We're finishing up the major transplanting jobs this week. We'll be able to wrap up tomatoes and squash this week, and finish the smaller jobs next week. Of course, there's some transplanting that occurs all season long, but not as much as what happens in the spring.
Among the favorite activities of the early summer is putting out three acres of tomato trellises. A steel post is driven in every 10 feet and a wire is run along the top. A string is then tied to this wire and to the base of the tomato plant.
Here's a photo of some trellised tomatoes in our high tunnel. Our field trellises will look similar.
|Tomatoes in the high tunnel|
Lots of thinning and weeding this time of year keeps us busy in addition to planting. The spring carrots have been thinned; always a big job, but one that can be done in the rain like transplanting.
Now that the sun has come out and the fields are starting to dry up a little we can concentrate on some cultivation. We currently have four cultivating tractors: a Farmall 200 and a AV, an Allis Chalmers "G", and a Ford 1710. I also purchased a John Deere 850 this past winter to use between the beds of tomatoes.
The "G" is set up for cultivating small seeded crops like lettuce, carrots and onions. The AV is a high clearance offset Farmall that is used primarily for plastic. The Farmall 200 is used for all kinds of cultivation projects, from two rows, to three rows, to one row, to plastic. Finally, the Ford is used primarily for killing the weeds along the rows of plastic.
The Ford is the newest and most modern of the cultivating tractors. It has power steering, three-point hitch and a canopy which is great on a broiling hot day. It's also a versatile tractor as it's out laying plastic mulch right now. The John Deere 850 is going to be used to cultivate the wide rows between the tomatoes; we plant our trellised tomatoes on eight-foot beds instead of our usual six-foot beds so we have more room to work around them. We use a three-point hitch cultivator we designed and built here on the farm. What we found at local dealers were what I considered over priced and not built rugged enough to withstand our rocky field conditions.
I'll get some photos of these tractors in action in the coming weeks, and I'll post them once we start the daily cultivation regime.
Until next week, Brian.