Employing New Weed Control Methods & Monitoring Winter Squash Growth
Village Farm Team,
We’ve got two different weed control methods happening in some of our empty farm club plots: occultation and solarization. With occultation, we are covering the ground with an opaque tarp. This works to kill weeds in the ground because we are taking away their source of sunlight. When we use the same method but with transparent plastic, it is called solarization. This method uses sunlight to heat the moisture in the soil and eventually create steam which is then trapped under the plastic. The hot steam is what kills the weeds. Both of these methods are not only less time consuming than hand weeding but they are popular options in no-till farming.
Our first succession of winter squash is doing really well and beginning to sprawl across the beds. We noticed the formation of the first female blossoms this week which will yield the actual squash. The second succession of winter squash just germinated this past week and are beginning to produce their first set of true leaves. We have both butternut and spaghetti squashes growing. Butternuts are actually a hybrid squash that were developed by Charles Leggett in Massachusetts in the 1940s. He wanted to develop a squash big enough for a family to enjoy together that had a good, sweet taste. The interior of the resulting squash was smooth like butter and sweet tasting like a nut so it was deemed the “butternut”.
We added more trellis support for our fall tomatoes this week as they continue to grow. We mostly have cherry tomato varieties planted because they are able to handle the summer heat better than most others. Each plant is beginning to bloom so we’ll be seeing green tomato babies in the coming weeks.
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West