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Sunday, March 09, 2014

What to do when it's mucky out

Not much is doing at Stony Run Farm. We are spring cleaning indoors mostly; it is just too wet out for a lot of infrastructure maintenance, construction or farming.

Beds laid out
We did have a dry spell. I used it to make up the main beds, add some compost, plant sugar snap peas and broadbeans, and bring out and sort the seed potatoes. We only plant one 3X50 foot bed of these a year, and though our method is one of benign neglect, we get enough that this year, for example, although we lost a third of the stored spuds in the garage to the big -9F freeze, we planted a third of the remainder in the bed and still have two thirds to eat, plant elsewhere, boil for the chickens, or otherwise find a home for. The bad ones have gone to the compost, the best of the good ones into the ground, and the remainder went back into the garage, with, hopefully, the slime from the bad ones hosed off.

We had a spectacular late killing frost last year in April, so all this is a gamble, but with clean spuds in storage we feel we can afford to give it a try.

For the peas, we made short trenches across a bed with a hoe, dropped the seeds down a length of pipe, and covered with potting soil. For the broadbeans, we trenched, dropped the big seeds down the pipe (they were too large for our usual pipe, so we went with a 1.5" diameter one) and simply dragged the leaf litter/soil over them.

Covering broadbeans
It's supposed to be too mucky out for all this, and the clay in the paths certainly speaks to that, clinging to our boots, but the ever-so-slightly raised beds and, in the case of the peas, the potting soil, are a help.

Comfrey is coming up along the duck fences as planned, but it's also come up where we "moved" it from, so I am planning to lift them from along the north side of the house and add them along yet more fence. The blueberry bed and raspberry bed have cut down our veg options, so the volunteer Egyptian onions and garlic need to be moved to that north wall, where some of them already seem to be doing quite well. This will open a little space for summer crops. We're also digging up and giving away some rhubarb.

But I will wait for the rain to slacken a bit. Good thing I have a few books to serialize and then tweet about, neh?

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