Are you thinking about September, October, November right now? Probably not. Well produce just doesn't show up. It has to be planned for, timed out, started and then planted. We are trying to have big tomatoes all season. We have planted multiple plantings and with any luck all will work out! We have already run into one problem. The hot spring and early summer pushed my first planting almost 4 weeks ahead of schedule. Usually I am picking my biggest pickings from now until the end of July. This year, I am essentially out! I timed my second planting to start producing about the 20th of July, based on previous years data. They will be ready then, but the first planting went early. So, we are low on tomatoes. It is sad, but I am happy as it will give me time to get fall stuff going! We have planted a large fall planting of tomatoes, larger than planned. We had some watering issues (trying to be helpful 3 and 6 year olds) who watered the tomato seedlings to the point of death. I thought this planting wasn't going to happen. However, after asking around I was able to locate some seedlings that another grower had extras of and we were back in business. Thank you Dennis Hatfield of Pierce City, Missouri. With his help, we were able to get this planting in, ahead of schedule. With any luck, we will hit my goal of big tomatoes for Piotique in September. We are doing a few things differently. First we are going back and using cages with one planting. Out of necessity, yes, and curiosity. It is a double row, 2 foot spacing with 18 inches between rows. I wanted to leave room for row cover and extra plastic in case of an early winter. The other planting went in a movable tunnel. 5 row, 2 feet apart. We also put in a row of cherry tomatoes. It was one of those, we have them why not? They look a little sorry, kinda spindly, but I am sure they will take off soon! Crops just don't happen. Farmers have to be planning ahead, make changes and with any luck, lots of hope and some prayers a crop can me harvested. Jay
July 10, 2012
I just realize I haven't posted anything on my blog for well over a month. I am sorry, I guess I have been kinda busy. :) Well I am pretty proud of these watermelons we are growing this year. I am going to start harvesting in the next 7 to 10 days and will continue to harvest for as long as we can. We have three plantings, May 20th, June 7th and July 7th. We "Should" have melons from now til frost. Let me show you the progression of the first planting from May 20th. They have been for planted 50 days as of today, July 10th. The are planted in Black plastic and are watered with drip. It is said that black plastic alone will cause them to ripen up to two weeks earlier. That said, this weather has helped out too! Pictures say more than words, so here you go. Well this isn't the melon patch, but you can see it in the upper left hand corner. This was on April 1st. May 18th, two days before planting. May 27th June 15th July 10th Yum! Enjoy!
Posted by Jay Sleichter at 11:49 PM