Pepper Pot-a-peño (F1) is a 2021 All-America Selections Winner in the vegetable category. As the name says, this plant is ideal for growing in pots and would look beautiful in a hanging pot in the garden or patio so long as it gets full sun for optimal foliage and fruiting. Pot-a-peña is a warm weather annual for our region.
The beautiful bushy foliage is dark green and grows to a height of 12 to 15 inches in a compact mound. Fruit shape is conical and pointed about 3 to 4 inches in length. Fruit color starts out green and matures to red. Harvest green or red as desired. This is a jalapeño so it will be spicy when harvested green and sweeter though still spicy when harvested red. You can expect from 35 to 40 peppers from a typical plant.
It is recommended that seeds are started indoors at least 6-7 weeks before planting. For optimal germination temp should be above 70°F. Up potting is recommended in 3 to 4 weeks. Transplant outdoors when night time temps will be over 45°F and no threat of frost. For green fruit expect 45 to 50 days to harvest, 60 to 65 days for red fruit.
Seeds are currently sold out at Park Seed https://parkseed.com/pot-a-peno-pepper-seeds/p/52445-PK-P1/
I was introduced to starting seeds many winters ago by both my maternal grandfather and my mother. Several decades later, I can only remember one season that I did not start seeds, but the magic of the season still came upon me.
Starting seeds never grows old for me. Every time a seedling emerges above the soil surface I am filled with joy. I introduced the seed starting practice to my children which was met with not as much joy and sometimes frustration as the household was taken over by all the seedlings until it was safe to bring them outside. Frequently the baby plants had grown to young adulthood before they could be moved out – much to their chagrin. Now, to my surprise, all my adult children engage in plant propagation in some manner. I am looking forward with great anticipation to introduce my first granddaughter to this annual endeavor as soon as we can play in the dirt together.
Do you enjoy gardening or want to start gardening? Have you watched the TV show Escape to the Chateau? If you have, then you would recognize the term “potager garden”. Join us on how to Create a Potager Garden presented by Sue Reinardy, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, virtually on Zoom on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10 am to Noon as part of a celebration of National Library Week at the Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library. Attendees will have a chance to win a special Library T-shirt!
Potager is a French term for a kitchen garden. These gardens can include not only vegetables but herbs, fruit, berries and cutting flowers. During the presentation you will learn where to site your potager, what plants to include and how to maintain it through the growing season.
For the first 15 people who sign up, we will offer them a Take ‘N Make Kit of a Potager Starter Garden. The kit consists of a container, donated by Marketplace Foods, and seeds and a planting medium donated by Sue Reinardy.
You can register for the event by going to the following link – https://bit.ly/3rtyZq9 or by calling the library to register and to receive the link for the Zoom event. We suggest that if you don’t have the free Zoom app, download it before the program begins and go to the presentation at least 5 minutes before it starts. If you have any questions, please call the library at 715-634-2161 or email email@example.com
One of the 2021 All-America Selection Winners in the vegetable category is the Squash Goldilocks F1, a golden orange acorn squash that is both beautiful and delicious! This is a high yield variety that is disease resistance. The lovely nutting flavor makes this one "just right!"
Goldilocks F1 is best grown in the garden or a very large container. The plant is compact and bushy with overall height at maturity of 30 inches. Fruit size is about 4 inches X 4 inches, 1 pound. The flavor is described as sweet and nutty. One plant should yield as many as 10 or more fruits. Sown seeds will reach harvest in 85 days while transplants will shorten that to about 70 days. Plants spread to about 4-5 feet so space them accordingly. This variety is tolerates Powdery Mildew.
Seeds are available through Osborne Quality Seeds https://www.osborneseed.com/ and Territorial Seed Company https://territorialseed.com/. Plant in full sun in well drained soil. Or start indoors three weeks before planting.
AAS describes themselves as "An independent non-profit organization committed to bringing you award-winning flowers and vegetables." Their mission statement: "To promote new garden varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America."
With this years plant sale canceled due to COVID, North Country Master Gardeners will once again put our energy into the Teaching and Display Gardens at the Spooner Ag Station. We will be starting seeds for many of the plants used in the gardens right here in our greenhouse at the Ag Station while other seeds will be started for us at Madison. We are excited to be getting started and are now in the planning and gathering process.
The Seed Starting committee met on March 4th to lay the groundwork for this year's efforts. Links to the minutes and documents of their meeting can be found on the Members/Committees page.
Some of the planning details outlined in the meeting minutes can be helpful for those of us who start our own seeds at home. Planning our gardens and planter pots ahead of time will help determine what seeds will be directly sown into the soil and which seeds need an indoor head start. Acquiring seeds and determining a timeline for when to start each type is important. Gathering pots, containers, seed starting mix and fertilizer, sterilizing pots, and preparing these ahead of seeding can save time and help insure success.
The Display Garden theme this year for the All-American Selections is Diversity in the Garden. While we will not be competing in the AAS contest this year, we will be keeping this theme in mind while planning our garden beds. Members will adopt a garden space to transform so that by August we will be able to offer our Twilight Garden Tour, if not in real time, virtually as we did last year.
Follow our progress on this blog. If you are a master gardener volunteer but are not on the committee, your help is always appreciated--check out the minutes for places you might fit in in the seed starting process. If you are not a master gardener volunteer but have been thinking about becoming one, this will give you some insight into what we do and how much fun we have!
Display Gardens Layout
Seed starting chart
article by Pam Davies
This year Monarda is one of the 2021 National Garden Bureau’s featured plants, and a great choice for your garden too!
A Native Species, Monarda has a long medicinal herbal history that Native tribes taught early settlers to utilize. Bee Balm, Monarda’s common name, I am certain came to be due to its ability soothe bee stings, other medicinal uses included treating chills and fever all information shared with early settlers from Native Americans.
This All America Selections winner in the annuals category, Celosia Kelos® Candela Pink, with its profusion of bright pink spikes will dazzle in containers or as dramatic interest in garden beds or bouquets both fresh and dried. Less dense and more delicate than other varieties of celosia , expect blooms of 10 to 15 inches, with an overall plant height of 25 to 30 incles. Blooms beginning in late spring and continuing well into fall make this plant ideal as a filler or tall background or boarder plant.
Plant in full to partial sun in well drained soil. Water as needed. This celosia can tolerate dry conditions and is heat, wind and rain tolerant, and deer resistent!
Article by Pam Davies, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
|North Country MGV||