Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pea Planting

Jeff and Lars planting peas
We planted 50 lbs of garden peas in the field that is supposed to grow grapes next year.  Since peas are nitrogen fixing plants, we figured we can't go wrong sowing them.   Hopefully they will grow and we have time to pick some of them - we did find someone with a mechanical pea sheller...We'll see if they grow first.  Jeff adjusted the gears on our corn planter and used a different seed plate for the peas.  We had actually bought 100 lbs (not knowing exactly what we needed) - luckily the peas came in 50 lbs bags, so we are returning the one unused bag.

very long rows of peas!
It was a bright sunny day, but not very warm - mid 40's...also spent a lot of time hoeing and rototilling the blackberry patch, we are almost done - less than half a row to go!!!  Also cleaned up the asparagus patch, dug the first 37 holes for the grape vines, which should arrive next week, and started cleaning up the herb garden.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Plowing and Planting in March

Jeff has been busy plowing and disking our various "plots" during the last two weeks: 
  • the vegetable garden (which he "squared up" -  meaning he made it even larger)
  • the field below the barn, where we will plant our first 200 grape vines in April
  • half the field above the pond, which we will plant in peas (about 100 lbs) and sweet corn this year, then cover crop it to get it ready for more grapes next year

Last weekend, with unseasonable warm weather, we started planting the garden:  
  • 50 lbs of Kenebec potatoes
  • 25 lbs of Red Pontiac potatoes
  • 300 "Candy" onion plants
  • 1 lbs of red onion sets
  • 5 bulbs of California garlic
  • 3 seed packets of Hollow Crown parsnips

Kept on hoeing the blackberry plants from last year, working on about 25 at a time each evening after work - as of today, we have 362 finished (=138 to go).  The ground is perfect right now, weeds are coming out easy and the weather has been holding up just fine - though we are supposed to get rain and sleet tonight :(

garden patch

Chambourcin patch

pea & corn patch

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

500 More Blackberries!

We learned a lot from last year's planting and had a much more efficient system going this year, when we planted our second "batch" of blackberries. We knew the plants were to arrive sometime last week, so we spent every evening setting end posts for the trellis system and marking out the rows.  Our rows are 10 feet apart (marked those with string), and the plants are set 4 feet apart - used orange spray paint to mark each spot.  So when the 500 Triple Crown plants arrived late on Wednesday afternoon we were set to go.  We only had enough daylight left that evening to set 50 plants, but Thursday and Friday evening, after work, we got another 100 plants into the ground - Jeff and Lars used the rototiller to dig holes, Tina followed and planted. 

We finished the rest of the planting on Saturday - which was good, because on Sunday we got one heck of a storm.  Heavy rain and blustering wind quickly turned to ice and snow. We lost power late in the evening and by Monday morning, 7 of our largest pine trees had been knocked down :( 

It was an extreme temperature change, we went from seeing the first crocus on Saturday to having ice and snow the next evening.  But we did order our first set of grape vines:  200 Chambourcin should be shipped in early April.