It’s getting harder to find the time to post. I realize that people don’t come to a website to hear a blogger complain about time constraints, but we’re genuinely busy.
The frost last week, did some damage, but we’re recovering. We are several weeks behind in our planting schedule. I have felt daunted by the onions. I think we planted over a thousand onions to start in the greenhouse and the time to transplant them to the field has arrived. It is extremely time consuming. We used the soil blockers for some of the onions and those are a lot easier to transplant. The other onions we just planted in a big tray and you have to tear them apart as you go. That is more challenging at this point, although making the soil blocks was certainly an investment in time at the beginning.
We are also doing a little experiment with the onions. We planted many of them with one seed per block and we planted others with four seeds per block. The idea is that the onions will still grow ok in little groups and they may even be easier to harvest. They were certainly easier to plant that way. It was an idea we picked up from a book, but I don’t remember which one at this point.
We are also noticing some yellowing among our plants. We’ve been looking into it. I believe that is either a nitrogen deficiency or we’re watering too much. I’m thinking that we’re lacking nitrogen. I guess I was hoping that this land had been pastured so much that it would be loaded with nitrogen… It wasn’t. And since we just moved in and started, our compost is nowhere near ready to apply to fields, so we’re purchasing all of our compost and that is expensive.
We are also working at getting our berries and trees off to a good start. We are trying to mulch them. We have some wetland areas in the back of our property that has a large supply of reed canary grass. It is a terrible invasive weed that was brought here to control wet areas. It is not controlled, but now I have to deal with the weed. Anyway, it doesn’t go to seed for awhile yet, and it grows very quickly. We’ve decided that we’re going to use it as a mulch. We’ve cut a bunch down and mulched all of the kiwis and started on the trees, but we still have a long ways to go. I would guess that we have more than an acre left to cut down and then haul around to different plants. It’s a long process and we have lots of other priorities.
I’m currently in the house because my wife is gone to buy a gate for the front of our property. We’ve decided that we want something to create paddocks for the sheep. We’re going to divide the property up a bit to confine them to different during the day. Although all of the areas that we’re creating are too big for the sheep to keep mowed down. We’re also going to put a gate at the front of our property so we can close it and allow the sheep to graze right up to the edge of the yard without fearing that they will walk into the street.
I am also seeing a need to start weeding the plots. I’m seeing our crops coming up, but I’m also seeing loads of grass. Last week, we had a guy from the county come out and identify weeds that we should keep an eye on. Since we are doing this organically, we spend some time walking around with a shovel, digging up noxious weeds. Tansy is probably the most threatening from the standpoint of it being poisonous to sheep, but the bindweed patch is a threat to my sanity since I’ve battled that stuff before and it won. We’re also taking out thistles and other weeds that are always threatening to take over our fields.
The list of things to do keeps growing, but I am unable to keep up. My wife is now here to manage children, I’m going to go plant raspberries and then finish the onions and finish prepping the last plot that we’re going to use this season.