Week 8 In-the-box

A busy week – setting out plants, thinning carrots, pulling garlic to dry… and finding out that deer are patrolling the garden fence to see if the gate is left open. The consequences of the ‘heat storm’ on the garden are pretty well determined now, and on with the summer.

The best part of a hot summer is that the plants that love hot are rocking it. There are a lot of bell peppers just starting to change color, as well as the Cozumal hot pepper which is still not quite ripe. The Cozumal needs some pink, at least before they are ready – as you can see, this one is still on the green side.

Immature Peppers trying hard to be ripe

Eggplant is setting fruit, and the summer squash is getting going well. The cool season crops pretty much are looking for a way out – lettuce especially.  There are three things that are impacting plants: Heat, intense sunlight, and water. All the crops that were planted with paper mulch are keeping their roots cooler during the moments of intense heat; night temperatures are in the lower 50’s and the soil, if moist, cools off and then holds that cool somewhat. And, in all fairness the morning clouds are pretty helpful with that. The paper mulch also is very helpful with retaining moisture both that from transpiration and from watering.

Carrots, Beets, Beans and Potatoes do not have paper mulch. That makes it hard to keep the moisture level adequate, and hard to get a nice deep soak in the soil bank. The Potatoes have, to all intents and purposes, decided to die. What that means is that the plant part goes away, and what is in the ground is what there is. What that means to you is that the potato harvest will continue till they are gone – the good news is that there are four 80′ rows of potatoes to harvest, and the season will run out before the potatoes. Probably. There are also volunteer potatoes to augment the crop.

The next challenge here will be getting the fall starts going. The most difficult are those which have to be direct seeded (Carrots, Beets); primarily because the soil dries out so quickly. The standard ‘trick’ to getting carrots started is to cover the seeds with a board for 7-10 days and then be careful to water regularly to keep the soil bank moist. The existing carrots are doing great – they were thinned last week, and the thinner specialist had a feast of very baby carrots.

Let’s get to it – in the box for week 8:

Greens Lettuce (Green), Green or Red cabbage (ask),  White and/or Red Chard; 
Crunchies hook neck squash – enough for most everyone.
Herbs Arugula, Green Onions, Chives, Basil, Cilantro, Fennel (ask), Oregano, mint.  If you want ‘lots’ of Oregano that can be done. Your challenge is to figure out what herb is what…
Other Slicer and Cherry Tomatoes (more this week), 1-3″ beets with greens, Ugly Walla Walla onions, Raspberries or Boysenberries – ask for Boysenberries, Potatoes – various colors. Flower of the week will be snap dragons or roses Any preference?

Next Week:

  • larger – really large number of Tomatoes
  • Plums
  • Boysenberries
  • Bell or Spicy peppers
  • Few Cucumbers

On Deck:

  • Figs, Peaches, Dill, Cilantro
  • summer squash (Zucchini, Patty Pan)
  • More Cucumbers
  • Carrots

By Doug

--- 'farmer doug' is the planner and heavy lifter for the CSA and the LLC. Loves to teach; "ask him the time, he'll tell you how to make a clock." Always has a new idea to try, some of which work. BTW - if you try and phone call, and you are NOT in his caller ID you will not be answered - just leave a message and you will be called right back.

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