Remember the beds we prepared for our tomatoes last week? This week we planted them with our fall tomatoes! For now we have the main part of the stem clipped to trellis support. As our tomatoes grow, we’ll be adding even more support to keep them from collapsing. As for the sunn hemp cover crop planted in between each row, it is just beginning to germinate.
The tomatoes aren’t the only crops getting a little support. As our winter squashes grow, some varieties will begin to create sprawling vines. In order to keep them from encroaching on other beds, we’ll be adding a trellis system for the vines to climb. The winter squashes have been doing remarkably well despite the heat and we’re even starting to see the first flower buds forming.
Our new wheel hoe has been making weeding the furrows between our beds a breeze. It works in a similar way to a scuffle or stirrup hoe, but covers a broader twelve-inch area in one sweep. The simple addition of a wheel allows for quicker and more efficient weeding. In addition to weeding, the wheel hoe is helpful in breaking up the “crust” that our clay soils get after a heavy rain and subsequent drying out period.
We’ve noticed over the past several weeks that all of the flowers we have planted around the farm are drawing in a diverse variety of pollinators. The bees love the flowers on our anise hyssop while butterflies and moths tend to go for our zinnias and mint flowers. As for the wasps, it seems they don’t necessarily have favorites. Instead, they spend time among our colorful flowers as well as our various flowering crops. Now that we have winter squash coming up, these pollinators will be essential to the growing process. No pollinators means no winter squash!