The tatsoi has sprouted nicely, the orach pretty well, and the mizuna, lettuce, and cutting greens sparsely. Keeping the soil surface moist has been a challenge this week due to extremely high winds (strong east winds blew the farm stand over yesterday) and very low humidity.
I finished installing the garden irrigation system today. We can run two soaker hoses on each of the six garden rows.
This evening we planted tatsoi, muzuna, and orach in row 5, and little gem lettuce and cutting mix in row 6 (3×3 patches about 6 feet in from the east end). The seeds are so tiny, they remind me of having “faith as a grain of mustard seed.” It’s hard to believe that these ones will grow into food for the dinner table.
I pruned the plum tree today. I removed suckers and headed back vigorous growth but didn’t remove any large stuff. I’m starting to develop some growth down low that will hopefully become productive someday.
Last year we didn’t get many plums. It could have been due to the aggressive pruning or the every-other-year tendency of fruit trees.
I read up some more on pruning. Winter (dormant) pruning spurs vigorous growth because the energy stored in the roots is concentrated into fewer branches when spring comes. Summer pruning slows growth because it reduces the amount of energy-producing leaves. So, I probably need to do less winter pruning and more summer pruning on the plum tree.
I spread more sulphur on the garden a couple weeks ago to lower the pH further. A couple days ago, I lightly pruned the young fruit trees. This weekend, an ice storm encased everything in up to an inch of ice. Our kale still looks like it will survive, though.
I sprayed copper fungicide on the peach, nectarine, and peach-plum trees a couple weeks ago and again today. I’m hoping it prevents peach leaf curl. This year, those trees all had to grow a second set of leaves after the first set curled up and died off.
We picked our first ounce of beans today. 😉 The beans that were barely alive are now looking quite healthy and should produce a good crop. The first cucumber and pepper should be ready this week. My peas are almost done for the season. They weren’t nearly as productive as last year but still provided some good table fare. The chard and kale continue to produce like gangbusters.
Our neighbors’ field was cut and bailed over the past week. They generously gave us some bales for our sheep.
Our other neighbors have us three probably-fertilized turkey eggs, and one of our chickens is broody, so we’re letting her sit on them. It’ll be a couple more weeks before we find out if they hatch.
We transplanted a bell pepper plant and basil today. The pepper plant is larger than the one we transplanted way back in early May. I think we really need to be more patient with planting. Things that are planted too early languish and get ravished by bugs. Now that the soil has warmed up, things are finally taking off: corn, bean, beet, tomato, cucumber, and squash plants are all looking fairly healthy.
On the other hand, I wonder, if we fix the pH problem, will plants do better earlier in the season?
Lastly, today we transplanted an oak tree we got from our friends.
I seeded some carrots and spinach along the center of my row. The peas have been giving us a sparse harvest, and the beans are barely surviving, let alone growing. On the other hand, we’re harvesting plenty of chard and kale.