by A.J. Coltrane
Previous post here.
The 2013 harvest came to a little over 230 pounds, not counting the shiso and lemongrass. Of that, eleven pepper plants produced just over 22 pounds of fruit.
The quantity of peppers could have been a lot higher had I actually followed the EarthBox directions and not mixed plant varieties within the boxes. That’s a recurring theme below:
The Hot Pepper Box:
The three pepper plants in this box were buried behind the lemongrass and shiso, and I think it dramatically impacted the output.
Anaheim — 2.9 pounds. The Anaheims basically filled a one gallon freezer bag. We’ll be planting these again next year.
Banana — 0.4 pounds. Just a few peppers. This plant was the most buried of the three, and it showed. Needs a fair trial in 2014.
Jalapeno — 2.2 pounds. This again is way more peppers than it sounds like. Visually it’s a couple of freezer bags worth in a single layer, about 50 Jalapenos or so. A few got a tinge of red, but that was about it as far as ripe Jalapenos. A 2014 keeper.
That’s 5.5 pounds of sun-demanding peppers out of the shady, cramped side of 1/2 of an EarthBox. –*facepalm*– On the bright side, it’s still enough peppers to easily last into next spring. We’ll be throwing Anaheims and Jalapenos into everything.
The Sweet Pepper Box:
18.2 pounds from the six peppers in this box. No competition for sun = the output per plant was 65% greater — 3 pounds per plant vs 1.8 pounds per plant for the hot peppers. Not mixing plant types is the “right” way to do it:
Cute Stuff — 1.5 pounds. They weren’t cute; they were actually fringe-deformed in appearance. They weren’t particularly productive. (SW corner of the box, which should be about the best spot.) The interior was a little pithy. I think it’s fair to say that we weren’t in love with these. They may not make the cut for 2014.
Gourmet — 1.5 pounds. The yellow ones that eventually turned a little orange. Definitely photogenic. Moderate output, but then they were in the middle-front (middle-west side) of the box. Probably a keeper for next year.
Gypsy — 3.2 pounds. Good production from the NW corner of the box. Probably a keeper.
King of the North — 5.3 pounds. Excellent production from the SE corner of the box. It’s basically a standard bell pepper. Winner.
Lipstick — 1.7 pounds. Another photogenic pepper that ripened to red. Decent production from the East-center part of the box. Fairly thin walled. Probably a keeper, though I’d be fine with something else.
Tequila — 3.3 pounds. Purple peppers that turned white when we grilled them. They’re more of a crudite pepper, and even then they don’t taste like much. Not making the 2014 cut.
Even though we tried to pre-plan the garden layout, the piecemeal approach to purchasing things meant that we wound up with one “extra” pepper plant that had to be shoehorned in somewhere. That somewhere was behind the brussels sprouts and the lemon cucumbers:
Bell — 0.3 pounds. One pepper from this plant. It never really had a chance. I’m actually inclined to do a mono-box of these next year to see how much it would produce in favorable conditions.
This year we budgeted 1.5 boxes for peppers. Next year I think it will be either 2 or 3 boxes. I’m leaning towards three. No sharing space next time though.