Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garlic in A3, Peas spinach arugula pak choi radishes bed A1

On 30Sept10 (day 273), Bruce, Ruth and Dean Burnett planted 3 rows each of California Early White soft neck garlic and Spanish rojo red hardneck garlic, plus one row of Danish Yellow shallots (all from Lockhart Seed in Stockton), in bed A3 (this bed was not double-dug).  They planted one clove at each t-tape emitter, so 8 inch spacing.  About 6 days after this planting, the Spanish Rojo garlic has leaves poking up about 1 inch, nothing from the shallots or soft neck garlic.

Bed A5: The beets that Bruce had planted have not worked out for some reason…they just don’t thrive.  The turnips have done very well and are now large plants with leaves spreading out a foot or more in diameter (well shading the weeds).  The rutas are much slower and less vigorous, and many have died.  The radishes are thriving and are getting their first leaves.  The carrots are doing very well, however the Nantes are the least vital.

Bed A2: Turkeys had severely crushed and eaten the plants in bed A2, but now they have largely bounced back, although some collards need to be replaced with transplants.  The chard is doing very well, with leaf miner on one leaf.  Some of the broccoli is very robust now, especially the Goliath.

Bed A1: planted the Mammoth Melting Sugar and the Sugar Snap (Burpee) peas today.  For the peas, planted the MMS on the E half of the bed, along the N edge, in a double staggered row spaced at 4 inches (back row on T-tape emitters and front row between them), and did the same for the Sugar Snap peas on the W half.  Planted seeds from Burpee: spinach Giant 157 hybrid (50 days), arugula (35 days), Pak Choi, Toy Choi Hybrid (30 days), Cherry Bomb II hybrid radishes (25 days), and Giant German radishes (29 days).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radishes in bed A5, germination update

On 25Sept10 (day 268), Bruce and Mark planted Cherry Belle radishes (Burpee) in the root bed, around the rutabagas.  Days to maturity is 22 days.  Many of the rutas died…not sure why…turnips did better.  Beets that were replanted by Bruce, with potting soil as mulch, have not germinated.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

T-tape installation beds A5 and A2, germination update

On 18Sept 10 (day 261), Bruce and Mark installed t-tape on beds A5 and A2.  Six tape lines per bed. Weeded the collard bed (A2) again. All plants doing nicely. Root veg bed A5 doing OK.  The carrots are largely germinated now, with the Nantes by far the slowest to germinate.  Magnum was first, Royal Chantenay second.  The carrots have now been thinned twice.  Beets had very spotted germination, so Bruce replanted a bunch of them today (lots of golden beets and some others).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Root vegetable bed A5 update, A1 double-digging

10Sept10 (day 253): bed A5, Magnum carrots (Stokes) started germinating (253-244=9 days), and now are mostly up and thinned. The Royal Chantenay carrots (Stokes) are also up but slower, and the Nantes (Territorial) are just barely starting. Beets are very spotty but there are about 20 or so up with cotyledons.
The turnips are going fast with true leaves already, and the rutabagas are slower but most are doing OK…just cotyledons at this point.

Water has a lot of trouble penetrating that crusted soil and it dries out fast.  Bruce is constructing the drip system tomorrow.

Also cultivated the weeds in the cole bed (A2).  Plants are looking strong.  Some of the chard have been stressed by dryness it appears, and Mark replaced two plants on this day.

In the future, cover the seeds with fine vermiculite or seed starter mix for prevent crusting and hold the moisture.

Bruce and Mark are 2/3 finished with double-digging bed A1.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bed A5 maintenance and flame weeding

On 6Sept10 (day 249), Mark did more flame weeding on the root seed bed.  Update on root vegetable seed planted on day 244: not a single carrot has appeared, and the beets are just starting.  The rutas are about half germinated.  Thinned some of the rutas.

Flame weeding observations: close vegetable spacing makes flaming much harder once the veggies start germinating because telling which is a weed and which will stay is very difficult if the seedlings look similar.  Since beets and pigweed are in the same family, their seedlings look very much alike.  New weeds have germinated in the previously flamed spots.  In the future, water new beds well before seeding, then flame, water, flame, etc. to knock down the weed population.  If doing transplants, the weeding is not an issue – you know where your plants are, and you can cultivate around them easily.

Root crops are proving to be a challenge, since direct seeding is required, and you get weed problems, and you must remove stones, and you must have the beds ready early.

In the root bed A5, soil crusting seems to be a problem for the emerging seedlings.  Perhaps mulch with compost in the future.

Both bed A5 and A2 were covered with Agribon 19 floating row cover.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chard, Collards, Broccoli in bed A2

On 5Sept10 (day 248), Bruce and Mark planted Swiss Chard, Collards, and Broccoli in bed A2.  For Broccoli, we planted Diplomat and Goliath.  These were all from seed that were started on day 206, and all Stokes.  Flame weeded bed A5 with the root vegetables.  The Purple top Turnip was the first to germinate, carrots not yet up, beets just poking up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beets, Carrots, Turnip, Rutabaga in bed A5

On 1Sept10 (Julian day 244), Bruce and Mark direct seeded the southern-most bed (A5) with beets (4 varieties), carrots (3 varieties) and turnips/rutabaga (three varieties).  To prepare the bed, rocks were sieved out (1/2 inch mesh), and then it was double-dug.  Another sieving, ¼ inch mesh, was done on some soil to use as a top dressing for the seeds.  This bed had a thick layer of compost added (on 21Aug) before working, and we achieved about one foot of friable soil.  Prior to planting the soil had been well watered.