Super Hot Peppers and Grow Bags

In my earlier post I noted that I was planning to try out grow bags for my peppers this year. The reasons for testing this route are as follows:

  • I would like to bring the healthiest of my peppers indoors to over-winter.
  • Our soil quality is very poor, and improving it too much over the years may prove problematic as on our roof we need to keep soil weight down. With grow bags I can focus application of manure and compost in a very constrained area and limit the long term addition of weight.
  • Once it’s clear which plants are strongest I can adjust placement to maximize light, heat etc to those that will best deliver against those inputs.

When I wrote the earlier post I was looking at Vivosun grow bags (Canadian grow bag link here), and specifically the 5 gallon size. After some additional reading I’ve changed direction, at least for my first purchase. Yesterday I received my shipment of 9 Bekith 3 gallon grow bags (Canadian link to the Belkin grow bags here). I chose to go slightly smaller as several sources suggested that 3 gallons would be sufficient for first year peppers, and to limit the expense to fill all the bags with quality potting soil, manure and compost (at least the compost’s free as we have 2 Worm Factory 360 composters on our roof (Canadian link to the Worm Factory 360 composter here).

While I haven’t yet filled the bags (I’ll do so when the peppers are ready to transplant directly into them) I can say that they appear to be of decent quality. I’m hoping to get 3 or 4 years out of them, and given thickness and apparent construction quality I can see that happening. I’ll be curious to see how water permeable they are, and as a result how much more frequently I may have to water them.

I can’t wait for temperatures to get a bit higher and more consistent so I can get this rolling.


Dealing With Pests – Grubs in the Soil, Big and Small

Buy natural grub and mite solutions – US

Buy natural grub and mite solutions – Canada

This article is a work in progress. Here in Vancouver we’re under siege by various grubs in lawns across the city. You can see yards and playing fields with tufts of sod everywhere, overturned by hungry crows looking for an easy dinner of fat grubs. Fortunately I have yet to find these big beetle grubs in the garden. Unfortunately I have regularly found smaller white grubs throughout the growing season.

Last year I decided to try one of the grub spray solutions early in the season to see what would happen. I can’t say for certain, but I do think it worked. I didn’t spray all of the planted beds, but those I did spray didn’t surface grubs through the season when I overturned the soil. Those I didn’t spray exposed those tiny white grubs when I dug around in the soil.

Application was simple. You buy a container that holds something similar to a teabag full of powder (the beneficial nematodes that will eventually kill the grubs in the soil) as well as an applicator which attaches to your hose and (one hopes) evenly distributes the solution as you spray. This stuff isn’t cheap mind you, but in light of the results I’ll be doing it again this year.

Buy natural grub and mite solutions – US

Buy natural grub and mite solutions – Canada