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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Wet Soils

Snow peas on their pea fence

We have been busy getting the last of the melons and winter squash seedlings in the ground and harvesting late spring crops. With the last of the seedlings in the ground we are now done with our big seedling plantings. We will continue to do direct seeding of things like green beans, beets, cilantro, turnips, arugula, carrots, dill, potatoes, etc.. In August we will start in on the fall planting schedule so we can have things to harvest through November/December.

It has not been easy getting things in the ground because it has been raining a lot this past week. We avoid working in the soil when it is wet because working wet soil does bad things to the soil structure leading to compaction and hard pan which leads to poor drainage. But when the seedling have to go in, they have to go in and sometimes you have to work in wetter than you'd like soil. And wet soil pretty much cancels out direct seeding because one cannot rake a wet seed bed smooth and the seeder does not work well at all when it gets clogged with mud.

Wet soil does make it easy to pull big weeds out roots and all and you can always put down compost on beds as long as it is not raining (like it is right now).

Other than planting we have begun to get into the swing of summer daily harvesting. Right now zucchinis, cucumbers and snow peas are in need of picking every day (though rain makes this difficult for things not in hoophouses such as the snow peas. picking wet plants is a great way to spread disease all over your snow pea plants). Soon there will be tomatoes, peppers, green beans and eggplant to be picked daily.

As the daily harvesting moves in we have less and less to do with the harvesting of greens like lettuce, spinach and spring mix which do not need to be done daily but take a lot more time cleaning and packing when they are harvested.

So that's what we have been up to as of late-picking, planting and weeding. Oh yeah and marketing.

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