This has been a strange year in the weather. Wet, cold then suddenly hot and dry, then hot and wet. It has been a challenge to figure out when to plant.
- We had a surprising crop failure -- zucchini!
- The first planting of peas came on like gangbusters, but the gang of deer won... for the time being. More on that thought in a bit.
- Here, late mid-July, several of the first plantings of lettuce are all bolting, at least some of the plants, and the succession got messed up so likely we will have a hiatus until the current round of seedlings gets big enough to transplant and mature.
- Broccoli has been better this year than usual; the sprouting version just keeps dribbling in and the heading variety has done better than usual. I am planning to put this crop -- and the cauliflower, which did better this year than ever before -- in an area in which we will deposit some of the huge pile of manure. I think they need more to "eat."
- Cabbages, on the other hand, seem to have loved the weather and the remarkable lack of cabbage butterflies this year. No idea why they are scarce, but I have only seen a handful thus far, rather than the more typical handful each day.
- The jury is still out on the use of the Florida Weave to support tomatoes, but it looks like I will have a "test row" and at least one "control row," to put a scientific spin on the lack of infrastructure and current cash flow issue.
- It seems that the first (early) planting of carrots came on well; the second really badly. And I didn't plant nearly enough of them. Next year: at least a single long row planted "early" and maybe a double one.
- Spinach was another crop failure. Next year it WILL go in a section that will be heavily manured this fall.
- And man oh man the CUCUMBERS! Do not let 4 days go between pickings!! I am going to try every other day.
- I have pretty much decided to order 18" wide heavy brown paper in quantity and plant every crop that I transplant in rows where I have laid down the paper. It saves enough weeding work that it is worth it. Lettuces, celery and possibly peppers will be done as offset double rows; tomatoes, brassica and vine crops as single rows.
|Supported and non-supported tomato rows|
|First cuke picking; 4 days later, 1/4 bu. more|
|Close up of deer fence "baited" with peanut butter|