Spring is a time for renewal here on the farm. After a winter of resting, planning, attending conferences and coming up with new ideas, spring is the time to put our new ideas into action.
We are trying a few ideas new to Red Wiggler in 2013:
Floating Row Cover
We decided to spend the extra money on floating row cover, so instead of covering 1 bed at a time, we can now can cover 5 beds at a time. We rolled it out and were immediately amazed how easy it was to work with.
Our 5 rows of brassica plants (kale, collards,kohlrobi, mizuna & turnips) are enjoying the extra moisture contained by the larger row cover and the cover crop of oats and clover in the aisles between the beds is also benefiting from the protected conditions. So far, this looks to be a great decision! We love the ease of uncovering all the beds at once and being able to hoe without dealing with additional hoops and rock bags, making the area more accessible for all of us.
Rye/vetch Roller Crimper
After reading about how planting rye and vetch as cover crops may suppress the Colorado Potato Beetle, we decided that the potato field was a perfect candidate for an experiment. Since we already had rye and vetch planted in the field, we only tilled the strips that we wanted to plant in and left rye/vetch aisles between the potato rows to continue growing. We will then use our new walk behind roller crimper to kill the rye/vetch and use it as straw to deter the beetles.
Right now the field looks nice, and we’ll do a update later after we’ve crimped the rye/vetch cover and determined the success of our experiment .
We are also excited to experiment using the roller crimper to crimp the rye/vetch down for our last tomato plantings. Stay tuned for another blog post in June that recaps our process.
Also new in 2013, we are planting more ginger and Johnny’s new lettuce variety, Salanova. Since the Salanova lettuce seed is pelleted, more of our growers are able to seed the lettuce. And the lettuce sure does look nice! It even comes with it’s own special lettuce de-corer. We can’t wait to try it!