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withering white flower on a small green pepper plant



The Lazarus pepper continues to chug along. I don't think the current flower is going to produce fruit, but the plant itself seems to be gearing up to sprout some more leaves and flowers, so hey, we'll see what happens over the summer. :)


eighteen pepper seedlings, growing in peat cylinders in a black plastic container



The new pepper seedlings all continue to do well. (...I'm going to have to find pots for all of them, aren't I. Oh, bother.)


four squash photos under the cut )


Meanwhile, the squash are doing... not so well. Of the four I transplanted last week, only one (Meeny) seems to be thriving. One (Miny 1) already died and has been replaced by one of the previously un-transplanted seedlings. The replacement is now unhappy in turn. Another of the initial transplants (Eeny) is in the process of dying; I expect it to be withered by morning. And the fourth (Mo), like the replacement transplant, is... let's go with 'not happy' and leave it there, yeah?

The moral of this story is that I should A) not plant squash at all until mid-April and B) plant them directly in their final homes -- probably two or three seeds to a container, and then thin to whichever seedling seems healthiest after three weeks or so.

We learn by doing, I suppose, and I have plenty of squash seeds left. I will plant a couple of them in Eeny's container later this week, once I know whether I'll be replacing Miny 2 and Mo as well. (I have no seedlings left to transplant; the remaining three have all died.)


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I did not make a gardening post last week, but eh, whatever, moving on.


white flower on a small green pepper plant



The Lazarus pepper is blooming again. As before, I do not expect anything to come of this, but let us all enjoy the pretty flower while it lasts. :) (The other two buds have both shriveled at this point.)


eighteen pepper seedlings, growing in peat cylinders in a black plastic container



The pepper seedlings continue to do well, and I think they will be ready to transplant in another two or three weeks.


five squash photos under the cut )


On Sunday night, I punched holes in the four plastic storage tubs I bought a couple weeks ago, and I transplanted the four squash seedlings that seemed to be flourishing the most. (Three of the original eleven sprouts had shriveled and died by that point, and two others had each lost one of their cotyledons, which was a little sad but also helpful in reducing my transplant choices to a more manageable spread.) I tried to be as gentle as possible with their roots, but only time will tell how well I managed.

(FYI, the transplanted seedlings are hereby named Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Mo, because it amuses me and because I can do that if I want to. ;D )

Next weekend I might try to buy a trowel (possibly also a hoe or a garden rake?) and plant the other seedlings in the yard, assuming they're still alive by then. I mean, I am going to buy at least a trowel anyway, since I need that to plant my narcissus bulbs, but anything beyond that is kind of dependent on circumstance. *wry*


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three buds on a small green pepper plant



So... the Lazarus pepper has developed three new buds??? I am greatly perplexed, and as before, I rather doubt any actual fruit will be forthcoming, but what the heck, I support this ridiculous plant and its refusal to say die. (Next week I might be able to start putting it outside during the day, which it might enjoy.)


eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container, each with a pepper sprout



Several of the pepper seedlings are starting to grow true leaves.


eleven squash seedlings in small plastic cups



A bunch of the squash are also growing their first true leaves. I think a couple of the plants are unhappy, which doesn't surprise me, but eh. I also bought four plastic storage tubs on Sunday and will hopefully get around to repotting four of the more promising seedlings later this week.

And in indoor and inedible botanical news, I repotted Damocles (one of my big spider plants) tonight and hung its pot back up in my living room window. No pictures yet, though I may take one of Damocles and Babylon (the other big hanging spider plant) sometime later this month.


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a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with a withered flower on a withered stem



The Lazarus pepper is not going to fruit after all. *sigh* As you can see, the flower stem has withered and is about to fall off rather than thicken to support a pepper. So it goes.

I will probably toss the plant out for compost later this week. (I think I will toss out the dirt and remaining narcissus stems while I'm at it, and save the bulbs for later planting.)


eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container, each with a pepper sprout



Meanwhile this year's batch of pepper seedlings are doing well. Several are starting to grow their first true leaves, which are adorably tiny. :)


eleven squash seedlings in small plastic cups



The squash are very enthusiastic and I'm still not sure what to do with them. I mean, I could maybe risk planting them outside next weekend? There's probably going to be a freeze this week, but after that, who knows? (And it would save me having to decide whether or not to pinch them off. I am a terrible softy and hate pinching off baby plants, which is why I only put one seed in each cup or peat cylinder even though that's not the most efficient sprouting method.) Or I could buy some plastic storage tubs, punch drainage holes in the bottoms, and try to train the squash to grow up trellises instead of tentacling outward across the ground. Plastic storage tubs are dead cheap compared to flowerpots...

Well, I think they'll probably survive until next weekend and I can make my decision then.


