Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Giant Marconi Peppers

When the seed catalogs arrived in early December I made it a point to carefully select varieties that I thought would be appropriate to grow hydroponically in the greenhouse. My criteria was: small plants, large fruit.

The description in the catalog for this pepper really caught my attention:

Giant Marconi Hybrid ALL AMERICA SELECTIONS WINNER for 2001. Awarded for its earliness, yield, size, and flavor, this is one of the biggest Italian-type, sweet peppers that you'll find anywhere. Peppers turn from green to red, and at 8 inches long with a lobed tip, they resemble a cross between a Marconi and a Lamuyo-type pepper. They are sweetest when red and are good for salads, but really are outstanding when grilled and roasted, methods that bring out the best of their great flavor. 30-inch tall plants bear heavily despite cold, wet, or dry conditions, and are resistant to potato virus and tobacco mosaic virus.

My plan is to grow them in the drip ring systems, however I have no idea at this point how I will stake them, if it becomes necessary to do so.

The seeds were planted on February 14, 2009 and the photo was taken on March 15, 2009. Today, March 17th., (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) I noticed a small flower bud is beginning to form.

My hydroponic book recommends that only experienced growers should tackle sweet peppers , but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. My confidence has been bolstered by the success that I had in the fall with the ornamental pepper.

Also today, while moving the plants to the greenhouse to soak up some sun, I noticed that one strawberry plant has a flower already. Damn, eight days from dormancy, and a flower! I guess I should start looking for my artist brush so I will be ready for pollination duty.

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