Thursday, June 23, 2011

Experimenting with Mulches

A long, cold, wet spring like the one we had this year means one big thing for us veggie farmers. Lots of weeding! Some how those weeds are much better than our crops at growing big and strong in the weather we've been having.

Up until last week it felt darn near impossible to keep on top of them. Things are looking better now, thanks to lots of people power, and the use of some different mulches.

A mulch around the surface of your crop can serve multiple purposes - yes it helps to keep weeds down, but it can also help to regulate soil moisture and soil temperatures, provide a nice environment for soil organisms and depending on the mulch you use, can add organic matter to your soil once turned down (all good news for a veggie farmer).

Around Skeeter Farm we are using four different mulches, each in small quantities. I imagine that if we have good results with any one, we'll go ahead and use it more widespread next year.

Duck compost, which we are very fortunate to have access to from FVDG, is made up of the composted duck manure and wood shavings that the ducks are grown on.

Black plastic mulch is good for warming the soil (something that melons love) but isn't exactly great for the environment as it probably takes thousands of years to decompose. We limit our use of the stuff.

Straw is something that we have used as a mulch around our garlic to keep it from experiencing the extreme winter temperatures that we can get in the valley.

Something new this year is the use of sheep's wool as a mulch. We were fortunate to have some given to us and we are experimenting with using it as a mulch around some flowers. It looks beautiful and smells delightfully sheepy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Skeeter Open House - June 18th

The farm is holding an open house from 10-2 on Saturday June 18th for anyone who is interested in checking out the new place!

If you'd like to come, and maybe even help pull a weed or two, please RSVP to for directions!