Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cold Spring Again!

It's early April and there is no sign that anything will be planted soon.  I have not kept close track, but we're getting 1-2 rain events per week these days, and most of them are significant.  The largest one was over 2".  Although nothing has been really flooded, it's difficult to see when I will be able to plant anything.  The greatest concern is the Spring wheat, which can go in any time after February really.  It will not be a good year for Spring wheat in all likelihood.

The winter wheat in the test plot looks good.  At this point the Stephens Turkey is actually a bit taller and greener than the Heartland or Ehmke (KC-State) Turkey.

On the left is last year's wheat and barley, which was frost seeded to clover.  The clover is strong.  Since I have never tried to terminate clover before I plan to start working it as soon as possible.  The dark chunks are compost that was applied when the ground was still frozen.  To the right is the corn ground from last year, which was seeded to Turkey Red as a substitute for a rye cover crop.  I was out of rye and I also hope that the wheat will be easier to terminate than the rye was last year.  There is also a handful of vetch in that strip.

Oats and peas, composted, and ready to grow something the minute it gets dry enough!!!

Flats in the kitchen.  I am a pretty poor grower of seedlings.  The top flat is celeriac, as usual a bloody mess well below 50% germination.  But I think I will have a few more to plant this year than last.  The lower flat is peppers that I started a few days ago.  I sprinkled the top with wheat bran, of which I have buckets.  I heard of someone using rice hulls as a substitute for vermiculite, so I figured wheat bran (hulls) could be a substitute for rice hulls.  We'll see!

Trying to start onions as a pile all sprinkled on top.  The last two years I was using 231 cell flats with one onion seed per cell.

Mystery wild allium, possibly allium canadense.  There are 3 volunteer plants in the yard, and I have eaten a couple of them.  But I'd really like them to establish so I can have more in the years to come!

March 12, almost one month ago.  At this point just a few days of sunshine would have done the trick, but it just keeps getting cold and wet.  The end of this week is forecast for 22 degree overnight low!

The Backska in the historical test plot showed some winter kill and the leaves are noticeably wider and pale in color.  This shot is also from March 12.

March 12 and the garlic is coming up real strong.

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