Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pumpkin Prep Time

Next 30 days is going to be busy.  I got soil samples from the patches, now that the snow is gone, that is drying and then I'll send into the lab this week.  When I get my soil test results back I'll then amend the patches around mid-April and then I'll then start heating up the soil in preparation for planting around the first week of May.  Today I'm starting some pumpkin seeds, but these won't be the plants that I'll grow.  I've put some myco and azos into a pot.  This will be used to get the myco maturing early and I'll then transfer that myco to the pots of the plants I'll grow in two weeks.  The seeds I'm starting now will feed the myco until it is transferred into the new pots.

April 13th will be my seed starting date.  Once I get the greenhouse figured out I'll maybe start seeds earlier in future years, but with a last frost date around the last week of May, I have a fine balance between giving the plants as much growing time as possible and giving the plants the best growing environment. So this year I'm going to play it more on the safe side.  For everything else I'm going to put the pedal to the floor this year.

One thing that amazed me this last week was the growth of the winter rye.  Last fall I sowed winter rye seed in the non-greenhouse patch, just as the weather started getting cold.  Two weeks later in the greenhouse I sowed winter rye and a week later I had it popping up.   The other patch I never saw the grass sprout at all.  Eventually the outdoor patch was covered in snow and we got a lot of snow this year that stuck around all winter.  Maybe three feet deep at its deepest.   Last week the snow was still at least a foot deep in the outdoor patch so I cut some 2 foot wide holes in the snow in the hopes I could get some spots to dry out faster so I could get soil samples this week.  The last two inches I couldn't dig out, because it was all ice.

The beginning of this week those holes melted out even though the surrounding areas still had 4-5 inches of snow on them.  What surprised me was to see the winter rye popping up in the holes I had cut, even though everything around it was still solid ice/snow.  Now the outdoor patch is greening up everywhere nicely.   I'll till the planting areas in both patches in two weeks, to get the grass breaking down before planting.  The rest of the grass I'll let grow with a few mowing as long as I can (probably late June to early July).

The greenhouse grass isn't very tall at all.  Deer have mowed it short.  I didn't get much water in the greenhouse this winter.  Hose froze in the snow (silly me for leaving it out), so once every two weeks I'd shovel a bunch of snow in the greenhouse to keep it going.  With the warmer weather now I can see it starting to take off with the regular irrigation.

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