Late Winter Newsletter 2018

Riverbend Farm Late Winter Newsletter April 8, 2018

It is odd to see the sun come up so far north in ‘winter’. This is certainly a change in the weather. The temperatures have been setting record lows for a change. I’m really grateful for these past few sunny days. Can you imagine how dismal it would be to have it this cold and cloudy ? And, it is snowing tonight. It is pretty on the pine trees, but I am so done with winter.

The near zero nights have made greenhouse management to keep things from f-f-f-freezing at night a priority. The infloor heat is energy efficient but it is slow to react. And really, the heating system is designed for growing in April. There is a reason I don’t start anything until early March. And keeping the greenhouse at 55° with a couple sheets of plastic between you and outerspace is a tall order.

I have been covering the little plants with several layers of row cover to hold in the heat over night. That has worked pretty well. So far I have only lost a few nasturtiums when the night covers weren’t quite as secure as they should have been. A few of the eggplant look kind of unhappy but they are still upright and green

Jimmy and Heather next door are fighting to keep their lettuce and beets from freezing and dying in the tunnels. The high tunnels only have a sheet of row cover, a layer of plastic and no heat. I ran into Jerry and Sur Untiedt yesterday. They had a propane flowmeter go bad and lost six tunnels full of tomatoes. I guess things cold be worse…

In the greenhouse I’m getting jammed up for space. I can’t leave anything uncovered and it is time to repot a lot of the plant sale tomatoes and peppers. It looks like this week will be a good time to get caught up, night time temperature will be close to freezing. BTW, average temperatures for today are 52° for the high and 29° for the low. .

In most years I would be plowing under cover crops and getting ready to start seeding radishes and arugula this week. That won’t be happening for a couple weeks. The frost is starting to break up but it is still there and the recent snow will make the soil too wet to work. .

The other thing that happens when the frost goes out is that I can turn on the water for the greenhouse. This year it is going to be a little later than usual due to the broken water line. Although I’m optimistic that it can be fixed enough to get the water for the greenhouses turned on. The plants in thimble full of dirt dry out very quickly in the April sun even if it is 25° outside..

Back to vacuuming up tiny grasshoppers