Crop Bed Preparation

It’s March 10, 2018 and it’s time to start growing!

Here we are pulling off the black covering that was holding back weeds and warming up the soil for planting. Inside we have tomatoes and peppers growing for transplants. We did a wide variety of vegetable starts last year but found many plants grown by seed from the start did better such as beans, squash and cucumber. We usually have a snow storm around Mothers Day that kills everything so in the past we’ve waited to plant shortening our growing season. In order to get a head start we will be building low tunnels with Agribon to protect seedlings if there is any adverse weather in the spring.

We will be using the same drip irrigation and weed fabric from last year as well as seed we still had from the previous year’s purchase. I also collected a lot of seed from last years crop I will use. This will save us money after having made some large investments the previous 2 years.

Now that we have everything uncovered we will let the ground rest a week. Then the real work starts!

Fruit Tree Freeze

Pear flowers

The pear tree blossoms are just starting to open and the apple trees are full of unopened buds. Unfortunately they are predicting 12-15 inches of snow over the next two days and the blooms are at risk! If it gets too cold they will freeze and if there is a lot of snow, the weight will break the buds off. As long as the buds are closed they have a great shot of surviving.

Last year the trees were in full bloom when 18 inches of snow fell. Every flower died leaving us with no fruit. Even if the buds survive this time, it’s been known to snow in May.

You can buy large covers for trees to protect them in freezing conditions. If we lose all the blossoms this year I may very well consider them for next year!

Let’s hope for the best!

Spring Has Sprung!

Perennial Bed

Yikes! It’s a perennial explosion! The planting beds are booming with perennials and of course weeds. How do you find the time with so many beds and the plants growing at an alarming rate?

I have a couple tricks. I start at one end and slowly work my way around to the other end. Even if I have to stop, I’ll just pick up where I left off when I can. Having a job, it can sometimes take days to complete, but it always eventually gets done. I don’t get really technical with my technique. I just pull up the weeds as fast as possible, even if I leave a few roots, and then I drop them in piles back on top of the soil. No throwing out weeds in the garbage, and no need to purchase store bought mulch. The pile of yanked up weeds will act like a mulch that will smother upcoming weeds underneath. It also adds more organic matter to the soil. Most of my weeds are grass so it really makes a great mulch.