Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's New At The Farm? 6/17/09

The rain has stopped and the sun is out and all is well. After over three inches of rain in the past week, we're all set with irrigation for a while. Now we can concentrate on some other things; like taking care of everything we've planted. We've about finished planting, at least the bulk of it. Here on the farm we don't really get done with planting until October then start again in January so we're usually planting something somewhere at any given time.

Last week we planted squash and pumpkins; trails, workshop and some stockseed increases. This week we'll finish transplanting some of the smaller crops like some growout cucumbers, one small increase and the globe artichokes. We transplanted leeks on Monday this week and boy was it wet!

Jeff's readying the cultivating equipment for as soon as it's dry enough we'll hammer those weeds. Weeds don't stop growing when it's raining. We need a warm dry day with some wind to have the most killing success on weeds. Weeding in the rain is about pointless; the weeds reroot as soon as they're hoed but it does set them back a day or two.

The first hatchlings of robins and killdeer are gone so if they chose to have a second clutch this will be the time. One robin pair made a nest in the Reigi weeder so we couldn't use that when we wanted to. Another one nested in a pile of pallets; when the pallets were moved the nest fell out. Someone moved the nest to the snow plow and she's trying to sit on it. I think I'll move it to someplace she won't feel quite so threatened.

It's always been here at the farm, that we find and flag killdeer nests so no one runs over them. When I first started here I found it very hard if not impossible to find a nest. Now, after much searching throughout the years, they are relatively easy to find. If I watch the bird and see where she's trying to lead me away from I can usually spot the nest. If she's really upset and lets me know it, I know I'm really close. A little hard searching and I usually can find the nest in question. The hatchlings leave the nest immediately after hatching so working around the nest is a minor inconvenience.

Lots of turtles around now; big female snappers looking to lay their eggs. Janika and Rob saw one over the weekend, someone had run it over, that "its shell must have been two feet long". I've seen several large ones on the side of the road but very few that were dead. They looked pretty ugly though.

Along with lots of turtles comes lots of snakes. I went fishing last week and there are always snakes under the boat. We counted five under the boat; four garter snakes and one milk adder. We got them all out, or at least we thought. Once we had launched a small adder came out from underneath the seat. We couldn't coax him out where we could get a hold of him so he went fishing with us; staying up under the seat the whole time. What a story he must have had for his buddies!

Until next week, enjoy the weather.



Rich said...

I've noticed that your blog entries generally appear in blocks of three or more posted at the same time, many weeks after the date of the first posting. For example, weeks 6/3, 6/10, and 6/17 were all posted within three minutes of each other on 6/16. Five weeks of entries were posted on 5/26. This is fairly consistent. Not complaining, but it just seems a bit odd - and makes it a bit difficult to follow along - also means the reader has a short novel to read once every month or so instead of nice little articles once a week. Is this intentional?

Michael said...


Can you help me find out which seeds I can start into seedlings and which strictly have to be planted as seeds if any? We did lots of different types as straight seeds into the soil. Some have rocketed, some are struggling.

Is there an "Ask Johnny?" section or can you point me in the right direction?


the webmaster at Johnny's Selected Seeds said...

Hi Rich,

You're right. It's because I get swamped. I'm sorry to be a bottleneck - I'm trying to get better about it. :)

the webmaster at Johnny's Selected Seeds said...

Hi Michael,

I passed your question on to Ben in our call center. He has some helpful suggestions:

The best place to start is the chart on pg 4 in the catalog (or virtual catalog here: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/Catalog/OLCatalog08.html). The bottom section of the chart shows vegetables that typically are grown from transplants.

Assuming the crop is one that is able to recover from the transplant shock without ill effects, there are several reasons to begin your garden with transplants including:

1) The crop matures slowly and the frost-free season in your area is short.

2) The final spacing of the crop is far apart, and managing its growth for the first 6 to 8 weeks in the greenhouse or cold frame is much easier than cultivating a large area of garden.

3) Insect predations on the emerging crop are so severe as to greatly hamper its early growth in the garden (typically cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower).

4) Transplants minimize the time the crop is actually taking up space in the garden, so more than one crop per year can be grown in the same space.

5) And of course if you don’t have a greenhouse, you can purchase the seedlings at a farmers’ market or garden center and create an “instant garden”…..

Hope this helps, Benjamin W