Monday, May 23, 2016

Some Datil Peppers, Some Basil, Some Lizard Tail, ... some Aquaponics too!

There is something about a healthy Datil Pepper pup showing great foliage and vigorous roots that just makes me smile.
That's a good thing, because I have seen a lot of the them this Spring. 
Presently, (using the same seeds I sell to you folks), I have a little over a hundred datils growing in various stages.
Some are 18 inches tall and budding out, while about a dozen are still in the original seed tray they were born in.
Those are losing their patience.

If you're looking at the photo above and counting, (hmmm, he said over a hundred ...), just know that I have potted even more since that picture was taken.
Also, you might notice a few basil and tomatoes in there. 

Rest assured, it's the datils that are the stars in this garden patch.
So far, I'm a big fan of these 5 gallon grow bags. They were super economical compared to 5 gallon pots, although they certainly won't last as long.
I'm expecting one season out of them, but secretly hoping for two.
We'll see.

The tall fencing around these datils is to keep the deer away, but ... being deer, they found a flaw in my defence.  

This datil was too close to the hog panel fencing and some enterprising whitetail stuck his snout through, fed, and tugged the plant out of the soil.

So, I adapted and moved everybody back from the fence and replanted this little guy.

I keep reminding myself how cute the spotted fawns are this time of year and how I love to see them grazing here at PFHQ.

Meanwhile, at Cedar Key School ...

The sweet basil growing in the Science Department aquaponics system are all fat and happy and waiting to be harvested.
That will probably happen tomorrow. We will just give them a severe trimming of course. The basil will give us multiple crops, much to the delight of the CKS teachers.

Not shown in the basil photo are the tanks of bluegills and goldfish whose enriched tank water flows through the gravel basil bed and back into the fish tank continuously.
The fish make fertilizer.
The plants clean the water and grow.
It's a beautiful thing.

This year I stuck 2 datil seedlings in the grow bed and they are thriving ... as are the red mangrove saplings who are now 2+ years old and putting out prop roots.

I'm sure they are heavy nutrient suckers and we'd probably have even better basil production if they weren't there, but hey ... they're MANGROVES.
How cool is that?

Hang on,  we are switching locations ...

Speaking of aquaponics, back home at PFHQ, our little goldfish pond was often a green slime pond in the past.
Last year I added more gravel to the waterfall pools and sprigged in iris, lizard tail, spider lily, and mint.

Problem solved.

Like the basil system at school, the plants in the waterfall soak up the fish nutrients so the pond water stays clear and clean.

This, ... well, this is just a gratuitous selfie by the iris.

I couldn't irisist posting it.


Lisa Greenbow said...

Summer gardening fun.

threecollie said...

Very nice!I have to move my wintered over datil up into a bigger pot. It doesn't look too bad, although it misses that Pure Florida expertise I think. Love your plant/fish/water systems.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh you make me want to plant up my water garden again!! I must put some cardinal flower in there. I have lots of yellow iris that would be great except for the fact that years ago one clump escaped its pot (it's scarily good at that) and sent a knife-sharp shoot/spear right through the rubber liner of my pond, effectively draining it in one night. I patched it, said many prayers, patched it again...the patch floated off last spring, but somehow the pond is still holding water. iris, ever, for me.

I'm so proud of your 101 DatilNation!!! I hope you get rich quick. Or at least find good homes for all the puppehs.
What a fun post, and so pretty. Way to grow!!


Deb said...

I just inspected what may be the first aquaponics operation in my neck of the woods. It will be part of a vocational program for adults with developmental disabilities. Really excited to see interest in this type of thing here.

I have several Datil plants that are looking happy and healthy, ready to be planted in containers.

R.Powers said...

Great datil job Deb! MN datils! Can't wait to hear your opinion on the flavor/heat.

Julie, Yikes! I didn't know Iris could do that. Hopefully, southern iris are more genteel. :)

3C, My overwintered datil is just loaded with peppers, but it had it easy compared to a NY datil. Impressed that you protected it all winter.

Lisa, Yes, and now a Tropical Storm is coming to test my datils structural integrity.

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