Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stormy Weather

Peas love cool, wet weather. These guys should be ready soon.
Just a couple weeks ago we had temperatures as hot as 90 degrees. The past couple days it has been drizzling and cold, with highs around 60 degrees. For most folks, the crazy weather is a curiosity, something to talk about at the grocery store. For farmers, the weather takes on a much higher level of importance. We watch the weather constantly and try to determine what we can do to help our plants make it through the given conditions. A couple weeks ago we decided to invest in shade cloth to protect our spring veggies from the suddenly hot weather. Spring plants exposed to too much heat can bolt before harvest time, meaning that they flower and try to go to seed early, which results in bitter, unsellable crops. So, now that we have put up shade cloth over all the tender spring plants, the weather has turned gloomy and wet. Hopefully, it's not too cool and wet for our summer plants, which love heat and lots of sun. The good news is that we are a highly-diversified farm, and so some of our plants are bound to like the weather, whatever it may be.
Shade cloth in the rain

 On Saturday I taught a class at the Morgan Hill Community Garden about transplanting and trellising. Below are some examples of tomato trellises that we talked about.

Florida Weave: The tomatoes are sandwiched between the twine
Suspended Trellis: The twine will be spiraled around the tomato as it grows.

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