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Showing posts from 2014

Crop duster spraying again

A crop duster is spraying nearby fields again, upwind at 1:30 PM. The wind speed is 15 mph with 20 mph gusts. Wind speed over just 3 - 5 mph causes drift that can affect land downwind for miles and miles.

The fact that there is no oversight of the crop duster is frustrating. There's no one that I know of to call and register a complaint. The industry is free to do whatever it, whenever.

Pumpkins planted

I planted four varieties of pumpkins on June 11. The next day, 1/8 inch of rain fell. The following day, a little more rainfall brought the total of to 1/4 inch.

I planted the pumpkins by mid June this year so that they will be ready for harvest at the beginning of October and therefore suitable for market.

Last year, I planted pumpkins on July 4, and they were not ready to pick until a few days before Halloween. More became ready in November, which was too late for seasonal pumpkin buyers.

The varieties in 70 basins are: Cinderella, Big Max, Howden, and Halloween, all from Willhite Seed Company.

To prepare each basin, I added Texas green sand, Sul-Po-Mag, soft rock phosphate, and Agronomic Partner's 14-0-0 sustainable nitrogen from soy.

Harvests continue

By the second week of June, the raised bed garden and the row section nearby have yielded more produce than we can eat.

Harvests so far include:

Squash - scallop, yellow, crookneck, zucchini and lemonTomatoesEggplant - the soil crop yielded before the hydroponic cropSwiss chardKaleCollard greensCarrotsBeetsOnionsGarlicCucumbersChamomileBasilCilantroChives

3 Inches of rainfall

On Monday morning, June 9, 2014, 3 inches of rain fell over the course of a few hours. Standing water around the raised garden bed eventually percolated into the soil, charging the soil with a healthy water content.

All crops thrived in the days after the rain, except for tomatoes. The row of tomatoes planted in the row area near the raised garden beds show a sort of curling in the leaves and stems that I usually associate with herbicides. In the week prior, a crop duster was spotted upwind, and drift may have indeed affected the tomatoes.

First harvest

I've now harvested the first zucchini, squash and tomatoes (Punta Banda and Texas Wild), along with continuing yields of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, carrots and beets.

From the hydroponic Dutch buckets, I've harvested several bell peppers, banana peppers and a tender squash.
So far, the crops grown in soil yield more abundantly than the hydroponic crops. I will increase the nutrient concentration in the Dutch buckets to see if I can improve the yield of the soilless crops.

Summer begins

By the first week of June, the soil has dried out, and no precipitation is in the weather forecast.

Watering is mandatory, and the Israeli melons in the field require it daily, as do the raised beds.

In my raised beds, several tomato plants have died because I wrongly assessed that they were getting adequate water. They were not. I've made this mistake before, but I did not learn from my past failures. I simply must stop overestimating how long a good rainfall as we had in the last weeks of may will last.

Last year, I started pumpkins on July 4 for an October harvest. I did harvest a few pumpkins in October, but most were ready in the last week of October or the first of November. In order to harvest pumpkins this year in time for Halloween buyers, I must plant them by the first week in June.

Ample rainfall

May 13, 2014 — Ample rain has saturated the soil. As much as 2.25 inches has fallen in the last two days, and standing water covers the landscape.

We are still behind in rainfall for the year, so the area is still experiencing drought. However, at least the crops are watered for a while, and the moisture content of the ground has been recharged.

A cold front has moved in, so temps are chilly.

Late Start

This year's planting has been delayed by a late frost on April 15, 2014. This is the second year in a row that a frost has occurred much later than usual. Last year there was a frost in the last few days of April which required several crops to need to be replanted.