Started Planting

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.


13 thoughts on “Started Planting

  1. Hm…I’m worried about the same thing happening with my strawberry beds. The straw went down last fall, and I could tell there were quite a few seed heads left in there. I guess in Virginia we’re about a month behind you guys, temperature-wise, so the next few weeks should tell whether I’m going to have the same weeding episode you guys dealt with… Yee gads.

  2. This year is the first year we’ve used bare-root strawberry plants. I just laid them down and covered them with another layer of mulch figuring that nature would take care of the details. Sorry to hear about the weedy straw, have you ever used pine bark nugget beds for your strawberries and blueberries?

  3. Where do you order your strawberries? I ordered some for the first time this year and wish they had arrived by now. As it is, they’re due sometime in March.

    As for shade cloth, I use weed cloth as shade cloth. It’s in its third year and hasn’t frayed yet. (the duct tape disintegrated in the sun, though.)

  4. Next week here is supposed to be in single digits! There has to be some glitch in the weatherman’s instruments! Calling for +2*F on some days… it must be a typo… I hope! It hasn’t been that cold all winter and here it is almost spring!

  5. “Linda, I suppose your ground is too frozen for digging then? Maybe it won’t last long.”
    Oh no, it’s not frozen solid at all and thankfully we never got the single digits!

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