Mulch

Mulch

Mulch

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It is supposed to rain today but the sun is shining this morning although it is cool and breezy. It was supposed to frost on Saturday evening but I think it only got down to about 37 degrees. I had covered some of my tomatoes and peppers but it turned out it was not necessary. It was real windy Friday evening and into the night. I came out Saturday morning to find most of my paper and straw mulch on my potatoes had blown off. It was a mess so I spent Saturday morning redoing it all. Below is a picture of the finished job. I have used this brown paper before to mulch my potatoes and it works well. I was not going to spend the money on the stuff this year but we had this covering a newly refinished floor at the Old School Museum where I work part time. We removed it all and I brought it home. Problem was I did not have it all weighted down enough. So when I redid it all I shoveled dirt onto a lot of the edges to hole it down. Once it rains on it it will be pretty well stuck down. The problem with putting dirt on it is you invariably are putting some weed seeds on top of the mulch and they will sprout and grow thus making the mulch effort somewhat pointless. But it beats cultivating the entire row and all that space in between the rows. I only had two bales of straw on hand and the farmer I get hay and straw from was most likely working in his fields when I first did this so I wasn’t going to bother him for a couple of more bales of straw. 

I have been very diligent in putting up and keeping up my chicken wire barrier around my spring garden. If I don’t the rabbits will just eat it all off. One evening there were two rabbits just hanging around out there probably wishing they could just get over that fence. They probably could just jump over if they thought of it but they don’t. They will go under it though if there is an opening so one must maintain a vigil to make sure there is no where they can get under it. I use metal fence posts, bricks, and pieces of firewood to make sure it is held down. I bend the fence in a sort of arc with about 3 of 4 inches laying flat on the ground and the rest kind of arched back over and then stake it with various small electric fence posts. I use one inch mesh wire. Anything bigger and the little baby rabbits will go right through it. The wire I use is 2 feet tall so it actually is not that high once it is staked. It does the job though against rabbits. It is worthless against deer or other animals like ground hogs. So far I have not had any trouble with them.

I got my tomatoes and peppers set out. I bought 3 heirloom tomatoes at the Organic food store where I shop. They are Cherokee Red or Purple. I have never raised this variety before but have purchased the tomatoes at the farmers market in Springfield so I am looking forward to having these to eat. Then I planted some of the common varieties so we can can tomatoes this summer. Our canned tomatoes from last summer lasted until about February or so. I also planted some green beans and sweet corn. Neither has come up yet but if it starts raining, and the forecast is for rain for the next 4 or 5 days they should come up just fine. I thought I had some okra seeds on hand but I didn’t so I have not planted any of that yet and I am waiting to plant cucumbers and squash. The later the better for those. If you wait until about June or so to plant those then you do not have the bug problems that ruin those crops every year.

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