Thursday, July 30, 2009

updates and summer rain woes

I’m getting quite used to be in the middle of something and suddenly get rained on. I’ve been dry and wet several times each day for weeks now. Its getting a bit tiresome.

Its getting to be problematic for the garden too. The cooler temperatures have really set the sweet potatoes, eggplant and peppers back. There are almost always peppers by now - and there is no sign of anything close. At least tomatoes are starting to ripen now, and there is of course tons of lettuce, kales, chards etc.

The wind has wreaked havoc with our row covers that we put over all the brassicas (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, broccoli, kale). Its been next to impossible to keep it intact and covering the plants - so we’ll have to wait and see if we have cabbage worm damage!

The June bearing strawberries are finished now and we have mowed them down so they are ready to be revitalized with compost and weeded to help the berries prepare for a strong fruit set next year. The “day-neutral” berries (“everbearing”) are setting berries now for their second crop, which so far looks good.

All of the wheat straw we put down last month has meant for less than usual weeding - which has been great! But now with all this rain, all the wheat left in the straw has sprouted - so it looks like there is grass everywhere! Its a nice look I think - and a great cover crop to build soil structure - so of course we’ll leave it. But, we do need to pull it all from around the eggplants, peppers and tomatoes so that we can more easily harvest the fruits.

Unfortunately, all the areas where we didn’t get the straw spreading finished (the Hummingbird garden and herbs) are on the verge of being totally lost to weeds. If it ever dries out a bit out there, that will be a priority.

Beginning of August is when we usually begin planning in the greenhouse for our late fall harvest. So I hope to get some of that seed sowing done this week. Its always a bit of guess work - we need to sow early enough so that the day length is still long enough, but if we sow too early, the heat will make the lettuce and spinach bolt. (Not that we’ve had to worry about heat this year at all though!)

More soon as we work our way through the rain and weeds to capture the summer bounty!

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