Sunday, March 20, 2011

Potting On

Potting on has begun. This is the process where we take the small seedlings from the cell trays they were propagated in and pot them up into a larger container so they have enough room to grow and establish a vigorous root system. Not everything has to be potted up, some things like lettuce for example get transplanted right into the field from the tray. Yesterday we were working on Artichokes and will be again today. Kale will be next and then followed by anything that has at least one set of true leaves. Potting on buys us some time in a year like this when it's cold and wet and a bit harsh for transplants yet. Despite being cold, we have a hard time working the fields when it's as wet as it's been (ie: twice as wet as normal) We almost had a window this week until it rained a half inch the night before last. Back to square one. The fields are as wet now as I have ever seen at any time. Although potting up has it's benefits, there's a downside too and that's space. Every plug tray turns into at least three flats of 4" pots. If the greenhouse is already full of flats and you're tripling the volume where does it all go? You cant just put flats on the ground because the roots will grow right through the trays and also the slugs will get you, plus you want the plants elevated for the best light and maximum airflow. So we have benches built in the greenhouses, lots of benches. Basically we make benches out of just about anything we can. Eventually we run out of space and things have to go in the ground somewhere.

Wire worm control: Recently, we planted a row of potatoes in one of our greenhouse beds. Yesterday I did a ilittle sneek peek to see what was happening underground. Not much, the spuds were just starting to sprout but they are just filled with wire worms. Every one I pulled out had three or more worms sticking out of them. I don't know what to do. Let em go as a trap crop and just chuck em worm and all? Pull them out now and plant something else? I'm open to suggestions here folks, Your guess is as good as mine but I'm leaning torwards option two.

We also got the layout done on our new fencing project yesterday. Now I can put in the corner post's in and start banging in t stakes. The greenhouse is also coming along albeit slowly but it's so wet after all the rain it's easier to let it set for a few days before we get back in there. The clock is ticking. I'm going to have to hurry if I'm to get beds ready for tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes, they are up in the flats and just thinking about setting true leaves. We'll be potting those on shortly as well.

I was able to beat the rain on Friday and run the rotovator through a large portion of the new field. I had plowed this field back in the fall. I tried discing it at first but got frustrated that it was going too slow and switched over to the tiller which was quick and effective. This is the first of many passes with the tractor. I would like to say this seems to be the way to go when breaking new ground. Plow in the fall and hit it with the tiller in the spring. It's fast and not as hard on the tiller as going directly into the tough sod.

We have plant starts for sell now and will be having our annual plant sale/open house in April. We'll check the weather before setting the date but most likely the third Saturday. Market is just 7 weeks away!

Keep well,

John

1 comment:

Ian said...

7 weeks, I hope it gets warmer. We are resorting to row covers next week. We are using a heaver weave,so hopefully the wind does not desroy them. Seedlings and transplants are just sitting there. Looks like some showers on mon, but the rest of the week will be dry and WARMER.
Ian