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The Season Begins

May 20, 2013
Snow peas are coming

Snow peas are coming

I wasn’t quite ready for it yet. I am not sure how it sneaked up on me. I guess I was too certain the season would start later than usual, instead of earlier. I made the first harvest and delivery of the season last week. Two weeks earlier than usual. All the dry, warm spring weather had something to do with it, along with the hoop house. Everything I harvested was growing in the hoop house.

The new packing area

The new packing area

In preparation for the first harvest, Steven and I put together a packing area in the propagation hoop house. The previous owners left behind a nice old bathtub for washing and dunking produce. Along with the tables Steven built a couple years ago and the harvest bins and scales I bought last year, I have a good start. A few more storage shelves and some shade cloth to go over the hoop house and I’ll be set for the season.

The rest of the week was filled with planting, field prep and weeding. The last round of peas went in on Tuesday (along with the trellising) and Friday. Over the weekend, we spread fertilizer (blood and feather meal for nitrogen, gypsum for sulfur) and amendments (lime to raise the pH) and did the final till so our second field is ready to plant. Then to the weeding…

Yikes! I need to pull some weeds!

Yikes! I need to pull some weeds!

I have been neglecting weeding so far, mostly because I am still not caught up on planting. Luckily, with the dry weather, the weeds haven’t been outrageous, but with a few sprinkles and irrigation, they are coming. We have discovered we have a good stand of Canada Thistle. I researched a bit, and the best I found that we can do to stay on top of it is to wear it down. Canada Thistle has a horizontal root, that sends up shoots. Even a small piece of root will send up a shoot. That horizontal root can be pretty deep, making it near impossible to get out, which is why you try to wear it down. Thistle can store a lot of energy in its root, but in the late spring and summer, the reserve is at it’s lowest point. That’s when you hit it, tilling or hoeing or pulling the plants, making it use up more energy to send up a new shoot, before it has a chance to rebuild the reserves. It can take several seasons of diligence to wear it down.

So I am off  to weed the peas. Snow peas are coming…

And winter squash are ready to plant out...

And winter squash are ready to plant out…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Geri permalink
    May 20, 2013 1:46 pm

    My mouth is watering! Geri

  2. senecal66 permalink
    May 20, 2013 9:46 pm

    hi, 3 heads of romaine, I still have some left from last week and I’m assuming now that this will be weekly, but as I said if its easier to send with Dale you don’t have to wash it although we do like to see you. love, Bonnie Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 17:17:34 +0000 To:

  3. Ingrid permalink
    May 21, 2013 9:47 am

    As a kid, my mom would send us out with sticks to “fight” the thistle. It was quite satisfying to whack heads off while pretending to be knights. Want to borrow some kids?

    • jcgarden permalink
      May 27, 2013 11:08 am

      Ingrid, I may be contacting you about those kids…

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