Saturday, April 5, 2008

Talk about the weather

The weather forecast caught me a little off gaurd this week. I was expecting that we would be dry again on Friday. Instead we had a steady rain for a good part of the AM. Missed my field prep. Bummer. The extended forecast is'nt looking too promising either. Extended series of storms passing hrough every 36 hours for the next several days and cooler, wetter condidtions expected through at least the next two weeks.

An intersting side note here. The last week of March was the coldest on record since the 1940's! The upper level atmospheric condidtions have been much cooler than normal this spring due to La Nina. In fact the entire northern hemisphere has experienced cooler temps than normal. I'm betting it's going to continue for a bit longer.

So how does that affect us? Well, first off the ground temprature is stuck in the mid 40's (lower than normal) That simply affects how things will grow. There is less microbe activity in the soil at those temps so plants in the ground tend to just sit there. This makes them less healthy thus more vunerable to disease and pest pressure. The ground is still too wet to work in many places. That delays us getting crops in the ground thus setting our schedule back a bit. All in all not too big of a problem really. I take our flukey weather as the new norm.

Fortunately we did get some ground work done back in February as I have mentioned here several times before. It's been a blessing to have the space to put things out. Despite the slow growth, at least we do have things in the ground and they appear to be doing just fine. They'll pop when the temps do rise.

We are having to get creative with space needs in the greenhouses. There are flats everywhere! We continue to forge ahead with our planting schedule despite the fact that we are about to run out of bed space. Yesterday we hand raked five 100 ft beds and direct sowed two beds of carrots, two of beets and another of Asian salad mix. That was all the space we had. There are hundreds of flats that need space. Hopefully today I can eek out a few more beds even though condidtions are not quite prime. The Allis with some row markers will earn it's keep today.

Thank goodness for greenhouse's. without them we'd be sunk right now. The greens that are coming out of there are fabulous. The nicest I can remember. Radishes are full on and gorgeous. Shelling peas have just found the trellis and are going nuts! It looks awesome. Overwintered onions are beautiful and proud. Some great chervil also! Soon we'll be transplanting tomatoes into there. It's a whole other world. I just love being in there this time of year when it's all weird outside. Step into the greenhouse and it's all warm and calming. Odiferous too. It just smells.... green, you know?

All right. I'll hold it there. Shine on.

John

2 comments:

Katie (Oakhill Organics) said...

we too were caught off guard on friday. darn the forecasters! i like your attitude about the weather. as baby farmers, we're still learning how to roll with the punches. we're very aware that our emotions have absolutely no affect on the weather, but .......

katie again said...

p.s. you really should come to farmer to farmer at breitenbush next year. come and meet in the flesh: us, the blue fox folks, and the groundworks folks! wouldn't that be fun?