Fall is my favorite season by far…What a way to start a blog about spring. Ha!
That does not mean I don’t love spring as well. I want to share a few things about this farmers spring habits that might motivate and educate in some way.
First thing I do is think ahead, I think way ahead. I keep notes every year on all my plantings; what worked and most certainly did not. I also keep notes on the weather. This helps for future plantings. In Winter I go through these notes as I plan what to do for the spring.
Next I do a seed inventory and figure out what I have and what I need. Many times I do some simple seed saving myself. I sell some seeds on our produce stand and I was lucky enough this year to attend the seed savers exchange in Chico. That was fun and I was able to see what other gardeners/farmers are doing. It is also always fun to talk shop with others.
Not only am I thinking about produce these days, but I have been delving into something I love secretly…flowers. Dahlias were an experiment I did two years ago and it went oh so well. This year I decided to throw in Tulips. I should have planted more, but tulips are not cheap. That goes into the notes for next year. Point is some flowers have to be planted in fall to make it out by spring. My planning never really ends until I am in the midst of harvest.
Tips for Tulips- I have a big gopher problem. I set traps, but they are winning the war. In order to enjoy some tulips I was given a tip which seems to be working well. I plant them in cheap wire baskets that protect the bulbs. you will see this in the picture. Some baskets are deeper than others and some are shallow so I could see what works best.
After all this planning of flowers and produce, the planning is put into works. I start all my seed in late February and March depending on what it is and how the weather looks. I never go by what it says on the back of the seed package because weather changes and so do seeds.
What I mean by this is if I have been saving my seed and reusing it, it has the ability to adapt better to our weather and climate. Therefore it becomes a stronger seed and plant for me and this area. In comparison, if I buy a seed from, let’s say, New York? Well, that seed is on foreign soil. One reason why it is best to buy local seed if you can.
April and May are when I start adding plants into the ground. Although, I already have our soil prepped and ready to go. Our corn, peas, beans and sunflowers are already in the grown and are direct sow. I use my garden planner to keep track of all my planting; when, where, what. I like to keep notes on how long it takes things to germinate as well. I do this all on a garden planner program you can find HERE. From Mother Earth. It is a fabulous garden planner I highly recommend.
Next is weed control. Taking precautions NOW so that weeds do not get out of control when the sun pops out. This is why we have tilled already. One tip is to till only where you are going to plant because tilling only promotes more weeds. If you do not have that option for some reason, till and mulch, weed barrier right away to stop the weeds in their tracks. No point in mulching after weeds have grown.
And that is Spring for me in a nut shell so to speak.
Of course spring also means enjoying those tulips that I planted and harvesting the veggies I planted in the fall that have been growing all winter.
Spring in the walnut orchard is a whole other thing. It also involves lots of weed control and orchard maintenance. It really is amazing when I think about it how in in the world I am able to accomplish all these things plus run my household as well, but that is another post. I think I need to write more. If you have questions regarding anything I wrote or did not write here, let me know below. Thanks