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Monday, June 04, 2007

Oh That Weather!

The weather has been a bit cruel. For the pas 3 days rain has been predicted and, other than .25 inches on Saturday afternoon, we have gotten squat while all around us copious amounts of rain have fallen.

We do run drip irrigation and keep most crops under cover when it gets hot and dry and this does keep a lot of moisture in the ground but there is no replacement for a good rain.

Now, that said, if I have to choose between flooding rain or drought conditions I will take drought over too much rain anytime. When it rains too much there is not much that can be done. We can't plant, we can weed and in many cases harvesting is out. If the rains are so heavy and persistent that flooding occurs that will pretty much destroy a crop for he season and possibly a field for years.

With drought as long as you have a good amount of organic matter in your soil and a water source such as a well for irrigation and watering animals you will be alright. As I said, irrigation is no substitute for regular rains but it does keep crops growing. We use a drip system developed in Israel for desert farming. This system uses about 98% less water than overhead sprinkler systems and puts the water exactly where you want it. And this is the only system that can be used with synthetic mulches.

Because it did not rain yesterday we were able to get in about 3/4 of the nightshades (maters, peppers and eggplant). This is one of our bigger jobs. I believe we had around 1000 plants to get in the ground (now about 250) and there is a lot of prep as all of these crops have to have mulch and irrigation put down before anything can be planted. So for the past week we have been prepping beds in the early mornings and evenings (it's been too hot to do such work mid day).

To add to our weather problems we are getting cold conditions that could negatively effect the peppers and tomatoes. We have pushed back our planting of these crops into June to avoid exposing them to temps in the 40's and this year we are getting such temps the first week of June. Oh well, what can you do?

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