Posts Tagged ‘cobrahead weeder’

Roasted Shishito Peppers

Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Blistered Shishito With Sesame Seed

Blistered Shishito With Sesame Seed

This year was not particularly good for our pepper harvest.  It may have been the location and the fact that the ever so tall Jerusalem artichokes  blocked the east sun from the patch.  That won’t happen next year.  Live and learn.

Luckily we had a late frost so when Noel pulled the last of the pepper plants from the garden on October 30th, we had a bonus – a couple dozen shishito peppers.  We had never grown them before so I thought they were immature wrinkly little things, but it turns out they were exactly as they should be.

I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I did an internet search on the various ways of preparing them.  The simplest way I found was roasting them at 500 degrees with olive oil, salt, pepper then sprinkling with toasted sesame seeds.  Here’s a link to the recipe and video of Michael Symon making them on a television show.

The peppers can also be roasted on the grill, pan blistered, stuffed with cheese, dipped in sauce, etc.  It all depends upon what you’re in the mood for and how much time you want to spend on the preparation.  No matter how you make them they’re sure to disappear quickly.

The seeds were from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.   Check out their amazing website.  And, of course, don’t forget the tool section.  They might just have the CobraHead Weeder and the CobraHead “mini” Weeder in their offering.

Transplanting Strawberries

Sunday, May 5th, 2013
New Strawberry Beds

New Strawberry Beds

I try to keep three beds of strawberries in rotation and moving through the garden.  Bed one contains the newly transplanted plants.  Bed two holds one year old plants, and the third bed, two year old plants.  New plants yield little, but the one and two year old plants yield well.  Fall transplanting might make for better yields, but I prefer to transplant in spring when my clayey beds are very wet.  The strawberries are less susceptible to stress and need very little additional care once transplanted.

Strawberry production decreases noticeably in plants older than two years.   The older beds are also difficult to keep weeded, so it’s been easiest for me to just to rip out the oldest bed, save some new plants for transplanting and compost all the weeds and old plants.

Last year I never got around to starting a new bed.  I had ripped out an older bed with the intent of transplanting, but just never finished the job.   So I came into this spring with a two year old bed and a three year old bed.  I prepped two new beds to get back into the rotation I want.  I’ll be out of kilter for a year, but this transplanting went smoothly, and I should be on track going forward.

Old Strawberry Beds

Old Strawberry Beds

The three year old bed the I’ve been tearing up is on the right and a two year old bed to the left.  Strawberries are constantly putting out runners so there is never a shortage of new material to work with.  The paths, filled in with runners, are a great source of babies for transplanting.

A Broadfork Lifts Out Plants Easily

A Broadfork Lifts Out Plants Easily

Strawberries are tough.  You can walk on them, weed them aggressively, and pretty much beat them up without them dying or even showing much stress.  They do need a lot of water to do their best however,  especially when they are setting fruit.  I use my broadfork to lift out and loosen large sections of berries and weeds together.  Then  I use my CobraHead Weeder to separate the plants.

New and Old Strawberry Plants

New and Old Strawberry Plants

It’s very easy to decide which plant to keep and which to toss out.  Old plants  have a woody root structure.  New plants produced by runners will have only root and no sign of a woody core.  If in doubt, I just toss that plant, as I have so many new ones to work with.

Transplanting is merely a matter of pushing the young plants into their new home and watering them in.  They suffer very little transplant shock.  The picture at the top of the post shows the new beds with the plants watered in.   In past years I’ve spaced new plants about 18 inches apart and let runners fill in the gaps, but being behind this year, I’ve loaded up the beds with new plants, spacing them about six inches apart.  I’ve worked in a lot of compost and I’ll  feed them more as the year progresses, so I think we’ll have a great crop next year.

Happy Transplanted Strawberries

Happy Transplanted Strawberries

This picture, taken one day after transplanting and after a soaking rain, shows how quickly the strawberries have rebounded.  Strawberries are easy to grow because they reproduce so aggressively and don’t need much care.  Once started, you never have to buy new plants.  And if you didn’t already know this, the strawberries you grow at home taste way better than those sold in grocery stores.

 

Cleaning an Overgrown Garden Bed — Video!

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Noel and I made another video last week demonstrating how he uses a few different tools to help him clean out a totally overgrown, weedy garden bed. As you can see in the video, a few of the beds in the vegetable garden have grown out of control. The daunting task of clearing the beds was made quite a lot easier with the use of proper hand tools.