We have started with the first of our balancing act decisions of the season. As the season heads on, the decisions will be coming so fast and furious that we develop a certain flow with them, and many of them will be responding to dominoes that have already fallen, but now the decisions stand out a little more. Should we try to get another cut of salad greens off that greenhouse, or is it time to turn it over and plant cucumbers? Should we put the plastic on the caterpillar tunnels, or is it going to be warm enough to plant in the field soon? The 8-14 day forecast from the National Weather Service says that it is going to stay relatively cold, so we decided to cover that caterpillar and seed some arugula and radishes in there. We are going to get one more cut of salad greens from the tomato greenhouse, so the tomatoes are going to have to stay in their bags until next week,
but the cucumber house is getting planted today!
We are experimenting with some “no-till” planting this year, starting with the cucumber greenhouse. There, we just mowed the salad greens, and then put a thick layer of compost over the top, broadforking, and are planting right into the compost, rather than going through with the roto-tiller and scrambling up the soil structure and microbial population.
Here’s a picture of all of the delicious plant roots that are being left in place when we broadfork. Those plant roots will be a tasty meal for the soil microbes, and the microbes will feed our cucumber plants, which will feed us. Yum!