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a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with one withered blossom



The Lazarus pepper has not yet lost its flower/fruit stem... but it's turning suspiciously yellow rather than starting to thicken in preparation for supporting a pepper, so. Probably not a miracle after all. *sigh*


eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container, each with a pepper sprout



Meanwhile the pepper sprouts are doing nicely. I don't know how clearly it's visible in this photo, but a number of them have developed that little 'joint' between their cotyledons and a couple have even started to sprout the tiniest promise of their first true leaf pair. I am so proud of them. :)


twelve small plastic cups filled with damp soil



And the squash seeds are just chilling underground, I guess. Maybe next week they'll be more visually interesting. *wry*


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Pepper update! (Also a sqaush update, I guess? Since growing squash is now a thing I am definitely attempting. Possibly I should just call these posts 'garden project' updates.)


eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container, each with a pepper sprout or pepper stem



All eighteen pepper sprouts have unbent and are either unfurling or have unfurled their cotyledons. I think I will now stop covering them, since once they're at this stage the humidity isn't that great for them and also they need room to stretch. :)


a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with one fading white blossom



Meanwhile, the Lazarus pepper's flower is starting to wilt a little, but while the plant has lost a couple of its lower leaves, the flower stem still looks pretty healthy and not like it's going to just up and drop off at any moment. So... maybe fruit? (I am trying not to get my hopes up. The odds are still against miracles.)


packet of yellow summer squash seeds . twelve small plastic cups filled with damp soil



And over in the gourd family, I am starting a brand-new summer squash adventure. Let me tell you: there are A LOT OF SEEDS in a squash seed packet. This tends to make me suspicious of their sprouting rate. But you know, squash are one of those plants where it is very easy to get overrun, so I will not be heartbroken if, say, only six of the ones I planted actually sprout. (Plus I can always try again with a second round. Squash apparently have a shorter growing season than peppers, so I have some more leeway to play around with.)


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I can has SPROUTS!!! :DDD

I have decided, for convenience of discussion, that I will name the sprouts on a grid pattern. Columns are A through F while rows are 1 through 6, which means the lower left square from the viewer's perspective is A1 (and also empty) and we go from there.


eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container
1) pepper sprouts, Monday, 6 March 2017 (~7:45am)


two more images under the cut )


eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container . small peat cylinder with a pepper seedling peeking above the soil
4) pepper sprouts, Monday, 6 March 2017 (~8:00pm)
5) sprout E4, evening


two more images under the cut )


a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with one white blossom
8) the Lazarus pepper, Monday, 6 March 2017


Meanwhile, the Lazarus pepper continues to bloom, but some of its leaves are going a little yellow and sad, so as before, I do not really expect it to produce an actualfax pepper fruit at this point. I am impressed enough that it pulled off a flower.

And in other gardening news, I bought a packet of summer squash seeds today, which I think I will plant next weekend (once I have enough applesauce cups to use as pots). I will eventually transplant them to the yard below my back porch, where my former upstairs neighbors attempted a garden some years back, and where my current upstairs neighbor is attempting to grow raspberries. We shall see what, if anything, comes of that experiment.


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I know this is not my regular schedule, but! I feel the world should be informed that the Lazarus pepper is blooming. :)


a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with one half-opened white blossom



And now I am heading off to the Ithaca/Oneonta youth group lock-in. With a pinch of luck, I may even get some sleep tonight...


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eighteen small peat cylinders in a black plastic container


The pepper seeds look exactly the same as last week -- ie, nothing is visible above the soil -- which is to be expected.


a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with one unopened bud


Meanwhile, the Lazarus pepper has lost one bud (it shriveled and is about ready to drop from the plant) but the other is hanging in there and might be thinking about actually blooming. I firmly expect any bloom to be lopsided and weird, and then to probably shrivel and drop off itself, but you never know. Miracles do happen! (And there's a reason they're called miracles, and it's not because they're common. *wry*) Anyway, I mixed some crushed eggshells into its soil, which will probably not do much indoors and away from helpful bacteria and such, but the peppers did seem to like their eggshell supplements last summer so whatever; I doubt it can hurt.

More next week, as always.


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a small green pepper plant in a terracotta pot, with two unopened buds


I am not entirely sure whether the Lazarus pepper will actually bloom, nor whether anything will come of any hypothetical flowers, but it sure does look like it's gearing up to try. I gave it a bit of MiracleGro over the weekend, which it seemed to like, and I have been misting and fanning it regularly, as well as turning the pot a little bit every morning.

So that's the remnant of my 2016 pepper project. Moving on to my 2017 pepper project... I bought the seeds earlier this month -- the Emerald Giant variety of bell peppers -- and on Sunday afternoon I finally planted them. Yay! They will not do anything visually interesting for a couple weeks, give or take, but they are presumably busy under their shallow coatings of peat. :)


three pictures under the cut )


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Elizabeth Culmer

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