Since the plant sale ended, we’ve been busy planting, seeding, irrigating, and weeding. This past week, we planted bok choy, lettuce, beets, scallions, spinach, summer squash, cucumbers, basil, and radicchio. Our biggest accomplishment, however, was planting all of our tomatillos and field tomatoes! Each bed of tomatoes is covered in black plastic, which helps to suppress weeds and keep the soil warm and moist. They look fantastic!
The crew and I have seeded beans, carrots, radishes, and hakurei turnips directly into the fields. We’ve also seeded our fall plantings of cabbage, collards, chard, and kale (already?!) in the greenhouse, as well as a variety of mini brocoli that we are trying for the first time this year. Mini broccoli is known to do well in the heat of the summer months while regular broccoli prefers cooler weather in the early summer and fall.
The soil is especially dry at the farm so we’ve been setting up sprinklers and drip tape (similar to soaker hoses) on just about everything. It’s common practice to wait to plant or seed things until just before we expect rain, but since there hasn’t been a significant amount of rainfall since the 14th, we’ve had to water the plants ourselves. These warm, sunny days are absolutely wonderful (especially after such a cold and cloudy April), but there’s been a drastic decline in precipitation this month. April’s total rainfall was 12.7 inches while May’s was only 5 inches! Thankfully, Stearns is equipped with plenty of spigots throughout the fields that allow for easy watering where it’s needed.
This is also the time to get ahead of the weeds as they begin to grow quickly on these warmer, humid days. We’ve been spending time in the onions, peas, beets, lettuce, radishes and chard. This means a combination of hand weeding and using hoes. Hoes are good to use on small weeds that are just beginning to germinate on the surface of the soil. It’s the best way to manage weeds without putting too much strain on the body.
Hope to see some of you soon. Whether you need to complete your work hours or have a question about pick up, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,