Seeding frenzy

Saturday marked another important milestone for us as we began seeding our first crops outside in our freshly tilled fields. While there are a lot of vegetable plants popping up in the greenhouse, the first outdoor seeding of the season always feels special.

The first step on Saturday was to spread some organic fertilizer, as our soil test results showed some nutrient deficiencies. Next, we raked the beds to incorporate the fertilizer and flatten out a few ridges in the soil. Once the beds were flat, we measured out our row spacing and put down string to mark straight lines. Following the string markers, we pushed our handy new precision seeder down the beds to seed carrots and beets. Finally, we covered the freshly seeded beets and carrots with row cover, which involves unfurling a giant white cloth over the beds and burying the edges with soil in order to keep it in place. Fortunately, it wasn't a very windy day, otherwise the row cover would have acted like a giant sail! While row cover is a lot of work to use, it is well worth it early in the season, as it warms the soil a few degrees to ensure speedier germination. It also helps to protect the new seedbeds from the abundant wildlife, especially the deer.

On Monday, we seeded sugar snap peas and snow peas in the field as well. Since our seeder can only handle smaller seeds, we planted these ones by hand. Both of us are used to seeding everything with a tractor, so it was fun for us to get down in the dirt and seed veggies the old-fashioned way. We were fortunate to get a nice bit of rain directly after seeding since we are still working on our irrigation set-up. Now hopefully we'll get some more warm weather and have some seedlings popping up in the field early next week!