EarthBox 2017 Recap — The Peppers And Melons

-A.J.

A recap of the 2017 peppers and melons.

The almost complete list of what we grew this year is here. (Missing from the post is one “Bell” pepper and one “Lilac” pepper). The “grand” total was 238.6 pounds, which is around our average. That total weight doesn’t include anything except for what was grown in the EarthBoxes and excludes the one box of basil.  11 EarthBoxes yielded 238.6 pounds. Calculating the yield and dividing by 45 square feet of growing medium = 21.7 pounds per box or 5.3 pounds per square foot.

2013 Peppers recap here.  2014 Peppers recap here. 2015 Peppers recap here. 2016 Peppers recap here.

 

170820 bell pepper

It was a hot and dry summer, which in theory would be ideal for pepper plants. How did they actually do?

Year Plants Weight Average
2013 10 22.3 2.2
2014 18 31.0 1.7
2015 18 32.5 1.8
2016 18 24.2 1.3
2017 18 25.7 1.4
Total 82 135.7 1.65

As a group they didn’t do all that great, but 1.43 pounds is still within 10% of the average of all years. Also, the entire garden produced more ripe fruit than in past years, so I’m ok with the yield. Here’s how the individual varieties break out:

6 plants, one box, Carmen:  15 pounds, 2.5 pounds per plant.   2.5 pounds per plant is an excellent total for us. Carmens are tasty and they’re easy to clean due to the long straight shape. We committed 1/3 of our total space for peppers to Carmens and it paid off again. Positive reinforcement!

6 plants, one box, King of the North:  5.4 pounds, .9 pounds per plant.   Well, that’s not really exactly fair. One plant got broken off at the base very early one, so the actual yield was closer to 1.1 pounds per plant. That’s well below the usual yield of around 2 pounds per plant, BUT:

One issue that the pepper plants suffered from as a group was a complete lack of support. Usually we put Ultimato cages around each box. This year I decided that wasn’t necessary or helpful.  WRONG! I wound up belatedly adding stakes and trying lots of string around things as the plants all sagged this way and that. End result:  The King of the North produced about half of what they usually do.  Correctable User Error That Will Not Be Repeated.

2 plants, Anaheim:  .4 pounds, .2 pounds per plant.  This total doesn’t feel right. My suspicion is that we miscounted Anaheims as something else, though they were a little buried so I can see the yield being low.

1 “Bell” pepper:   2.1 pounds.  This was mislabeled at the nursery. Still, it produced well, so … ok.

1 “Chocolate” pepper:  1.1 pounds.  We tried this for something different. The yield was a little below average, and the taste was a little strange. We froze these as “Pepper for Chili”, thinking that all of the flavors in a chili will hide the weirdness. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

1 “Jimmy Nardello”:  .6 pounds.  Very nice smokey flavor. I’d like to try these again despite the low yield. I think maybe all the peppers need a little more room next year so that they get a little more sun.

1 “Lilac” pepper:  1.3 pounds.  Like the Chocolate pepper, a bit strange. The yield was fine. Meh.

170912 melon

Minnesota Midget Melons.  4.7 pounds. 4 Plants, 3 of which shocked and died either due to my handling or the fact that there were a couple of pretty cold evenings immediately after transplanting. Despite the warm dry summer the melons ripened late and were mostly bland. I’m glad we tried them and I got that experiment out of my system, but I doubt we’ll be doing them again.

Next post:  The Cucumbers and Zucchini

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Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

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