23 May, 2011| This spring has easily been the wettest, boggiest, soggiest spring since we’ve started this little homestead venture of ours. I’m trying to stay away from the weather page and just take each day as they come. But unable to resist temptation I took a peek today and found our precipitation totals for the last couple of months. I wasn’t shocked to find that we’ve had over 11″ of rain in the last six or so weeks. April Rainfall Totals:
May Rainfall Totals To Date:
A check of the extended forecast shows no end in sight. My husband is concerned about getting the hay harvested that will feed our cow, Maybelle, and her calf over the coming winter. Since our hay is free, this would be quite disappointing and may mean we’ll be needing to find the funds to purchase our yearly stock. We were planning on haying over the holiday weekend, but I’m not seeing that happening. What do you think?
I’d like to say that my disappointment is complete, but I’ve been called upon to assist this year- a task I must confess I am NOT looking forward to. The hay harvest won’t be the only thing affected by all of this soggy weather on our homestead. Forget that our basement has flooded for the first year since we moved here not once, but twice, but of the peas I chitted and planted weeks ago, probably 5% actually emerged through the soil. Our soil there has either been been puddled over or packed firm of which neither condition is apparently conducive to seedling growth. For an extra couple of dollars for some new packets, I’m going to see what I can find and take another go at it. With our soil temperatures reaching 60 degrees and our last frost date tomorrow, the time for planting tomatoes is at hand, but of the remaining tomato plants I started from seed this spring, the last 75 (I was going to share) have succumbed to fungus- Septoria Leaf Spot, I believe. These seedlings were far too tall to keep in our basement grow-area any longer so when the rain just kept coming down during the hardening off phase, I had no choice but to just allow them to endure it.
Rather than risk low yields, I threw out the plants before the airborne fungus could affect other plants. Wednesday is trash night here and once they’re gone, I’ll have to see if I can find a greenhouse with any plants left. With the raised bed craze, everyone else is able to get a jump on those of us who still raise their veggies at ground level. Although raised beds seem oh so tempting right now what with their better drainage and being able to plant ahead of the last frost date. I’m trying desperately not to covet all of those lovely raised gardens! I need to remind myself over and over again that getting the plants in too early stresses them and reduces yields and nutrition. I’m disappointed that I will no longer know whether our tomatoes were organically grown from seed and I’m sorry to surrender that control to the grower.
All of this experience will give us increased knowledge for the years to come which I’m sure will allow us to make improvements under similar circumstances. We’re speculating whether it would be of the biggest benefit to plan a greenhouse addition to the homestead or if the garden needs to be moved altogether. If modifications to be made to the growing area to accommodate larger seedlings or if the sowing date for tomatoes needs to be postponed. Most importantly though, the experience serves to help us acknowledge all the more the Lord’s sovereign hand guiding the affairs of our lives, including what type of harvest He will give us for this year. So despite the disappointment of the spring, I’m excited to see what He has in store for us for the rest of this season!Are your garden plans coming along better than ours? Or are your efforts also being thwarted by the weather?