Sunday, April 10, 2011

Planting Update

Finally we got a break in the weather.  Last year I had much of the early crops planted by the end of March/beginning of April.  I prefer to direct seed when possible.  The plants that grow are stronger and they don't suffer transplant shock so they're not slowed down.  But, the weather did not cooperate this year - frozen ground can't be worked and wet soil will only clump up if worked which is difficult for seeds to emerge from.  So Sheryl and I have been seeding flat after flat.  We have celery, celeriac, kohlrabi, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, basil, lots of flowers, etc. in flats in the small barn and inside the house.  We're getting close to capacity.  We also have nursery beds of brassicas in the small hoop - chois, kales, chards, collards, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouting broccoli, early cabbages, etc.  The cold frames are full of onions and leeks.  The seedlings are starting to take over.

But, as far as I know, you can't transplant peas (on a large scale) or onion sets, or favas, etc.  So I've been a bit worried about the weather.  Now for anyone that knows me, this is not new.  I spend a lot of time thinking about the condition of the soil - is it too wet, is it too dry, is it healthy - you get the picture.  And even more time thinking about whether the plants will grow in time to meet their expected distribution date.  Somehow, it always works out.  It may not be the exact plan I had in mind but it works out. 

But, I digress.  The news is that we planted over 1200' of onions, 1400' of fava beans, 900' of snow, sugar and pod peas, and some garbanzo beans this weekend.  It's a great feeling.  The ground was still too wet to pull out the tractor but we were able to hand till strips in the east garden along with the higher parts of the front garden to get it done.  We have carrots and some beets in the hoops which may make it for the spring season but there's enough to carry over for early summer.  So, we're back on schedule.  Next up - lettuces, transplanting of the brassicas, planting nursery beds of summer squash and melons in the hoops and transplanting peppers, eggplant and tomatoes in the hoops.  We'll also be working on the new land down the street - plowing, discing, tilling, etc. to get it whipped into shape as quickly as possible.

Time is running out to do the taxes.

The Sandhill Cranes are flying over daily.  We are seeing more beetles and earth worms.  The frogs are creating quite a symphony.  I noticed a large ant in the soil today.  I checked on the beehives and I think they made it through the winter (Judy and Randy will need to come out to really check as they're their bees).  Yes, the earth is yawning and is ready to jump out of bed. 

Until next time.  Take good care.  Try not to get sunburned.  Enjoy spring as you jump around.