Direct Seeding Vegetables August 25, 2014
As the summer crops reach their peak harvests, my operations team is scrambling to stay on top of our fall vegetable planting schedule. The distractions associated with farming are plentiful, but none of them are good enough excuses to not plant crops on time. Unfortunately, the peak summer harvest season coordinates with the peak plantings for fall and winter vegetables.
We plant crops in two different ways: direct seeding or transplanting. Direct seeding is when we take the seed of the crop we will be growing and plant those seeds directly into the field. Transplanting is when we take the seeds of the crop we will be growing and plant them into trays in the greenhouse. When the plants are big enough to be plucked from their trays, they are transplanted into the field.
The first set of direct seeding happened a few weeks ago. Direct seeding does not have the instant gratification associated with transplanting. When you are done transplanting a field, there is a crop. When you are done direct seeding, there is no visible crop and 10 days of watering, waiting and worrying before a crop begins to appear.
Our first planting is just popping up through the soil surface. There was one set of plants I couldn’t identify. I forgot my planting list in the office and was ashamed I couldn’t figure the little plants out. After thinking about it and verbalizing all the fall crops I grow, I knelt down, plucked up some of the plants and put them into my mouth -the unmistakable taste of cilantro invaded my taste buds. They didn’t look like cilantro, but they tasted like it.
It won’t be long until we cultivate these little plants, and then send a hand crew through to get the weeds that the cultivator missed. Just as the summer crops begin to slow down, the fall vegetables will be picking up.
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