Are your peppers laying down on the job?

Now that the garden is really starting to get going there isn’t a lot to do.  The plants pretty much know what they’re doing on their own.  A little water and weeding is all I have to do for the most part.   That and walk around every morning with my coffee, yelling “Honey, we have strawberries!” and  “Honey, the basil is getting big!” like a five year old.  I’m pretty sure TB completely ignores me.

So I did my morning ‘surveying my lands’ walk the other morning and noticed that my little pepper plant looked like he needed a V8.

Last year this happened to the one pepper plant that made it into the garden from a seed started indoors.  TB “was helping” and tried to straighten it.  Since it had been growing crooked for so long, it didn’t want to be straightened.  It snapped right off.  I was almost in tears when he called me at work to tell me.   So this year before we get to the point of no return I wanted to put stakes in to help.  Now just like with the tomato cages you really should put this stuff in at the time of planting.  That way you don’t harm any of the roots that have now stretched out.  But, you know, I didn’t do that.  So whatever, we will do it now.

First step is get a stake.  Since I only needed two and didn’t want to buy a whole pack, I went to the wood working section by the lumber at Lowes.  You can buy 4 foot dowels for 80 cents in different widths.  I think this is around a 5/16 wide but I don’t really remember.  I cut it in half and presto – two pepper stakes.  Shove the stake into the soil near the plant but not on top of it  as to avoid the roots at least a little.

Next we will need something to tie the plant to the stake.  I recently cut up an old shirt to use for rags in the shop and I cut strips out of the collar.  I like the idea of strips of cloth since they won’t damage the plant or impede it’s growth.

I tried to find a good flat spot on the plant’s stem where the cloth tie wouldn’t interfere.  I made a big loop around both the plant and the stake and made a knot.  I left a bunch of room for the plant to grow inside the loop in case I forget to check on it’s progress.

After the knot was secure I trimmed off the excess cloth so nothing was hanging on the ground.  No sense and making a lovely walkway for bugs to travel up.

And here is a pic from this morning’s ‘surveying my land’ walk with the pepper all adjusted, happy and standing at attention!

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