Yesterday, I got all the peppers seeded, 50 in all! I want to make our own powdered paprika, so I planted three different kinds of Hungarian paprika peppers. We've got the usual other hot peppers, as they seem to be reliable for us, and a great mixture of both bell and horn-shaped sweets for roasting and eating fresh.
Peppers take a little while to germinate, so I wanted to start them a couple weeks earlier than tomatoes. I'm glad to have them in a tray, on a heat mat, under lights. Our house was feeling curiously bare without any seed-starting activity. It feels weird to start everything so late, but I'm trying to time our big harvest for August rather than July.
I do believe I might plant all of the peppers in 10 gallon pots this year. Room in the beds is always at a premium, and peppers do well in containers, some say even better than in beds. This is because the roots stay very warm.
In other news, we had a poop windfall. A friend of mine raises rabbits in a large coop-like structure outdoors. The floor of the coop is concrete so the rabbits don't dig out, and on top is a mixture of garden soil and hay. Over the last many months, the rabbits have added their feces and urine to this mixture, all while digging and aerating it. My friend wanted to remove it and replace it with fresh dirt and hay, and called me to see if I wanted to take the old mixture away. Oh yes, I giddily replied. Today Tom and I made two trips and ended up with a nice big pile of enriched soil, which will sit under the apple tree until I'm ready to plant tomatoes, and then we'll amend the beds with it.
Rabbit poop can be used right away around plants, as it's not as 'hot' as chicken manure, which needs to be composted first. However it will only improve with a little sitting. Here's a close up of the soil:
It's so good to have friends who think this way and call me when they have this sort of thing to give away! I'm not going to have to buy compost this year, or maybe an extremely reduced amount, which is stellar.