This Week on the Farm 5/5
It was a busy week here on the farm. All of the beautiful sunshine made us happy and able to get out into the fields to do some of the work we had wanted to do several weeks ago. On Monday we planted around 500 plugs of romaine lettuce in the high tunnel. Since the sides are closed at night when it is cool, or during rain storms, we had to install an irrigation system to keep everything watered.
We decided to install a drip irrigation system. On the west end of the high tunnel the water comes in on the main line and the pressure is reduced to around 10 psi. Shut off valves allow us to pick and choose where we want to water. We decided three drip tapes spaced 16 inches apart in each of the two beds would be enough to slowly irrigate all of the lettuce that will be grown under the high tunnel.
On Monday, we also spent time plowing three more fields to get them ready for this spring. Don tried to teach me how to drive the tractor so I could disc the field to level all of the furrows, but the soil was too wet and we ended up getting stuck. Tyler had to pull us out with his tractor.
We also weeded some of the strawberries and cleared out any of the perennial flowers that had been planted in the gardens last year. We moved the plants into Kay’s flower beds so that anything in our gardens is edible.
Monday was also fertilizing day. We used our fish fertilizer to fertilize all of our plugs in the greenhouse. Since it was sunny and they had just been fed, the plants seemed to grow like gangbusters. In addition to fertilizing stuff in the greenhouses, we used Chickity Doo Doo to fertilize the garlic again. We hadn’t fertilized the garlic in awhile, and it the tips were started to yellow a little bit, by Wednesday they had greened right back up.
Tuesday was cool and windy. Since all of our greenhouse space was full and we still have plants to seed, we decided to move anything in the hoop-house extension into the high tunnel. With over fifty trays to move, we decided motorized transportation would be easiest, so we hooked up the flatbed trailer to the ATV to move all of the onions and cole crops.
By moving everything out we could rearrange things in the greenhouses, and this freed up a lot of space to start our melon, watermelon, summer squash, and zucchini seeds. We also planted several trays of flowers to brighten up the edges of the gardens.
Wednesday we cut 220 pounds of potatoes and planted them using our potato planter. As you might recall, our potato planter is circa 1920. Originally it used fingers to grab the potato pieces from the hopper and release them down a chute to be covered by the rear discs. This finger mechanism tended to mash the potatoes which thought might lead to exposed areas for disease to enter, so we opted for removing the fingers and tossing the potatoes down the chute by hand. To see a video of the process check out our facebook page here.
Thursday, Don and Tyler planted four rows of leeks by hand. It was a painstakingly slow process that they are glad is over. It has been a long week already, and we have lots left to do!