Planting, roguing, thinning, watering, and pigs

This week we got all the frost sensitive seed crops into the ground: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, and some more flowers.

Seed crops planted on the same date go into the same beds. This lets us prepare the beds  at the same time and doesn’t leave unused area to grow weeds. We alternate blocks of Solanaceaes (tomatoes and peppers), beans, and flowers to prevent cross pollination between different varieties. Growing in blocks (rather than long rows) also increases the likelihood of pollination within the same variety.

Warm season annuals are the second big seed crop planting on the farm. Frost hardy crops went in a month ago and are now well established.

I walk the Mizuna patch daily, pulling out early bolters and any less than vigourous plants.

Poppies are also coming along. The bottom row is the density these guys were seeded. The top row has been thinned. Growing your own seed means you can afford heavy seeding since your closets are full of seed.

The poppies and the mizuna enjoyed the drip tape during the previous week’s heat wave.  And speaking of hot and dry …

This week, we irrigated garlic for the first time in my ten years of garlic growing.  Normally, a good mulch keeps the garlic nice and moist. This year though, as we pulled weeds from the straw, the dry soil told me the garlic had depleted the soil moisture. With the garlic already growing faster than usual in the spring heat, I was afraid to stunt the plants by keeping them from drinking.

Of course, the morning after we watered these alliums, the rain came down to our heart’s content. But would it have, if we hadn’t moved sprinklers onto these plants and irrigated for three hours?

And the real big news this week is the arrival of our seasonal guests.

These four brothers arrived on Thursday. They seem to have made the transition here quite smoothly. Now,  they wait for any rogued mizuna plants!

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