Tag: strawberries

Transplanting is Transformational

The Micro Farm is a “buzz” with activity.

Pollinators are enjoying the black raspberry flowers
Pollinators are enjoying the black raspberry flowers

The strawberry patch is also producing lovely berries this year.  Such a nice crop mean I need to protect the ripe berries from animals nibbling.

The strawberries protected
The strawberries protected

I use a bird netting purchased at a local nursery.  It keeps most of the critters from eating the ripe fruit.

I spent a good deal of the week transplanting seedlings.  One evening while working on the Micro Farm.  I noticed small movements near my neighbor’s shed.  Sure enough two small rabbits.  I knew I needed to do something to protect my tender and young plants.  Fencing is what I needed, but I wanted to avoid the traditional woven metal fence.  A local home store had landscaping timbers on sale, decision made.

New "fencing"
New “fencing”

Hopefully this will keep the rabbits out.  We will have to wait and see.

I transplanted tomatoes, peppers, celery, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Cabbage transplants
Cabbage transplants
Cauliflower transplant
Cauliflower transplant
Tomato transplants
Tomato transplants

I also planted five pounds of seed potatoes, another 75 onion sets, beets, edamame,  popcorn, and carrots.

Growing greens has been a failure so far this season.  So I am tried putting some seed in six-packs to determine the quality of the seed.  The seed produced well.  I In another week I will put them into the ground.

Lettuce seedlings
Lettuce seedlings

As the rain falls tonight.  I am excited to see how the young plants spring to life over the next week.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

Advertisements

Not This Thyme

Waking up to snow covering your lawn this time of year is a bummer.  It will melt quickly, but it is tough for those of us who want to be playing in the soil.

The weather this week looks promising.  So I will get outside and do more clean up from last year.  If I am really lucky the ground will thaw enough for me to pull some of last year’s plants from the ground.

Many of the seedlings are doing well.  True leaves are starting to appear on everyone. Even my tiny strawberry plants have started to develop true leaves.

The second crop of peppers
The second crop of peppers
My first rosemary seedling
My first rosemary seedling

It was exciting to see the rosemary seedling this morning.  Rosemary takes a long time to germinate.  So after almost a month one plant is up.  Maybe there will be more, but I am pleased to at least see one.

Last week I show how well my thyme was doing.  You can see and read about it here. Somewhere in the middle of the week the thyme dried up and almost all died.  I was really surprised because the soil looked damp, but I did not look close enough.  A few are still surviving so that will be ok.

The surviving thyme.
The surviving thyme.

I also planted a few Pruden’s Purple tomatoes.  Pruden’s Purple is an heirloom tomato.  It is similar to a beef-steak style tomato but bigger and meatier.  It has become one of my favorite varieties.

The Pruden's Purple seed trays.  They should be up this weekend.
The Pruden’s Purple seed trays. They should be up next weekend.

Until everything thaws most of my work is watering seedling and making sure they are doing well.  Quickly re-planting if I make a mistake.

What are you doing?  How are your seedlings?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

Taking Care of Thyme

Friday was in the low 50’s.  So I was adventurous and looked underneath my pine needle mulch to see find out if my garlic was there.  Sure enough I saw a small green spike poking up through the soil.  So I have, at least, one garlic plant for Spring.  If we can get consecutive warms days they can stretch out of the soil.

The seedlings are growing well.  I had a few more pepper plants show themselves.

A few pepper seedlings
A few pepper seedlings

I have about ten pepper seedlings with more planted a week later.

Last fall the thyme plants in the herb garden looked like they were struggling.  I am not sure if it was my timing or the plants.  Going through my seed packets I found I had a few thyme seeds that needed to be used.  I figured the long and hard winter may have done in my thyme in the garden.  I took the old seed and filled on cell in a four pack.

My "old" seeds doing very well
My “old” seeds doing very well

I did not expect the germination rate to be so high.  In the other cells there are thyme seeds I purchased new this year.  Will I have enough time for all my thyme?

On our front porch we have a couple of hanging baskets.  A friend has graciously given us flowers each year.  Last year the flowers were impressive.  Now we are just left with two hanging baskets.  So I am experimenting with a variety of strawberries called “Gasana” from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Gasana is an ornamental strawberry that works well in containers.  It is day-neutral so it will produce small to medium fruits.  If everything works.  So my plan is to sit on the porch, read, and snack on strawberries.

Gasana seedlings.
Gasana seedlings.

I have found it challenging keeping my seedlings watered this year.  They are drying out quickly.  Heating from below really improves germination, but it makes it difficult to not dry out young seedlings.  To challenge myself more, I have been starting seedlings at different times.  So there are different needs all under the same light.  I think everything is good now, but it has been challenging.

What are you seed starting challenges?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

 

A Season of Hope

I took full advantage of the weather today.  I started to finish the work I started last fall.  I clipped, trimmed, and pulled lots of dried and dead plants.  The Micro Farm is starting to look like it should.

Clean up was partially motivated by seeing the seedlings starting to pop up out of the soil

Tomato and onion seedlings
Tomato and onion seedlings
Onion seedlings
Onion seedlings

Seeing the seedlings has brought excitement to the new growing season.  I was feeling overwhelmed by the clean up I would have to do.  After a few hours of clean up today, I know (with a little good weather) I can get everything done quicker than I then I thought.

After clean up I had energy and decided to keep going.  I started a few more seedlings.  My order of Yankee Bell pepper seeds arrived late last week so I planted those.  I also ordered container strawberry seeds.  I started those.

In the next couple of weeks they will sprout and we will see how many plants I have.

Peppers and strawberries under a plastic blanket
Peppers and strawberries under a plastic blanket

I always start a new journey with such excitement and with dreams of all that could be.  I know there will be difficult times ahead.  I know there will be days when I do not want to go out and do the work I should do.

I hope you are excited about this growing season.  What are you excited about?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

Bending but not Breaking

All of us at Cohocton River Rock Micro Farm thank you all of you who have served our country.  Memorial Day always encourages me to reflect on the sacrifices people have made for our country.

After two days of, almost, constant 20 mile per hour wind everything seems to be settling down.  I had really hoped to transplant the tomatoes, peppers, and celery.  The night temperatures have been almost frost levels, but the wind was really the problem.

Leaning Garlic
The picture is not leaning the garlic is. They are all leaning from the constant wind.

After seeing what happened to the garlic I thought it would be best to wait until the wind slows down.  Monday is the warmest day without strong winds.

The wind did not slow down work around the Micro Farm though.  Thursday I rented a “mulcher” to clean up my collection of brush.

Mulcher
Me mulching. All the mulch went to create new walking paths.

My friend Dylan helped me get work done around the Micro Farm.  It was really great having a second pair of hands on Saturday with the wind blowing.

Strawberry
New netting over the strawberry patch.

Last year the chipmunks ate all of my ripe strawberries.  Dylan and I covered the strawberries with netting to protect them from getting eaten.  I will let you know how it works.

Mulch
We also purchased two bags of mulch for this walk way.
Straw
The marigolds are doing well. We also added straw to the walking paths between the growing beds.

In the walking paths I lay newspaper down first and then lay straw over the newspaper.   I held the newspaper down while Dylan would lay the straw down.  I could not have done both steps on Saturday without Dylan.  The wind would have had me running in circles.

Today was a beautiful day on the Micro Farm.  There is something about the sunlight this time of year.  I really enjoy it. I hope you do too.

The 2013 Cohocton River Rock Micro Farm.  Click to enlarge.

I hope you are able to enjoy to the weekend.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.