This weather is wild. I did manage to get a few things planted this week before the surprise snowstorm hit. Beets, salad turnips, and cabbage were all planted and covered with row cover. The early spring brassicas have been hardening off (a process of slowly exposing to the environment) over the past week in anticipation of planting.
After planting they were tucked in with about 4" of mulch on each side, as an additional insulator, and for peace of mind, as they would have most likely been fine with just the row cover.
The row cover that we use raises the nighttime low temperature by 5 degrees (or more), and raises the daytime high by as much as 20 degrees. Cabbages have a thin stem that would be damaged if the fabric rested directly in the plant, meaning that every time the wind blows, the fabric would catch it, uprooting and breaking the plants, or in the case of our recent snowstorm, the weight of the snow would have crushed them. Lettuce, beets, radish, and salad green beds can have the fabric rest directly on top of the plant as the planting density creates a natural support, which makes for much quicker work. For the cabbage transplants that you see above, we placed wire hoops every 4 feet for support. We then buried the sides of the fabric, creating a greenhouse-like effect within.
The garlic has sprung to life, growing a ridiculous amount in only a months time. The plants look really good, and are very healthy...should be a great year for all things garlic.
The walk-in cooler is also filled with hundreds of pounds of certified organic seed potatoes. We are keeping them at a chilly 40 degrees until planting, which is about 1 month out. We should be harvesting the first of the new potatoes around June 1st, which means spring csa members will have them for about the last 3 weeks or so of the season.
Speaking of the spring csa, have you reserved your membership yet? We only have 7 spring memberships left, and with only a month before the season starts, they will go fast. If you have been meaning to sign up, now is the time.
See you next week!