Preparing the ground



We’re prearing various planting areas all over the farm. Some, like the section containing scallions that ‘oversummered’ (seen in the front of the picture), are simply weeded by hand, amended with compost,  and the irrigation checked. Some areas are tilled with the tractor – you can see me in the background making the second pass on this field, after having waited 10-14 days after the first pass for weed seed to sprout. When there is sufficient time, we till a third time (not this season – we got behind because of all the rain). The repeated tilling reduces weed pressure on the planting beds. The next step is to form up the beds.  I do this with a bedder attachment on the tractor. Then we add compost and fertilizer, lay down the irrigation lines, and put up trellising where needed.

3 Responses to “Preparing the ground”

  1. 1 Melissa Contreras 12 October 09 at 3:58 pm

    What kind of fertilizer do you use, Margie?

    • 2 Farmer Margie 12 October 09 at 6:31 pm

      We use our own compost and grow a cover crop in the summer to provide organic matter and/or improve fertility (either Sunn Hemp or SudeX, a soghum/sundagrass hybrid that sets sterile seeds). We amend with either Sustane or Perdue AgriRecycle’s microSTART60, both of which are acceptable for use in organic production. We have also used Nature-Safe, as well as a custom organic blend prepared by Howard Fertilizer. If needed, we use Kelp, and fish emulsion (but be very careful – fish emulsion has been called into question due to the preparation methods, and/or the preservatives used in it). To be safe, choose items from the OMRI list of approved materials – but be aware that many of these carry use restrictions. The organic grower is required to justify need to use as well as document that other, more ecosystem-sensitive means have failed in their purpose.

  1. 1 Getting ready for planting « Bee Heaven Farm's Blog Trackback on 31 October 09 at 3:30 pm

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October 2009

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