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Container planting and some field notes

April 27, 2011

Spring is fully on at the farm and all over town. Forsythia and Rhododendrons are flush with color. Daffodils are lining streets in white and yellow. Maple trees are letting everyone know they are ready by dropping blankets of pollen on everything. How are those allergies?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend, we are back in the swing now and the heavy rains that have been predicted seem to be staying at bay. It is letting us get some real work done and start to spread to some more diverse realms.

First, this weekend please join us for a wonderful close out to our April Workshop Season. Dianne Porcello will again be reprising her talk on Container Planting. This is traditionally our most sought out and popular workshop.

This container holds perennial succulent ice-plant and rock cress. It is perfect for a sunny and dry corner where you want some early color. Come on in to find out how to put it together to match your home color scheme.

Dianne will go over the basics of mixing plants and colors in containers to create beautiful planters that will be successful in your yard. She will go over plant requirements, and even the basics such as choosing soil, fertilizer, and how to water.

She will also go over some of the new trends in containers, including making perennial planters, using unique foliage plants, and succulents. Bring your questions and an itchy, if not yet green, thumb and be ready to start the month of May off with some hot new looks for your porch, patio and window boxes.

You can use a container to show off an explosion of colors, or you can be restrained and keep it in a color family, like this cool shades of violas container in a patina colored pot.

The workshop starts at 10 am, in the large Greenhouse and afterwards you will receive your 10% off coupon to use right away on your own container ideas. As always the workshop is free, we just want to see you!

In other news we have been getting some things going out in the field. We recently took the mulch off the strawberry crop, so the plants could get some access to the sun. We have the early peas, corn, and beans in the ground and all of them have been covered with floating row cover to help keep them toasty and these still cool nights. In fact thanks to the paper covering the peas are already up and reaching for the sky. The first spinach and Swiss chard seedlings are starting to peek through the soil as well.

The first peas crack through the soil at our Standish Rd. field last week.

In perennial crops the rhubarb and mint beds are looking pretty lush. And the blueberry crop is showing signs of life, which is great after such a harsh winter. We are battling to get the new asparagus in the ground but some fields just don’t like to be dry when they should be. We’ll see how that works out, but we are definitely excited to get this new crop started.

The scraggly leaves sticking out through those holes will eventually be strong green tubular leaves, attached to some sweet and hopefully large onions on the bottom.

We have been working on something else new for us this week. Onions. We have really wanted to be growing onions for a while and we think we have a cost-effective way to do it. At least we are trying it, it is a near guessing game for us, but we have gotten some great tips from some of our other area farmers. Anyway, we made some raised beds in the field and covered them with plastic mulch. We spent today punching holes every six inches and dropping in transplants of our own onion seedlings and some larger ones we bought in that had been field grown.

We use a tractor to install plastic mulch for the new onion crop to aid in keeping it weed free. It lays a line for trickle irrigation underneath as well.

These should be a decent size by mid to late July, and we will hopefully have some nice bunched fresh onions to offer you this season.

In case I forget to mention it, new hours start on Sunday, extended for the month of May to make it a little easier to get your yard work accomplished.

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