My, was it white this morning! The temperature in our little pocket was down to 28.6°F. Everything had white hair. So it is with spring, Beautiful and lively one minute and deadly the next. That is, if you are a plant. It doesn’t help when those tending you are pushing to ever extend the season. To this point all 500+ flats of vegetables are still in houses for protection at night.
Today that may change. In fact, it has to. We are out of greenhouse space. So this morning we will pull plastic. Then the transplanting will start. Items like onions, beets, cabbage, and swiss chard can all take the cold nights we have been experiencing.
If there is enough time perhaps some tomato plants will be put in. We will place a low tunnel over them so that they continue to grow as rapidly as possible. The goal is tomatoes before the fourth of July. Off to the field we go.
Even though it has frosted the past two nights the plants in the houses are growing ever bigger. I had expected to spread lime last week, but now it is certain none will be available until next week. So we will have to wait. I did have some bags and they have been spread on a quarter acre piece.
There are over 100 flats of everything from beets to tomatoes that are ready for the field. It appears the next few days will be good so I expect plastic can be pulled and some of the cold hardy items can be planted. The Tomatoes need to be in a house. Perhaps one can be erected this week. The goal is to have tomatoes ready before the fourth of July.
Enough corn for 2/3 of an acre is ready to plant. I think it will be put in and clear plastic will be laid over it. Also another planting of corn will be made this week under plastic. We shall see what success can be had this year for early corn.
The shortage of lime really has brought the majority of the field work to a halt. Thankfully the greenhouses help a great deal to keep movement even when outdoor activity has to be limited.
Yesterday it hit 74 degrees here. Not unlike an Erie Co. spring, it was sunny, it was cloudy, it was calm, it was breezy, it rained, and then it started all over again. I love it!
Mother nature is moving fast this year. Just two weeks ago the grass was still brown. None of the the apple buds were out. Our crocuses had still not bloomed. What a difference two weeks makes. The apples are already open cluster in some cases. If conditions remain the same disaster could be, this years byword, once again. I do not believe it will be the case though. It seems the wild fluctuations in the temperatures are having a moderating effect.
The green house plants are screaming. Let me out! Just as most years go, I do not have all of the field cultural necessities finished. When the D21’s fuel pump went it made life a little more interesting. So as usual, progress will be one step at a time. If lime can be applied by early next week plants will be in the ground before it is over. Tunnels will be erected to protect them; all without having to hold them back.
Next week I will be picking asparagus already. Strawberry and raspberry plants will be arriving. Planting of many direct seeded items will be in full swing. We’re all going to be eating well this season.
This morning Everything was white. The temperature here was 32. As the sun is coming up I can tell today will be one beautiful day. I expect it will finally be dry enough to pull some plastic.
Some of the tomatoes in the greenhouse are desperate to be in the field. Perhaps today can be a major step in getting them moving that way.
Every day the house gets closer to being filled with plants. The artichokes are almost 6 inches tall now. It will be neat to see how they do this summer.
We thought we had all of the tractors ready for hard work this spring only to find out the D21 has a bad injection pump. Hopefully it will be repaired and put back together this week. Having one less tractor is a big handicap.
In two weeks we are getting our new raspberry and strawberry plants. I hope to have the large greenhouse up by then. We have been have a problem getting the aluminum fixturing pieces to hold the plastic in place. We needed the dies released for our usage, but the elderly gentleman we purchased them from had yet to fax the release on Friday. He did call yesterday saying it has been done now. We shall see today. It will take two weeks to get the extrusions from the time of order. It will be cutting things pretty close. I am sure we will get it done though.
It has been a long time since I posted anything. Time has been spent planting a large number of items. Tomatoes are ready for the field. Peas are up and the second planting has been made. Cold resistant corn has been planted outside and in the greenhouse. The four varieties in the house are already up. Cabbage and other cole crops are waiting for the weather to stabilize so they can be put out to harden before we get into the field with them. Everyday more items are being planted.
The largest problem with this time of year is determining when the conditions will be consistent enough to put crops into the field. I do expect though to have something in the field by this time next week. The temperature last night dipped to 31 degrees. So we are still in an iffy time of year.
Apples are out with 1″ of new growth. They have been quick to get going this year. I hope this does not mean there is a grave danger of crop destruction again this year. Actually apples can withstand 20 degrees currently with the bud cluster being so tight, but as the days go on the resistance to cold will diminish to the point where 28 degrees will cause damage. So if there is going to be cold now is the time for it, not in late May like last year. So far it looks like it will be a great year.