It is amazing to me to see the old pictures of when we first started the raised beds.
Now we have some fertile growing media and are in full swing for spring harvest. The cover crops have been terminated and mowed and are getting ready for tomatoes, beans, and peppers. It is still too early to plant those, but not too early to get the space ready to go.
I got the trellis up for the sugar snaps and if the deer do not eat them we will have a fine harvest. I am using cattle panel as my trellis as it will last for many seasons. I am going to do the same when I trellis the tomatoes. I mulched with hay to keep the weeds down and the soil moist for this cool season crop
Carrots take quite some time to germinate and get started but they are coming on now and will be part of the produce boxes for the seniors in a month or two. I will start lots more later in the season.
Senior Farmer’s Market voucher season starts this week and I am hoping to add radishes to the spinach, lettuce and broccoli.
-tremendous thanks to Rebecca Miller for this awesome flyer
CLICK FOR PRINTABLE PDF –> Edible Landscape Flyer 2017 Bishop-1o67pnf
So my last post back on April 2nd showed snow on the raised beds. We had planted about 40 or so transplants to take advantage of an early warm up then put some row cover season extension over the plants for protection. Lettuce and broccoli are generally cold tolerant but the weather was in the teens for an extended period of time plus I did not have time to set my low tunnel up correctly so I was thinking we would have some loss. And we did. But not too bad.
First week of April after hard long hard freeze period
No worries. We pulled dead plants and put in new ones. That is why you have a seed start grow station at your house and you plant every two weeks. Having a dozen plants ready each week or two ensures a steady stream of produce. We had nice weather with decent rainfall and it shows.
Here is that same bed a couple weeks later.
Lettuce is interplanted with broccoli and cauliflower. We will harvest the largest heads to allow the smaller heads to get bigger as the broccoli and cauliflower grow to maturity. We have about 30 heads of lettuce going in a separate part of the farm for later on.
I need to find a few hours this week to work at the farm. The peas are coming up and if the bunnies and deer do not eat them they will need a trellis in a week or two. Targeted harvest for sugar snap peas is early June.
So, back on February 26th, I did a post on how we had started planting at the farm. I had started a ton of seedlings for various seed starting classes and they needed to get into the ground. The weather had been beautiful which was not typical for late winter around here.
Then we got some actual winter. Sam and I put row cover over the seedlings and then doubled up on it for further season extension weather protection. If it had been spinach under the cover I would have had zero worries but baby lettuce and baby broccoli do not tolerate multiple days in the teens, even under cover so we lost about 25% of the plants from the cold snap. It did not help that I did not have time to put hoops under the cover. That would have held the fabric up higher and helped the microclimate. It did help that I had planted right next to the driveway so the asphalt would soak up and release heat locally.
No worries. The best part of having your own seed starting grow station is the ability to have plants ready to go into the ground every two weeks. We had started dozens more lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower seeds. I figured it would take me hours to plant but then Sam and a bunch of her co-workers at The Southeast Ohio Regional Kitchen came out with her and we planted everything plus turned over two more beds of cover crop in an hours. Big Thanks to them!!!
We filled the whole bed and replaced any dead planting. Started more under the lights as well.
Covered them up and had some nice rain a couple days later. I will check on them this week. Cover will stay to protect for deer plus we have some cold nights still.
Speaking of cover crop the rye is going like crazy and will take off towards three and four feet tall here shortly.
(gallery pic credits: Naomi S.)