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Shifting gears for summer…

Watering in tiny tomato transplants

The spring rush is over, and fieldwork is shifting into summer mode, from mainly planting to mainly weeding and watering, and then, HARVESTING. Seedlings for the most important crops and varieties are in, although there’s still quite a lot to transplant.

Here, we’ve just finishing another 100 or so tomatoes, with Lynn watering them in (the Redhead water breaker is GREAT, delivers as much water as you’ve got pressure, while softening the flow so that you’re not smashing or burying the seedlings). Creating a little basin around each seedling makes the most of hand watering in.

In my continuing experiment with shortening seedling production time, these are the youngest toms to go out ever, a third set started at the beginning of May, with their first true leaves now just coming in!

There are also more squash, melons, and a few more toms to transplant—in years past, I’d’ve been concerned about the date, but I’m learning to adapt the season’s resources (time, people, irrigation capacity,…) to the WEATHER.

Keep the workflow balanced is my new first mantra, so we also spent a few hours weeding today (Ryan dropped by to help for a few hours, he’s a new CSA-er this year who is also about to move his family to their own tiny farm at the end June!), instead of rushing on the last transplants.

It’s hard to measure, but for this type of small, diverse market gardening, in this time of extreme weather, things quite often don’t work out as they traditionally should. For example, the recent rain and cold, and now, more heat, have created a situation where the dominant weeds—pigweed, mallow, and lamb’s quarters—are seemingly slow, but are in fact about to explode. Weeding now will probably save way more time and deliver more harvest than putting off weeding just to transplant a few more beds a few days earlier.

I dunno, I’m figuring this out as I go, but I think traditonal garden rules and timing have to be increasingly bent as the weather gets crazier… I guess you could say: EXCITING TIMES! :)

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4 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Do you have a website where I can buy the Rainbird water breaker you are using. I am from Belgium (Europe), and when I am using this water spray from Gardena.
    But the problem with that water sprayer is that my baby plants are going down from the weight of the spray. Is the center of the sprayer softer?
    Grtz,
    Sibran

  2. I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me to build a new garden.  We recently moved and we left our old garden behind.  I was reluctant to start again until I stumbled upon your blog.   I already have a huge herb garden and next year I hope to sell the excess at our local farm market.

    Thanks!!!

    Joe

  3. When I grow up I want to be just like you!  My husband and I just started gardening this year and it has quickly turned into a passion (maybe obsession) of our.  We aren’t great at it yet but we will get there I’m sure.  I love reading your blog and see what all is going on in your little farm.

  4. Sibran: I got the brandname wrong, it’s a Redhead water breaker (I’ve corrected the post). I got it here at William Dam Seeds, but I don’t know if they ship to Europe. The whole spray is very gentle, but it delivers a lot of water, not just a fine mist.

    Joe from NJ: It’s great that you haven’t given up on gardening, and I’m truly happy that my tiny farmng efforts somehow helped!!!

    Shala: If and when I ever grow up, I think I’d also like to be like the me that you’re talking about…or something like that. ;) I try to keep the blog “real,” like, if you came here and met me and saw what was going on, you wouldn’t find it’s something else entirely. But of course, there are pressures of all sorts that come with doing this sort of thing, and just with…living, that don’t really show up here. On the other hand, we’re all dealing with stuff, all that’s nothing unusual. And I am getting lots of satisfaction and having fun!

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