Motivation, saving time, rain, cold night

Transplanting Trowel Chart 2 2013.jpegI reported last time how quickly we managed to get our broccoli and cabbage transplanting done this year. Some of us talked about devising a “thermometer” style chart to measure our progress. The outcome was this “Trowel Chart”, based on our favorite Wilcox 102 trowels, which transplanted 2267 broccoli and cabbage with us over the course of 10 evenings.

I always like to learn new time-saving tricks, and this year I gained a great one from one of our newer crew members. When we are replacing casualties in our transplants a couple of weeks after the transplanting, we have to look under the rowcover to find the no-good plants. Some people completely remove the rowcover to one side, which takes time, and seems unnecessary when there are relatively few to replace. The problem with saving time by lifting the edge and peeking under is finding a way to mark the spots where a new plant is needed. It had never occurred to me: pull up the damaged plant and lay it on top of the rowcover marking the spot! Like many good ideas, this one seems obvious once you know!

This year, thanks to good crew, lucky weather, drip irrigation and new or fairly new rowcover, we didn’t have many casualties. The main culprits were rabbits who bit the centers out of a few.

We ran the drip irrigation every day while we were transplanting, and twice a week since, but on Saturday (after the end of our garden shift) we had a big downpour. Here’s a picture

Soggy Saturday garden. Credit Ezra Freeman
Soggy Saturday garden. Credit Ezra Freeman

This was taken by Ezra and posted on his blog ObserVA: A Year of Observing Nature in Rural Virginia. His blog is full of mushrooms, plants, animals and  derring-do.

Last night we recorded a low of 49F (9.5C), very chilly for mid-August in central Virginia! The nearby town of Louisa recorded a low of 53F, equaling the record low set in 1983. NOAA already recorded March-May as the coldest spring since 1996