Field Updates: The Heat Is On

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The heat is on! This week some of our heat lovers continue to get transplanted into the greenhouse. Before transplanting the tomatoes and the tomatillos, make sure the trellis string is above. It is much easier to put up the trellis when the bed isn’t full with tomatoes. Another obvious point, but Masta of the Obvious always states the inevitable :)

The fields still hold memory of last week. They are dry, but lets be honest we farm in Richmond. So when talking to Paul who was doing the tractor work on Monday, he said some of the fields still felt a bit wet. Farming below sea level!

This is the time of the year that is a little slower, best time to get on the weeds while they are small. So this week holds the hoe. Getting in there at this stage will help with germination and give the crop that competitive edge it needs. James and Sasha have put white clover in some of the pathways and on other pathways, they have decided to do repeated tilling with the small rototiller to keep the weeds down. Weeds in the pathways….on the farm we have 3 different methods of weed control in the pathways…black plastic, white clover, and repeated rototilling.

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This week is also all about the rotary plow and building beds. We will be using the Grillo with the rotary plow on Thursday. Another amazing implement! Go to Earthtools.com to check it out.

Slugs are still in effect…I would imagine they will taper off as the heat continues. They did eat some of the brassica starts. No problemo. A safety factor 30% saves the day! Sasha and the team over planted. In the Spring, this is very important. Spring is the time for erratic weather, poor germination and heavy slug, wireworm, woodbug action. The 30% safety factor ensures that there are more starts ready to replace the ones taken down by disease, mice, insects.

In this heat, many of the starts need to be moved out to the shade house as the greenhouse is too hot. For example, in this heat, brassica starts will get stressed and perhaps bolt. Always check your notes to see what is the best temperature for germination as well. Many seeds find the heat of the summer greenhouse too hot to germinate. Lettuce is an example of a seed that will not germ in the heat of the summer greenhouse. If you are going to seed lettuce at this time of year, do it outside or in the shade house.

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This Thursday we will be building beds with the rotary plow and composting.

Tip of the Week – Another tip by Masta of the Obvious…. Don’t assume everything is fine under the Remay. Always look under the remay when you are in the fields. What do we look for? Germination, Disease, signs of stress, pest damage, and weeds. For some crops, the remay is only appropriate during the shoulder months as it can get too hot under the remay in the hot summer and cause crop stress. There are 2 common remays, one that is heavy and one that is lighter. Farming on the west coast where the weather is mild and the sun isn’t all that bright year round, the best choice is the lighter remay.

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