A few weeks back I rototilled the field and applied the amendments recommended by my soil test. I added a chicken-manure based pelleted fertilizer and layed out the drip irrigation. Then on April 30th I transplanted approximately 400 tomatoes. Each row starts and ends with a marigold plant and I interplanted borage flowers in some of the tomato rows.
I tried to be proactive and start weeding the tomatoes while the weeds were itty bitty (thread stage) but it has been raining, so its too muddy for me to actually walk out into the field … seriously some parts are like quicksand, I have almost lost my boot several times. From my view at the edge field I can see the tomatoes are growing well even with all the rain and a wet field that is not draining well.
Since I transplanted the tomatoes we have not had a long enough stretch for the field to actually dry out. Last week the field was getting close so I put on my boots and grabbed my wheel hoe, I headed out to the future popcorn beds to quickly remove the weeds (mainly grass) that had emerged since I had rototilled but the wheel hoe kept getting stuck cause the soil was still too wet. So I switch to a long handled hoe which took longer but I got the beds ready. The following day I planted the popcorn, right before a series of rainstorms were expected. It took a little longer because the soil conditions were not ideal for the seeder.
Well a lot of rain fell over the course of a few days and since the field doesn’t drain well there has been some standing water which is not ideal as the seeds can easily rot. I’m still waiting to see if the popcorn germinates. Most likely I will have to replant at least partially but before I can do that the field needs to dry out. We have a forecast of sunny days, so of course I am optimist. In the meantime I’m watching the weeds grow and catching up on my farm paperwork.
1 thought on “Working in the Field”
I returned to the Great Lakes after 35 years hopping about gardening in California’s Bay Area. There is a bit of climate shock at the return. It rains, even after mid-April! And my frost free date is June 1st! But we get long days all summer to make up for it. Don’t even get me started about the bugs, though.