Time to Start Eggplants, Peppers and Flowers
Eggplants, peppers (both hot and sweet), and flowers like cockscomb, dahlias from seed, cosmos, and many others, like to get a good head start indoors before being planted outside after the danger of frost has past. We like to give our eggplants and peppers a good eight weeks before planting out, and most flowers about six weeks. Grow lights are a huge help if you don’t have a greenhouse, but in a pinch a very sunny, south-facing windowsill will also do fine. Make sure to bring your seedlings outside on warm days (over 68F) so that they can get stronger–even on grey days outdoor light is much stronger than anything we can get or make indoors, and better light makes stronger plants. However, make certain to bring them back in, as the nights are still way too cold for these warmth-loving seedlings!
Rosa Bianca eggplants:
In late winter and early spring, sometimes we need the kick of a little spiciness from last-year’s peppers to get us up and going. Sweet-hot pickled peppers can go on anything from cheese sandwiches to omelettes, meats and salads, or add extra kick as a garnish for soups. Use peppers that match your heat preference–sweet peppers like Sullivan’s Favorite or Jimmy Nardello for those who don’t like any heat at all, Anaheims or Early Jalapenos for those who like a bit of a kick, and Hot Paper Lanterns, Bolivian Rainbow or Aji Crystal for the real heat lovers, or you can mix and match in each jar. Now is the time to plan and sow for your late summer canning!
For simple, delicious sweet pickled peppers (whether hot or not), boil together:
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
–>boil until all the sugar has melted, and the mixture has boiled a little.
–>Using sterilized jars and lids, tightly pack each jar (we use 8oz ball or mason jars) with sliced, seed-free peppers (in the case of the Bolivian Rainbows, you can use the whole pepper)
–>Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the peppers to cover them completely.
–> close the lids and boil in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Enjoy after 2 weeks, and up to a year!
Always wear rubber gloves and have good ventilation when processing hot peppers! Those tasty treats can pack a punch, and sting eyes, hands, noses, and any skin they come in contact with!
Dahlias brighten up any garden!
Our Dahlia mix offers diverse colors and flower shapes, is very easy to grow, and the best thing, you can easily save your own seeds, or save the tubers from your favorite plants for next year!