Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cold Spring Start

The sun is out today and it looks like we will be having above freezing nighttime temperatures for awhile. A welcome relief here as we are itching to begin transplanting in the field in earnest. The greenhouse and cold frame are full, and we need to get these plants into the ground.

cabbage, broccoli and more
While we have had some minor germination problems, we are very happy with the greenhouse plants this spring. We make our own potting soil that is 50% compost. We believe that the plants should get their food out of this mix, just as they will be fed by the soil once they are in the field. The color of the plants is a good indication of how well they are doing, and right now they look vibrant and beautiful.

growing chard
To date in the field we have planted 1,200 row feet each of peas, carrots, beets and onions, 600 row feet of spinach, and 1,600 of potatoes. All this while the soil is still a bit cooler than we want. The graph below shows that we have yet to reach the comfort zone of 50-60 deg F. What is in the ground now can handle it, but we do not want to put the cabbage and broccoli out yet as chilling the young plants can be detrimental.

planting potatoes
Meanwhile the chickens seem quite happy. Our 53 hens (thought we only bought 50!?) are laying over 40 eggs per day. They were recently moved out near the orchard and are enjoying the spring grass coming up, and the bugs in the wood mulch at the base of the trees. It is nice to have some E-I-E-I-O on the farm.


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