatoes great for salads
Celebrity - a beefsteak tomato that is great for sandwiches
Principe Borghese - a roma tomato great for making tomato sauces