Farm Friday: Things are growing

So we finally planted all those strawberry plants we got in a few weeks ago.  Now we just watch them for flowers and runners.  Because all four varieties are June-Bearing varieties we won’t allow them to produce any berries this year so they can put all their energy into growing runners.  That means that we have to check the plants every day or two and pick off any buds.  We also need to keep any eye out for any runners so that we can keep the proper spacing between plants.  The research we’ve done says that every plant should be allowed 4-6 runners and that runners should be around 6 inches from the main plant before they take root.  This should give us maximum yield for the next several years.

Four long rows of strawberries.

Four long rows of strawberries.

One of a hundred

One of a hundred

We’ve harvested and dried the first half of our green onion crop.  Watch for a post next week on the process of dehydrating and storing them.

The harvested green onions

The harvested green onions

Our peas have started to flower and produce pods.  I’m not sure how good they’ll be since it’s been hot and dry and that tends to make them more starchy and bitter.  The other problem we’re having is that the vines are already getting too heavy for the deer netting and are starting to pull it down from the trellis.  We will have to look at other materials to support the beans since those vines will be much heavier than the peas.

We are starting to harvest both kinds of kale for use in salads.  The tiny little seedlings have really grown since they’ve been planted outside.

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

The turnips we planted from seed have come up and will be ready to be thinned in the next week or so.  The spinach sadly did not come up at all.  I think I’m done planting spinach since I’ve only had it sprout once in the last five years.

turnip sprouts

turnip sprouts

We’ve finished preparing the last row in our potato bed for our sweet potato slips, now to find an evening to plant them.

The ridged row for sweet potatoes

The ridged row for sweet potatoes

We’re getting the seeds for our various root vegetable crops in the ground this week and over the weekend we’ll be planting our tomato and pepper seedling that I purchased a few weeks ago.  I had hoped to be planting tomatoes that I started from seed but the conditions in our seed starting area were too cold for optimum growth so the peppers never sprouted and the tomatoes grew too slow to really be usable since it would have taken too much of the summer for them to reach the size needed for them to bear fruit.  Oh well, still the best year we’ve had starting things from seed in quite a while.

tomato seedlings

tomato seedlings

pepper seedlings

pepper seedlings

The biggest challenge we’re facing this summer is probably keeping everything watered well enough.  It’s been really dry so far this year and all the long range forecasts I’ve seen call for very little rain this next month.

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