First corn harvest today!
Half of my first row of corn is now gone, thanks to a duck. 🙁
The first row of corn is up, and I planted the second row today. The potatoes are up, too. Instead of thinning the tatsoi, I tried transplanting every other plant to give them enough space. We’ll see how they handle it.
With the tractor running again, I was finally able to do some grooming on the driveway (I had to wait for rain, too, to loosen things up and keep the dust down). While I was using the tractor, it suddenly died. It turned out to be a buildup of deposit on the rotor in the distributor. A little sandpaper took care of it.
I forgot to mention, the bees died over the winter (probably from mites). Alden got a new nuc a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, he added a second brood box and two supers back onto the stack. We hope we can figure out how to help the bees survive the winter. We sprayed for mites last year, but apparently it wasn’t effective.
Heather planted red Pontiac potatoes in the east end of row #2 a few days ago.
I planted the first of four rows of corn today. The seeds soaked for almost a week before I got a chance to plant them.
Heather planted Jerusalem artichokes along the southeast fence line of the pasture in March. They’re about a foot tall now.
In the stories of Peter Rabbit, as of today I ally myself with Mr. McGregor.
The bunnies are escaping on a daily basis. They mowed down all of the leeks, tatsoi, peppers, tomatoes, snapdragons, a few garlics, and all of my lettuce. I’m not a happy gardener.
Lots of work in the garden today. We seeded peas and carrots. We transplanted six plugs of leeks, two Juliette tomatoes, a habanero pepper, and a Thai pepper plant, as well as six snapdragon plants. Heather transplanted a anise hyssop plant in the herb row. We laid down two more soaker hoses and watered. Things have been really dry lately for springtime. Today involved lots of weeding, cultivating soil, and raking.
I love getting early spring harvests! The overwintered kale is about done– and getting aphids, so it’s time to pull it out–but the chard is super sweet and should keep going a bit longer… hopefully long enough to tide us over until this year’s planting starts to produce. I’m optimistic about the tatsoi.
Front the incubator, we ended up getting six ducklings. Turkeys are more fragile: some never made it out of their egg, and a couple died after hatching, but two have survived.
We’re finally getting a little rain today after two very dry weeks.
Some of the duck eggs are starting to crack, and we are hearing peeping sounds. Any day now…
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.
Grant transplanted lettuce, kale, and spinach.
The gravel came yesterday, we got it all spread, and the farm stand is now in place.
Today we put down the underlayment for the farm stand pullout area. Gravel is next.
I did my first weld with our new welder: reattaching a bracket to the mower deck for the Craftsman.
I also replaced an idler pulley that had seized up and made the tractor undrivable.
On the Case tractor, I’ve been drilling out lug bolts that sheared off from trying to remove the left real wheel.
I also tried fixing up the hand throttle, but I can’t hammer or drill the pin out of the shaft, and I can’t get the shaft to turn
We applied about three yards of aged manure to the garden today. It’s still soggy out there, so we got the trailer stuck a couple times.
We’re still harvesting kale, but it looks like it’s going to start going to seed soon.
I gave a pear tree a light pruning and the grapes their usual heavy pruning.
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 found a duck to keep Hercules company and gave her to Grant for Christmas. He named her Maggie.
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.