As we brace ourselves for our first heat wave in two years, we take solace in the fact that the hot days and warm nights will expidite tomato ripening. In addition to keeping ourselves well hydrated through this stretch, we’ll also be mindful of our plants’ increasing water requirements. Irrigation becomes a high priority in weather like this. Fortunately we’re ready for the job. Earlier in the summer, in spite of ample rain from frequent thunderstorms, we prepared for these days by laying out miles of drip irrigation tape underneath plastic beds and setting up the infrastructure to feed these lines. Now the work will shift to moving around the PVC manifolds that we’ve built to connect the different irrigation zones and keeping the pump running. Our drip or trickle irrigation system is a very efficient and sustainable way of supplying the plants with water. All the water is released 2″ below the surface of the soil and none is lost through run off or evaporation. Any excess will leach right back down the hill and be returned to the pond.
Irrigation isn’t the only priority for this week. We’ll continue to cultivate and maintain established crops, hand weed the young emerging crops, and keep planting many successions of Fall crops. This week, the last of the Fall carrots and beets will go in and the first plantings of Macomber turnips and watermelon radishes will be seeded. We hope to see you at the farmstand this week and don’t forget to eat lots of vegetables and drink plenty of water in this heat!