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July 1, 2018
Amidst A Heat Wave
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
It's very hot but that's okay. It would be less okay if we hadn't received a generous dose of rain last Thursday. We'll still be irrigating this week, though, since the 3" that came down came fast and furious and probably mostly ran off, ran downhill. With the heat we're saying goodbye to peas and strawberries until next season but will be welcoming the start of cherry and grape tomatoes and will be opening raspberries for u-pick.
Last week we enjoyed wonderful weather for working outside. Next year's 7,000 strawberry plants were planted as well as more lettuces. Winter squash, cantaloupe, and the 2nd planting of watermelon was uncovered to give pollinators access to their flowers. High tunnel and field tomatoes were pruned and clipped to their trellis twine and wire, respectively. Sweet and hot peppers were buttressed with twine to prevent them from flopping. Cover crops of oats, peas, and sunflowers were mowed on fallow fields (see above photo).
We're now safely into the time of season when we can begin spring crop clean up. Crop residue will be mowed and turned into the soil to feed the succeeding cover crop as well as next year's harvestable crop. Irrigation, trellising, and weed suppression fabric will be removed. We were once at our maximum footprint, now we begin to reign it in, sort of mimicking reducing daylight after the summer solstice. We still have a few more months of planting fall and winter crops, though, and have much, much, much harvesting to do, but at least the bulk of the planting is behind us for this season.
Uncovered zucchini and watermelon and hilled potatoes.