Three weeks ago I weeded, shaped, and fertilized the strawberry beds. I also secured an irrigation hose through the middle of each one then covered them with a thick layer of straw mulch. So, naturally, when the strawberry plants arrived on Thursday I thought that planting would be simple ~ just pull the mulch back and plop in a plant. NOT! When I raked back the straw I was shocked to see that the straw had germinated! It took three times longer to re-weed the weeded beds than it did to plant 150 strawberry plants! But its finished. The plants are in the ground. Tonight’s temperature is predicted to drop below freezing so now I have to pull that nasty straw back up onto the beds. Oh, well. I guess I’d rather pull up wheat than loose the strawberries.
Yesterday we planted red and yellow onion bulbs and red beets. We cut bamboo and cleaned the dried debris from pompass grass; both of these materials are great for adding carbon to the compost pile. We also finished raking, burning, and leveling the northern most corner of the field. The chainsaw broke so not much cutting was done. It started raining around 2:30pm and its still raining now. I think tomorrow is the only rain free day we have for the week. That’s a bummer because a whole lot more planting needs to get finished.
We plan to use shade cloth for the first time this year. Normally, our temperatures warm very rapidly in early spring. This doesn’t seem to bother the peas so much but the lettuce and roots really don’t like the heat. So, once our daytime temps are continually over 70°, we’ll begin to shade these crops from mid-morning until nightfall each day. I think they’ll benefit from a little morning sun and the harvest should be greater if the hot afternoon and evening sun isn’t scorching them. Now I just have to find somewhere to buy it.