Really, on the farm there’s no such thing as a not-busy time. We always have a surplus of items on the to do list and more than enough for each workday. This time of year is just a little, well, busier. Now that we’re sinking into our CSA routine and devoting a full day and a half to harvesting, washing, and packing up all of our bountiful shares, we’re having to put new meaning into the word Priority.
Typically our priorities fall into order based upon the most pressing needs to nurture our existing plants. Currently, however, we’re putting all the weeding, thinning, watering, bug squishing, and mowing on the back burner. Our harvests have been great, but now we must concentrate on keeping the momentum of planting so we can take advantage of our long summers and the many successions we can plant for continual harvests. This week we’re slated to transplant our 3rd succession of tomatoes, summer greens, and our last eggplant, and it’s also time to direct seed more successions of all the other main summer crops, like squash, cucumbers, beans, and okra. This week, I’m asking the weeds to refrain from growth so that we can stay on top of planting!
When we plan our big plantings and seedings, we try to consider a few things. First, we consider the size of our transplants in the greenhouse and check our seeding plan (that was carefully crafted in the wintertime). Each week we take plants outside the greenhouse that we hope to plant by the end of the week. This helps with the hardening process and reminds us to allot time to plant these things. Second, we try to plant in the perfect moisture conditions. We can’t amend and work up our soil if it’s really dry or really wet. Third, if we can, we opt to plant into signs of the moon that encourage growth.
According to the calendar, we’ll be planting as much as possible on Monday and we just finished seeding a good bit of stuff today. The moon is in cancer, a moist and fruitful sign and considered by most the best sign to plant. To stay on top of the lunar cycles, you can purchase a biodynamic calendar or you can try to figure it out for yourself by using a free calendar found online. I like the one here: www.zodiacarts.com.
Planting time is a nice time…in the scheme of things, it takes so little time to plant the seeds or the plants, it’s the nurturing that seems to take so long. I hope all you Southern gardeners aren’t finished planting yet! Successions even on a home scale are a good way to go…keep the garden packed and eat all year long!