What a crazy spring with all of its highs and lows. Wednesday, while mulching with hay and soybean straw between the onion and pea rows, it was a gorgeous sunny - not too hot - and calm day. Perfect weather for tucking hay between our tight spaced rows to inhibit weed growth among the young onions. Today – what a contrast – cloudy and looking like rain that never came - warm but so windy. We keep checking all the rows of mulch we put down yesterday praying it doesn’t blow away. We could really use some rain but the 30% chance forecast has not managed to produce any drops much less the downpour we were hoping for. All the new seeds, seedlings and the new grape vines could really use a drink of natural rainwater to give them the boost they need to take off.
|Black Plastic Mulch weed control|
|Cutting very large holes to plant through.|
|Frontenac Vines ready to plant|
As in past years, we will be growing quite a few veggies and our grape vines in black plastic mulch. When we first started the
CSA we did the whole process by hand! Now we have a Ford 3000 tractor and mulch layer attachment which Robin uses to lay rows of mulch ready for planting with drip irrigation tape laid beneath it. We plant our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and quite a few other transplants through the mulch for weed control. We also purchased a Hatfield transplanter – a nifty hand tool operated by one person that cuts a square hole in the plastic mulch, another person drops the plant plug down the shoot and another adds a dollop of water. We all cover each plan with a couple good handfuls of soil. This simple tool really speeds up our planting.
This year, we have converted our southeast most field (Abundance) to our new vineyard. The grape vines we are planting are: Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Marquette, Sabrevois, Prairie Star and
|Filling flats with potting mix to start seeds.|
|Hand planting each vine.|