Growing and selling plants takes a lot of time and so we have only finished Planting the garden at last. This is a bit late but we have high hopes that everything will come in fine. This year has seen some early warm weather. Add to that big box stores who continually offer plants too early and off season and people are sure to jump the gun when it comes to planting vegetables.

As a matter of fact we had a number of customers buying replacement tomatoes because they started too early and were nipped by the frost. I don’t care how warm the spring is we can have a frost up to and after Memorial Day.

A week or two will not really make a big difference as our plants had a good head start to begin with. As a matter of fact some of the squash already had small fruit showing when we planted them but we have seen this in the past and once they are in the ground they will take off.

This year we are using burlap bags for weed control in the yellow squash and zucchini beds. The burlap is in the form of coffee bags from where else but a coffee roasting company in Syracuse. They gave us as many as we wanted for free and that amounted to about 1/2 a pickup truck load. And we have a full sized pickup bed. We laid them down with an over lap of about 6 inches in one direction and side to side in the other. They are heavy and should hold fast in normal light wind, especially once the plants cover the area, but we stapled the edged down with bent coat hangers to keep the bags in place until the plants are well established.

We gave them a good soaking with a sprinkler and the water trickles down into the soil with no problem. Our hopes are that the bags will hold moisture in and keep the weeds down. The bags probably will not rot away in 1 season so we will probably pull them up and determine if they can be used again or left to the slow compost heap.

We got them in the first place for the asparagus bed but there are enough for that and more.
The tomatoes are planted in rows covered with woven landscape fabric. We till a 3 foot wide row about 30 feet long and cover the whole thing with a strip of landscape fabric. We then leave 2 feet of grass followed by another row and so on. The plants are set in by cutting a slit in the fabric and using a trowel to make a hole deep enough for the plants. We use a premium quality fabric, available only at greenhouse suppliers, and it lasts year after year. We just pull it up in the fall and fold it up until the spring. Like the burlap we use bent coat hangers to hold it down. We are fortunate to have a seemingly endless supply of wire coat hangers. Many people who use a uniform service know that the fresh uniforms come each week with new hangers. We cut them up and bend them with a pair of lines mans pliers.
So we may be a bit late but oh well.

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