Hi/high summer

Sprout Farm Newsletter July 25 2019 www.sproutfarm.net

Hello Everyone,

We hope you all came through the storms alright. We had some muddy spots in the low lying area of the garden and some of the next crop of sunflowers will be wonky but other than that we did pretty good and the garden benefited from all that rain. The half of the garden that received all that leaf compost last winter is getting an extra sip of liquid fertilizer to make up for what got washed away. It really does make a difference. The lettuce crop is still sporadic and as soon as we get some consistent cool weather we’ll see an improvement in the germination of the lettuce seeds. It still looks strange to see the plastic roof of the seedling house replaced with shade cloth but the remaining plants are getting watered twice; once from the sprinklers and once or twice from rain showers.

The first crop of sunflowers is finished so we expect the next row to be ready for cutting in ten days or more. We paired that row with the second planting of glads and things are kind of tight. Jay started picking the glads yesterday and the first color to show up is a beautiful yellow and it looks like it’s followed by orange glads. That’s funny because Jay told me this morning that he ordered red, white and blue corms. You really have to be flexible in this business.

Watch out for the kittens now that they join us at the stand when the weather isn’t beastly hot. The black kitten likes to sleep on the stool with the black cushion and I almost sat on her once until I saw her open her eyes and realized she was there.

In the ongoing battle for weeds we now have purslane showing up in the garden. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/030726.html This article gives a good explanation of why I love this weed/ hate this weed. I’ve ripped it out over the years and I see far less of it than I did decades ago but I still occasionally enjoy snacking on the succulent leaves. They don’t taste bad but the scientific literature about this humble plant in impressive. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934766/ It’s worth learning about the plant based omega 3 oils growing in our gardens.

We hope you have your gardens all planted because we’re clearing out the remaining annuals. I laid out some bags of soil, cut a large flap in the top of the bag and planted a variety of flowers and veggie plants as an experiment in growing things in bags. I still have multiple packages of new 3 gallon grow bags/ 25 to the pack. We used them for a couple of years but gave up on them because they tended to tip over when tall plants grabbed the wind and fell over. Indoors they would probably work fine but we made the switch to regular plastic pots and have been much happier with the results.

That’s all for now. Stop by and say ‘Hi’ to everyone.

See you soon,

Jay and Phyllis Sprout

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