Having missed all the rain promised us last weekend, we dutifully have been pulling the irrigation pipe and pumps around trying to provide enough soil moisture to transplant our vegetables into the field. We have had no measurable rain this month and it will have been a month this weekend (April 29 being the last one) since we have had any. It’s a real concern because the general lack of rain in the northeast will adversely affect us due to the lowering amounts of water flowing in the Connecticut River, a major source of irrigation water for us. So far there has been enough water in the river (the Wilder Dam and its generating schedule affects the levels of the river) for us to keep the frost off the berries, – it looks like we are due to get one tonight. So at least the strawberries are getting enough moisture. We continue to keep our fingers crossed for some warm weather with much needed moisture. And in the interim we will be trying to irrigate ’round the clock all that we do have planted to keep them alive.
To date we have our first tomatoes, peppers, and vine crops out in the field, courtesy of our returning summer laborers Geordie, Willie and Roy. These delicate transplants we put on plastic mulch and under rowcovers, which are those white snakey-looking things you see in the field. The plastic warms the soil and the row covers keep the air temps around the plant a bit warmer than they would experience without the covers this time of year. And of course this spring has not been without the constant buffeting of cool drying winds and the row-covers keep the winds from beating up the transplants.
The cool dry and sunny weather has been good, I believe, for greenhouse sales. Despite the fact that transplanting any plant in the rain is the best time to do so, we always see sales flag in damp weather. So the up side is that greenhouse sales were good over Memorial Day, but there are still a lot of plants to get rid of, ’cause those houses still look pretty full to me!