03 Sep Summer stretches on with hot dry weather
As the calendar flips to September, the weather is challenging our reserves. It’s crazy hot and extremely dry, which means the alarm goes off around 2 am, to switch irrigation somewhere on the farm.
We are irrigating as much as possible, running drip all day long, and overhead sprinklers in the mornings and evenings.
Despite our best efforts we are still seeing certain crops suffer- the lettuce is bolting very quickly (bolting is when the plant goes to flower, a result of stress signaling to quick, make seeds!). Plantings of arugula and spinach have wilted and died from the heat, despite watering and attention. We are trying to baby our fall crops through to cooler weather- though relief does not seem in the near forecast. It is just too stinking hot.
In the meantime, we are getting fields that are finished for the season ready for cover crops. This means pulling plastic and drip tape up, discing the fields and prepping them for seeding some combination of oats, clover, rye and hairy vetch to name just a few. Cover crops help prevent erosion, increase organic matter, and improve soil tilth. What cover crops we choose to sow has to do with what will be planted there next season, as well as what the specific needs may be for that area of the farm.
Twenty more days until the equinox and the official start of autumn. Let’s hope that summer gives us some relief well before then.
Post and *photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. *Irrigation photos by Justin Seelaus; this week’s share photo by Megan Clymer. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community. Tricia is passionate about food, art and nature and the intersection and expression of all three.