We were able to get into the field and do the first tractor work at the beginning of April. We did primary tillage and prep in the potato field, seeded some early cover crop, and killed some weeds and smoothed beds with the field cultivator. Later in the month we did more preparation for planting, more cover crop seeding, discing, and plastic mulch laying for upcoming onion planting.
We have been busy in the Propagation Greenhouse, seeding, watering and potting up everything that we are expecting to plant in the next couple of months. We also set up one of the hoop houses as a coldframe to harden plants off this month. We keep the sides down, but cracked to let the plants acclimate to the outdoor temperatures.
In April we start flipping our Greenhouses from winter to summer production. We did a big last round of harvest in two of our large greenhouses, then took out the hoops and row cover that we used to protect the spinach, baby lettuce, and bok choy from the cold temperatures. We filled soil in low spots in the houses, and added compost, peat, and fertilizer to the beds. The two eastern houses will have tomatoes this season, which we will planting in the next couple of weeks. Next up we will till the beds, put drip irrigation in, and cover the beds with black plastic and the pathways with landscape fabric. We have also started prepping the smaller houses across the street for tomatoes and peppers, basically the same routine: clean-up, amend, till, and irrigate.
We are also working on installing a rail system in the Harnois so that we can have a cart to push around the houses for tomato harvest. During the season we spend a lot of time harvesting tomatoes and are looking for ways to improve the ergonomics and efficiency.
Two highlights of April: the first plants and seeds are in the ground; and most of the crew is back at the farm!