Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Plowing and planting barley

I wanted to plow down the oats and pea strip to work in the trash and stop some crabgrass from getting established.  I did not expect plowing conditions this early but it was just barely dry enough to go in and plow.  I ended up plowing two strips about 12' wide each.  One strip was the oats and peas trash, and the other was the Daikon radish strip to the East.  These two strips had the garlic and Spring wheat separating them, so I just one-way plowed each strip and left the garlic and wheat alone as a king furrow.

I was using three abreast with the evener modified to give Sebastian in the furrow more of the work, which meant that the plow tracked in the furrow better.  I did this work over two days and it ultimately worked a little better with Rosie in the middle.  I was happy with their performance but when they are taxed the team sometimes fans out and the track gets wobbly.  Nevertheless, it was our best plowing attempt yet.

Here you can see how well the trash was getting worked in.  I am pretty happy with this.

It was just dry enough to plant a strip of barley in the place where I originally wanted to plant the Spring wheat.  On the above picture this is on the far right, directly next to the Winter wheat.  At the far end the seed was "mudded in" just a bit, but overall the strip was in good condition for planting.  I interplanted medium red clover in the same manner as with the Spring wheat.  This is black hulless barley which I have been using in soup all winter.  It will be a real treat if I can make it grow.  The ground was simply worked up with the cultimulcher and planted.  It was not plowed.

Dadant called over the weekend to say that the bee packages had arrived.  So on Monday, April 6, I installed on package.  This was in some newly cleared ground just to the East of the field.  It's colder than I would hope for and I do not see any nectar sources yet, but I went ahead and installed the package.  It was in the 40's I would say, and the queen looked very lethargic.  We'll see how it goes!

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