Archive for April, 2010

The Season Starts

With the temperatures warming up (both air temps and soil temps), it’s been high time to get out into the field and get things started.

On Easter Sunday, after spending the afternoon with my family, I hopped in the tractor and ran the field cultivator across the garden. Man, that soil looked beautiful.

Last weekend, I put up three-foot-high chicken wire around the perimeter of the field to exclude rabbits and deter other animals (raccoons, etc.).

I also planted five 70′ rows of onions (Candy, Mars, Copra varieties) and four 70′ rows of leeks (King Richard variety) that are coming along quite nicely.

I decided to change the type of irrigation system that I use, and have moved to a commercial-style dripline system, using Roberts Ro-Drip tape. So far, I’m very happy with it. I’m getting very good, very even flow on multiple runs of driptape from one header line. I also like the ability to individually shut off each line of driptape from the header line. I’m still running the irrigation system on a timer, which allows for regular watering when I’m not available to be at the field — like when I’m in class.

I also built a trellis system for my tomatoes and laid down driptape and black plastic mulch film. This should allow me to have higher quality tomatoes with less weed competition and earlier transplanting due to warmer soil temps under the black plastic mulch film.

Finally, yesterday I planted dual 60′ rows of gladiolus and built a support trellis grid above them to support the flowers when they bloom.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks, when I can really get things going outside. The Omaha Old Market Farmers Market begins in two weeks, and I’ll have some large chemical-free heirloom tomato plants in 6″ coir pots for sale. These are looking really good, and should give customers a head start on their home garden growth of tomatoes!

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