From the Fields — Thaddeus
It is beautiful tomato-growing weather on the farm. The days are hitting the low 80s, and the nights are well above freezing and cool, enough to let the plants have a good rest each night. While I still want more rain, the dry weather made the spring tractor work required to prepare the fields easy work that happened on schedule.
While the little tomato plants grew in the greenhouse under protection from the elements, the fields were being prepared for those little plants. The cover crop which thrived over the winter, was chopped up and tilled back into the earth. The soil was disked, leveled and pulled up into beds. Pre-plant fertilizer was installed, and it was incorporated into beds. The neat beds each received on row of drip tape and a thin layer of black plastic that will keep the weeds down and warm the soil up just a touch.
With the beds prepared, the drip system was turned on, wetting the soil in preparation for the little transplants. The crew walked through the field, punching holes in the plastic every 16 inches (there is a great video of this on my Instagram @farmerthaddeus), and finally the field was ready. The following day the plants arrived from the greenhouse. One plant at a time, they were pulled from their plastic cells in the greenhouse trays and tucked into their place in the field.
First their little roots will settle into their new home, and then the tops will begin to grow. It will not be long until stakes and string are put into the field for the vines to climb up. Then little yellow flowers will emerge from the green foliage, fruit will be set, and they will grow with the summer heat and finally, tomatoes will be harvested.
Enjoy the spring and its crops knowing that summer is already in the ground and remember to follow us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou).