April 2018 – Treis Elies

It was a lovely sunny day, the temperature was just perfect for working outside. At lunch time there was even some clouds to make our life easier!

The jobs for the day were:

– Preparing grow beds for low crops

– Preparing grow beds for trellising crops

– Chopping and Dropping the group cover around the Raspberry bushes.

The preparation of our low crop beds is pretty straight forward. We simply weed the whole bed by using a pitchfork to loosen the soil, then we plant our crops and have a traditional weeded bed. We plant our spinach, lettuce, beets, carrots etc in these beds. After 1 or 2 growing cycles we will rotate the bed and allow weeds to grow in it again.

The trellising crops are for crops that can climb up and escape the weeds! So for example, we quickly chop and drop what weeds exist in the grow bed, then we loosen the soil with a pitchfork, add white clover seeds (low growing ground cover that can out-compete grass within 3 years) and then we add our seedling which should be a month old at least. Then we tie jute string from the drop irrigation to the over-head hanging cable.

Crops like tomatoes, beans and squashes will climb the jute and run away from the weeds that are competing with them. We will chop and drop around these crops once every 2-4 weeks, depending on the weed. We chop and drop with a Japanese sickle. Chopping and Dropping around our berries is very straight forward. We have alpha alpha, white clover and vetch growing among them. We take our Japanese sickle and chop them and drop them on the spot.

Overall, it was a very pleasant and productive day, with many jobs getting done!