Hot and Windy (plus gardens overview)

Day three of unseasonable (well, sort-of–this is the land of infinite weather variety) heat and day two of high winds. It’s supposed to hit 90-some again today, and the winds this morning are higher than yesterday’s.

Got about to the farm at about 6:15am to water and check up on everything.  I didn’t water everything this time–mostly just greens, brassicas, and the recently transplanted. It was actually a little chilly with only shorts and a t-shirt at that early hour.

Everything looks pretty good despite 95 degrees and thirty-mile-an-hour winds in town (which translates to about 100 in our warmer garden microclimate). Still, you gotta hand it to our heavy clay soil (amended with much organic matter) for holding in the soil moisture.

The mulched aisles help keep the soil cooler, too, as well as providing some wind buffer for the slightly lower beds, and the floating row covers (I’ve been trying to keep them “floating” and not “flying”) help moderate temps and the effects of the hot, drying winds.

The dog has been unsettled with all this bluster. She wouldn’t even come out to the farm with me yesterday–I’ve never seen her flat-out refuse. This morning she came somewhat reluctantly, and once in the farm trailer, she was reluctant to leave that shelter until I convinced her we were going in the truck.

It helped a little, I think, that I took her out and brushed enough fur out of her coat to line every bird and mouse nest on the street–that put her in a brighter mood–but after a canvas hanging in the front entryway went crashing to the floor, she’s staked out a safe haven behind my office chair and continually growls at every random noise outside.

The big garter snake was out in the northcentral garden again this morning, but she was being a bit shy (or she was toad-hunting again), and didn’t want to come out and play.  I did finally get a couple images of that garden and the west one:

North-Central Garden

North-Central Garden

This garden is not really attached to the main gardens, and it’s set up in seven beds running east-west.  It’s a little shadier than some of the others because it’s behind the round barn/garden shed and between a few trees. Right now I’ve got broccoli, a double row that was supposed to be parsnips but none came up :-(, fingerling potatoes, cabbage, turnips, salad mix, and peas/tomatoes on the trellis. Cabbage, turnips, and salad mix are row-covered.

West Garden

West Garden

The west garden is set up in wide beds running roughly north-south. It currently has two kinds of fingerling potatoes, arugula, carrots, leeks, yellow, white, and green onions, a couple beds of spinach, kale/black Spanish radishes, peas, cilantro, chives, horseradish, Brussels Sprouts.

The carrots and arugula are under row cover–carrots to help keep the soil moist to aid germination, and arugula to keep the soil cooler and discourage flea beetles. Black spanish radishes are probably going to get pulled–they never formed a usable root and are now bolting–I think I planted them too early. I have a few more in that parnsip row in the northcentral garden.

Those are two of the six gardens I have out at the farm.  The central and east gardens are much larger than these, the northeast garden is about the size of the northcentral garden, and the hilltop garden (across the farm) is the smallest of all (so far!) if you don’t count the adjacent asparagus patch. Without the asparagus, I’d guess it’s about 40′ x 20′, or 800 square feet.

The central garden rows are mostly in leguminous green manure right now–except for H’s grapes and the established row of perennial green onions.  I’ll probably also throw in a row of zinnias between those.

The east garden is mostly planted–tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, bok choi, broccoli raab, eggplant, and sweet peppers, pole beans and basil. There’s room for a couple more rows down at the bottom, and there’s room on the backside of the tomato/bean trellis for greens of some kind.

There’s also a good-sized space (about 1 1/2 times the size of the current northeast garden) between the east and northeast gardens that’s in heavy tillage right now to try to germinate all the weed seed in the upper layers so it can be brought into production. But I may have to wait on that, as we’ve discussed the possibility of putting another hydrant in that area.


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