A couple of new experiments and the groundhog update

What a beautiful day! I didn’t cover anything assuming the frost would be light enough not to harm anything and this time my assumption was correct. It did get cold, but something seems to have been bothered by it.

Earlier this spring I had to pull up some left over plastic mulch that was left in the field from the previous season. It was an annoying job and I was grateful for my decision to experiment with biodegrading mulch for this season. IMAG0131I first thought about trying this last fall when we were spending a long time in the cold of late October trying to get as much of the plastic as we could out of the field. I had heard of a biodegradable alternative to plastic, but was a little skeptical. After spending so much time pulling plastic last year, I thought it would be worth giving it a chance, so we are. So far it has been great, although it has only been a week. We put all our celery, celeriac, and parsley on the bio-mulch. I hope to lay a lot more of the mulch this week to prep for all the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant I want to get into the field next week. The mulch in supposed to be mostly degraded once the fall/winter comes around and we can just disc what’s left into the soil. By the time it degrades the plants will be big enough to shade out any new weeds that may want to grow so it isn’t needed anymore anyway. You can see in the picture that it look pretty good, although the bed in not straight.  Our biosymetric farming isn’t going well when we have a curvy bed along a straight bed.

Another new thing I am trying is planting a few more things up in our north field. Last year I just did sweet corn, which I will do again, but this year we put in a few potatoes. I also hope to put some pumpkins up there and we’ll just see how they all do. I don’t think I’ll ever fence off the area up there, but if I can find some things the deer won’t eat I can save room in the fenced area since we’ve run out of space there.

IMAG0132I mentioned that we had a visit from our friend the ground hog again. Here is a picture of what he did to our kale. I was a little surprised though at what he ate. Normally, they go for the middle leaves since they are the most tender, but this guy went for the outer leaves only.  Now the remaining middle leaves are growing and the plants may actually come back. I was thinking of going on a new offensive against our resident groundhogs, but since they didn’t kill our kale, I’ll hold off for now. They did slow the growth of the kale, but we may not actually lose our spring kale crop. We may have more kale than we know what to do with because we planted all the extra kale we had after the first patch was nibbled on. The chard looks good this spring too so get ready for a lot of greens! And lettuce, get ready for a lot of lettuce…

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