Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: peppers

Using a Vehicle to Solar Dehydrate Peppers and Tomatoes

Solar Dehydrating Peppers and Tomatoes

Can a vehicle be used to solar dehydrate peppers and tomatoes?

Saw this on an episode of Doomsday preppers, or something like that, so I decided to give it a try. A tray off of an electric dehydrator was used to hold the food, and a meat thermometer was used to measure the air temperature. Two of the windows of the SUV were cracked around 1/8 – 3/16 inch.

The goal is to capture the greenhouse effect of the summer sun on the vehicle. Then use the collected heat from the greenhouse effect to dehydrate peppers and tomatoes.

Types of peppers in this experiment:

  • Tabasco Peppers
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Bell Peppers

Preparing the Peppers

Canning Home Grown Jalapeno Peppers

Canning home grown jalapeno peppers

This article about canning home grown jalapeno peppers has been two months in the making. We started in May of 2018 with planting the peppers, taking care of the jalapeno pepper plants in the backyard garden, then finally harvesting, and now canning.

  • Plant peppers after the last chance of frost has passed.
  • Visit a local farm supply store and pick out the types of peppers you want to can.
  • Work the ground and break up and clumps of soil
  • Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13
  • Consider mixing manure into the soil production through the summer months
  • Plant peppers where they get plenty of sunlight
  • Keep pepper plants watered

Tips on Growing Jalapeno Peppers in a Backyard Garden

Pepper plants sitting on the tailgate of a truck

How to grow jalapeno peppers in a backyard vegetable garden. Jalapeno peppers are an excellent crop to grow in a backyard vegetable garden. They do well in a range of soil conditions and tolerate the summer heat fairly well.

Fertilizer For Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers do best with a well balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers such as 21-0-0, or even 16-6-12. When taken care of Jalapeno Peppers will produce through the summer months and into fall. Unless killed by a winter frost, the plants may survive through the winter and into the following spring.

Because Jalapeno Peppers have such a long growing season they benefit from a slow release fertilizer, such as manure.

We are going to start off with tilling the garden rows with a garden tiller. Then mix in some well balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13, and some kind of manure or compost. Till the fertilizer, compost, and / or manure into the rows. Remove clumps of soil, rocks, or tree roots.

The 13-13-13 fertilizer will provide the Jalapeno Peppers with plant food to get started, then the manure / compost will provide a slow release fertilizer to help the plant thrive over the course of several months.

This should be enough to help the plant produce through the summer months.

Planting Jalapeno Peppers

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Okra Spring Garden Update

Jalapeno peppers

The garden got off to a late start this year. In March we received so much rain the seeds rotted in the ground. It seemed like every couple of days we were getting a cold front.

All of this means the 2018 spring garden is running a month behind. Instead of the peppers producing in May, they are producing in June. Which is no big deal because once the peppers start producing, they will continue until the first frost.

Instead of the okra being planted at the first of May, it was planted at the end of May. I was hoping to get some rain to help the okra germinate, but we did not get rain for a month.

Eventually, I decided to plant the okra and water the seeds with a sump pump that sits in a creek. Everything worked out and the seeds germinated. Once the okra started to come up, it is making solid progress.

Tomatoes and Tomato Cages

Ending the Chicken Manure as Fertilizer Experiment

Tomatoes grown with chicken manure experiment

One gardening experiment for 2018 was to take a field that had not been used for a couple of years, till in chicken manure using a garden tiller, then plant the crops.

How well would the crops grow? Would some types of crops do better than others?

After watching the experiment for close to two months, I think I have my answers. The experiment for this year has drawn to a close and 13-13-13 fertilizer was spread along the garden rows.

However, I feel part of the experiment should be repeated in the spring of 2019. The weather here in Southeast Texas was very wet between March – April, then very dry from April – May.

When the rain stopped in April, it stopped. It was like GOD turned off the water valve. We have not gotten a drop of rain in close to a month.

Starting the Chicken Manure Fertilizer Experiment

Transplanted Tomatoes and Planted Okra

Tomato and pepper plants in a home garden

The tomatoes that were planted a couple of months ago were root bound and had to be transplanted. While the tomatoes were being transplanted, I went ahead and planted the okra seeds we had germinated

Related article – How to germinate okra.

For those of you who do not know what root bound means; simply put, the pot is too small for the plant. The roots need more room than what the pot provides. The solution is to either transplant the plant into a larger pot, or plant the plant in the ground.

There were other issues:

  • The roots were getting too hot.
  • The pot was not holding enough moisture for the plants to grow.

Transplanting Tomatoes

2018 Spring Garden Has Been a Bust

Cajun Spicy Bell Peppers

The spring garden for 2018 has fallen flat on its face, and it is my fault. To fully understand what happened we need to back up a few years.

