In this week of Hour-A-Day Gardening . . .
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Back to Wet and Cool
The temps this week returned to seasonable 70s with a couple bouts of rain. It would have been a beautiful week to work outside, but with family events and then five days of illness (first me, then our oldest kid), the plants had a good week without supervision. We all survived. Even the weeds.
For years, I have been laying down cardboard and then mulch before planting. This practically eliminated weeding. This year I opted for deep mulch. This is less effective in my experience so far. Deep mulch does weaken the weeds, which have to grow through inches and inches of composted straw. It is easy to use a scuffle hoe to disrupt the roots and pull the growth.
Unfortunately, our primary weed this year is canary grass, which spreads through its dense root structure. I let things get out of hand last year, and now I am reaping the rewards, with this aggressive invasive popping up everywhere.
I did manage to get some starts out this week. In the big hoop house, I planted about 50 San Marzano II paste tomato plants. This is our workhorse for canned tomato products: salsa, paste, sauce, etc. Each year I dig out the soil and replace it with compost. They also get regular urine and ash fertilizer. I also planted out my calypso beans — the most striking soup beans I grow — as well as the fava beans.
Volunteers and Support
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Here’s the breakdown day by day. This week, I worked 5:30, dropping my my average a minute to 54 minutes a day. The season goes up and down, but it is hard to miss a week in the spring.