I want to write about the black fabric which we use in our gardens. This fabric helps retain moisture and keeps the soil warm. The fabric also helps keep down the weeds. We do not spray herbicides. We pull what weeds we can, but are unable to keep up with all of them which explains why our gardens look like such a “mess” come the end of July! I always say our gardens are the prettiest in June and start going downhill after that. The gardens still produce nutritious veggies, of course; but the gardens will not be winners of Home and Garden Awards. Weeds are not all bad since weeds can provide habitat for beneficial insects! Currently, however, we could still win some beautiful garden awards!
Today we did not need to irrigate thanks to the Tuesday rainfall. When we do need to water our gardens, we use an underground, drip irrigation system to conserve the water obtained from our wells. Drip tapes carrying the water run along the side or under the black fabric. In turn, the moisture helps the decomposition of organic matter (weeds), which releases nutrients for plants to take in. The idea is to flow with Nature! Fighting Nature all of the time simply takes too much of our resources. Robert and I need our energy for operating our CSA Farming business.
Across the ditch from Phase I is Phase II of the Spring Garden. The fabric has been laid in place, but that is all at the moment. Eventually a seven-foot deer fence will surround both Phase I and Phase II. You will see some fields along Cane Creek Road and elsewhere with mounded black plastic in them laid by specialized equipment which is how the commercial tomato farmers do it. Sigh . . . but not us. Once the gardens are tilled, all work is done by manual labor.
It might not look as if any plants have left this staging area, but trust me, more than half of the 15,000 plants started in our greenhouse have moved through this stage and been relocated to the garden soils!
I am finishing up the last of the lettuces and eggplant in the greenhouse this week. There will still be some more planting to do in there since we start cucumbers and squash plants inside as well–think a ‘head start” for the Summer Gardens!
Robert and I are happy with how the season is progressing. We do have CSA Farm Shares available for the upcoming season which we trust will be a bountiful one starting in two or three more weeks! We attempt to balance the daily harvests for the sake of the gardens. We will continue to add shares throughout the season as the production allows.