Joining us at the Hoss Headquarters is Wes Blair with Naked Hog Gardening, straight out of Louisiana it’s officially a Cajun Invasion tonight; Greg and Wes discuss life on the Homestead, the dirty tricks of gardening, pepper tasting and so much more. With “Homesteading” growing in popularity over the past few years, we take every opportunity to help those who want to become more self-sufficient and grow their own food.
Being in Louisiana, Wes’ garden seems to be all about rain and weeds this growing season. “It is very rare that we have a day without rain, which makes it difficult to get in there to take out the weeds because the soil is so wet”, Wes says. “In Louisiana, we have sandy/clay soil, so it doesn’t drain well due to when it hardens, it is more hard clay than anything.”
While we have had some rain in South Georgia but most days have been pretty dry and Greg leans heavily on the Drip Irrigation System during the dry days. This was the first year Greg has grown sweet corn that has not been knocked down by a storm. The first watermelon harvest didn’t turn out like Greg had hoped due to the rain that started setting in but the 2nd harvest did better because of drier conditions which in turn made the watermelons taste sweeter.
Wes asked Greg if he uses drip tape under his corn, ” I don’t use drip tape under everything but I always use drip tape under my corn and my watermelons.
Sweet Corn Tip – When you are done harvesting your sweet corn and your stalks are green, mow it right then. They will decompose so much faster and better when they are green. They are harder to decompose if dried out.
Hoss Pumpkin Boss Contest
Who will win the title of “Hoss Pumpkin Boss”? Greg still thinks it is him! Only time will tell! Be sure to enter, the winner gets a $200 Hoss Gift Certificate!
- Tag @4_kids_and_a_farm and #hosspumpkinboss throughout the competition
- There’s no tentative end date (since everyone is in different zones)
- You have to use these Hoss varieties – Big Max, PrizeWinner, Atlantic Giant, or Mammoth Gold (link to seeds tagged)
- Once your pumpkin is ready – take a photo of your winner on a scale and tag us!
Can you outgrow these YouTubers? @4_kids_and_a_farm @coghillfarm @nakedhog @adlerfarms @deepsouthhomestead
Wes’ DIY Germination Chamber
Wes has created his own DIY Germination Chamber. A germination chamber is defined as “an enclosed area, where the temperature and humidity can be regulated.” The reason he built his own chamber was due to the fact of having issues growing peppers in Louisiana. After picking up a small chest freezer and a small crockpot (1/2-1 qt.) with no dial, Wes filled the crockpot with water and plugged in his thermostat. Using the 162 cell seed starting tray filled with soil and topped with perlite, Wes wrapped the seed-filled 162 trays with plastic wrap and left them to germinate. Amazed by the results, the peppers germinated in four days, while the tomatoes germinated in one day. The Carolina Reaper germinated around one week.
Greg grew several different varieties of peppers this season and has brought a few on the show for taste testing with Wes.
Gypsy Pepper doesn’t get very tall and would be a perfect container variety, both described the pepper as “fruity but with a little heat.”
Right on Red is a pimento-style pepper, perfect for stuffing and cooking on the grill with a sweet taste.
Aruba Cubanelle is packed full of flavor, perfect pepper for stuffing with mild heat.
Cinder Jalapeno is a jumbo-sized jalapeno pepper and like with most jalapenos, they bring the heat!
Hidalgo Poblano is used a lot of Mexican dishes, we use them to stuff them. One of Greg’s favorite peppers with very little heat.
Orange You Sweet is another pimento-style pepper, perfect container pepper, and extremely sweet flavor.
Roulette Heatless Habanero was bred to get all of the heat out of the pepper with a very unique flavor. A habanero without the heat.
When asking Wes what his best advice for the beginning gardener would be, Wes says ” just do it.” Plant things that are going to do well for you during your first try like okra, cucumbers, and summer squash. Easy growing is key.
A little planning is key according to Greg, you can’t plant summer squash in the winter. Wes admitted to being an “over-achiever” when he started out gardening, always getting hung up on the small things, and sometimes you just have to do it and learn from your mistakes. Trying new things is very important.
Gardening has become so important within the last year or so and we feel that people are becoming or need to become more self-sustainable. It brings families closer when they garden together.
Intercropping is known as the practice of growing two or more crops in close proximity. Wes tried this for the first time this year, he planted Okra, Peppers, Basil, and Roselle; they are planted 12″ apart. Planting Basil (in theory) helps control/repel pests. We have seen where some people will grow corn, along with runner beans.