Strike three and other trials-n-tribulations

OK folks. I am sad to say that my binder clip idea was a colossal fail. Arrived at the farm last night to row covers flapping and ribs out of the ground. The clips just are not strong enough to hold down the covers in our winds. So, more spring clamps have been ordered. Bricks will be gathered to help hold down the edges. And many calm thoughts will be needed for me to quit grumbling about the holes in the covers (caused by some of the loose ribs) and basic lack of success. Lesson learned.

That said, I will have a bit more work installing a few other row covers this weekend. From Tuesday’s re-supply, I have wire ribs to try out as supports. I’ll be curious to see how those stand up compared to the fiberglass rods. They were definitely more affordable. In case they do not work, some on-line searches have located companies that make fiberglass rods. I will have several quote requests floating out there in the ether later today. Maybe ordering direct from the supplier will knock off some of the cost of that type of support. I’ll be curious to find out.

On the to-do this weekend is much weeding. It is amazing how lush the buggers are already this season. Of course, I have to remember that this time last year, we had just broken sod. Still, I am getting twitchy because I cannot cultivate anything….it’s too wet. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t EVER complain about having rain. I am just not a patient person. I am ready to roll.

I will attempt to re-seed some items that I don’t think have taken hold (or I am unsure of the status….is it a seedling or a weed emerging?) or in areas that there are obvious clumps. My first attempts at the Earthway seeder may not have been as successful as I had hoped. It was challenging to use with the smaller seeds, though, because there was SO much static electricity…the little seeds were stuck to the seed chamber more than the seed plate. Let’s just call re-seeding an insurance policy. It will be tedious, but I will be sure of what I place in the ground.

Last item I hope to accomplish is covering the newly planted, young apple trees. The good folks at Stonecrop farm (source of our trees) strongly suggested covering our young trees with row covers in order to protect them from the soon-to-emerge 17-year cicadas (said to start coming out in early May…ahem…somehow that is now). The big problem with the cicadas is that the females will seek out thin twigs and tunnel in to lay their legs. So, to give the baby trees a shot, it is best to provide a barrier against said egg-laying female. Yep. I’d like to keep my trees. Thanks.

And because every post needs a photo (pictures are more interesting that anything I could type up)…here is a peak at a Yukon gold potato starting to make itself known.

Potato sprout

Potato sprout

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