Though we have had some rain and we are quite a bit better off than before, we still could do with a lot more. We are back to trying to get a lot of water on as much as we can.
We are about a month behind where we should be in the vegetable garden and we have not gotten a lot of things planted that we wanted to. The potatoes though late and suffering quite a bit from lack of watering by us or from rain, are still growing and have a lot of growing still to be done but are reasonably well weeded and were cleared on Saturday of the few potato beetles found. There are gaps where potatoes failed to sprout and though the gaps are significant we still have a sufficient number of plants to give us a good and adequate harvest, but with a quantity that is going to be smaller than we’d have liked. The melons, winter squash, summer squash and cucumbers are mostly up and well sprouted with mostly a good catch through very careful attention to seeding into wet soil and watering before emergence. We have used a black plastic fabric on the ground around the cukes and some melons so as to help reduce weeds and to warm the soil though mostly ’til now the soil has not needed extra heat. The sweet corn was also seeded very carefully and in this instance the seed was pre-sprouted. The extra care takes a lot of extra time but gives a greater assurance that the plants will emerge quickly, strong and more evenly. We next have to erect something that will keep the raccoons away from our sweet corn cobs. We have a while to get that figured out and we have a pretty good idea what to do.
We have also this week seeded nearly a full bed, three rows (about 280 feet per row), of lettuce. This should have been a second planting but the first planting germinated poorly and was mostly done in by the excessive heat. Again we took extra care in this planting and have covered the seeds with boards and mulched with grass clippings leaves and old rotted hay and of course watered it well after seeding and before covering with the boards. We will pull the boards off on Wednesday so as to allow the emerging seedlings to grow without hindrance.
We also lost our most of our initial plantings of spinach, mesclun mix and the purple and especially the green beans are not doing well at all. There will be second plantings of these as well as quite a few other things. We still have a good lot of space in the garden to fill.
It certainly will be nice to get more rain. It makes it easier to get things done and of course all the vegetables do so much better. We need it too so as to have pasture for the horses, cows, sheep, chicken and ducks. It will take at least 4 weeks of growth, after a good rain, for the pasture to recover and will need frequent rains along the way too.
Thanks again to those who came out to help. Anca, Jenn and Adam, your help was great, we got a lot accomplished!