We have been watching the weather with great angst over the past few weeks. The 10-day forecast promised rain every other day...just enough to keep us out of the field. The weekend had other plans, and provided us with the perfect opportunity to work the ground. We spent both days forming almost 100 raised beds in anticipation of the spring planting.
This year we are trying out a few different colors of plastic on our beds. We have black, red, silver, and white, with each color having its own benefit; from insect reduction to soil temperature manipulation.
Another benefit is that we no longer have to wait for perfect conditions to plant our crops. After a storm we only have to wait about a day before resuming work, whereas with bare ground the wait can be as long as 3-5 days. This allows us to keep our plantings on schedule, and thus the harvest, too.