Several years ago I held a New Years bonfire. The bonfire was made from pieces of timber left over from cutting trees from the property. There was a large section of Sweet Gum, pine tree limbs… etc. piled up maybe eight feet tall. After the bonfire was lit, it burned for several days.

Once the New Years bonfire had finally died out, there was a pile of ash almost three feet tall and eight – ten feet across. The pile was so tall a tractor was used to level the pile out. Once the pile was leveled out, a tractor disk was used to mix the ash into the soil.

Fast forward a few years. I figured the ash had time to dissolve into the soil, but I may have been wrong.

What Does Potash Do?

Planted Some More Pepper Plants

Garden salsa pepper plant

Decided to go ahead and get some more pepper plants in the ground. The local Walmart has their garden plants on sale, so I thought why not? I bought five more pepper plants for $2.94 each.

Peppers usually do a good job of withstanding the Texas summer heat. All they really need is plenty of water and they usually bear until the first frost.

For fertilizer I am using aged chicken manure from under the brooder house mixed with dirt. Also, under the plant is a fresh chicken yard egg. Using eggs as fertilizer is a little experiment I am doing this year.

More Pepper Plants

Garden Update: Contender Snap Bean Sprouts and Peppers

Contender snap bean sprouts

Contender snap bean sprouts are breaking through the soil and pepper plants are getting established. Some the peppers have died, and some are not looking too good, which is to be expected.

The pepper plants were planted in a garden spot around 100 yards behind the house. Just a couple of days after planting we got around 8 inches of rain overnight. I suspect a couple of the plants drown during the rain. Some of the pepper plants look nice.

One of the things I love about spring is the garden. Seeing sprouts break through the soil is a wonderful sight. They symbolize rebirth after winter is over.

No signs of the potatoes yet, but that is no big deal. It may take the potatoes a few more days. When the potatoes were cut, I made sure each eye had plenty of meat on them. The potato chunks provides nutrients so the roots and sprouts can get started.

Snap Bean Sprouts

Planting Pepper Plants With Homemade Organic Fertilizer

Planting pepper plants

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about planting pepper plants and using homemade organic fertilizer. If there is one plant in my spring garden that has a special place, it has to be pepper plants. Because of that, pepper plants need some tinder loving care.

Pepper plants need nitrogen to grow big and tall, then they need potash (potassium) to grow peppers. Those are the first and third numbers on a bag of fertilizer. The middle number is bone meal (phosphorus), which promotes root growth.

Around the farm I have chicken manure, and some potash from the smoker. These were used to mix up some homemade potting soil, which will be used as organic fertilizer.

Aged chicken manure from the brooder house was mixed with potash and some topsoil in a wheelbarrow.

Planting Pepper Plants

Stockpiling Seeds For a Survival Garden

zucchini survival garden

Lets talk about stockpiling seeds and the value of having the ability to plant a survival garden. Stockpiling food – dried rice, beans, canned goods – is fine and dandy, but that is a none renewable resource. When you eat that can of beans, are you going to plant the can, and maybe it will sprout a canned bean plant, for you to pick more cans off of? I don’t think do.

Stockpiling food provides a family with a limited food source.

Stockpiling seeds and having a garden can provide an unlimited food supply.

2,000+ years ago, did the Romans and Egyptians have canned foods and mylar bags? Nope, they raised what they wanted to eat. What about the Greeks and the Chinese, did they have mylar bags full of rice and beans? Nope, they raised what they ate.

There is nothing wrong with stockpiling food. It appears to me that a lot of survivalist put more focus on stockpiling a limited food source, then on learning how to develop an unlimited food source.

Corn Seed

Maybe one of the most versatile crops grown today. The kernels can be ground to make a type of flour, or they can be dried for long term storage. Corn can be ground or fed whole to all kinds of livestock – cows, chickens, pigs,,,,,,.

Tips On How to Feed a Family

SHTF Survival Garden

These days people are not only worried about this house note, or their electric bill, they are also worried about something much more basic – and that is food. There is hardly anything that grieves a mothers heart more, then to open a kitchen cabinet, and it be empty.

An economic report from February 2009 said that around 700,000 – 800,000 people lost their jobs in that one month. Less people have jobs, so less bills get paid. But the one thing that must be bought is food. But what if someone told you that you do not have to buy food? That you can grow your own.

Its true. Regardless of what people have been told for the past 30, 40 or 50 years, food does not come from a grocery store – it comes from the ground. At first I did not believe it. I honestly thought that the grocery stores used some kind of magic to make the food appear out of thin air.

We have been enslaved to the grocery store for decades. People have paid others to do their work for them. Its time to break those chains.

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018