Good-by frost and Hello Spring

Sprout Farm News Letter    May 15th 2020

Hello Everyone,

It's time for the annual sale on Proven winner in 41/2” pots - 3/$12.00. Sale starts May 16th and ends on Friday May 22nd. Jay and I are going to have to eat our Wheaties this week if past experience holds true.

We squash we seeded is ready to go, cukes are up but running small, the tomatoes are ready to go but we wish the ground would warm up a little more. If you have the seeds, it is not too late to plant peas. Our sugar snap peas are taking their time showing up so we have to wait just like every one else. Our peas from the first planting are only up three inches.

In back of the greenhouses we have a large garden and some of you have seen the plastic mulch that we lay down to suppress the weeds and conserve moisture from the drip irrigation system. This year we are trying a new biodegradable mulch. It is supposed to last three months in the garden. The sun makes it brittle and elements in the soil break it down when it gets tilled under. We saw something like it at the big Griffin Greenhouse Expo that takes place in August at the DCU center. Unfortunately the Expo has already been canceled and that is too bad because it is the only event of its kind in New England. I hope event planners pause to let the health metric play out before they cancel more important information events. Agriculture professionals have to attend a certain number of classes to keep their pesticide licenses up to date. Growers have been given a pass this year as all classes have been canceled but let's hope they resume soon so we can get the most up to date information to keep our food safe.

We hired new staff this week so please be patient while they get to know the business. Jay, Karen and I will be here to answer your questions but the ultimate answer man is Jay. Now when Shelley stops by we ask her question after question because her specialty is garden design. She is happy that the perennial list is online and lets us know when we have something she loves that she can't find anywhere else.

The first planting of impatiens will be ready next Thursday. We're 'plugging' the second planting this weekend. We have four greenhouses but we only use the two big ones for growing all the finished plants you see on the shelves. When one set of flowers comes out another set of flowers takes its place. We brought the sunpatiens out yesterday. They are in the brown 6” pots, they love bright sunshine and should not be confused with New Guinea impatiens that are in 5” black pots and love partial to full shade. We have far more sunpatiens than New Guinea impatiens but they look very similar at this time.

There are very fewer trucks running out of Maine this spring so it may be difficult to immediately replace the Coast of Maine soil that we purchased at the end of last year. We have plenty of raised bed mix, potting soil and lobster compost. I'm loving that soil shed more and more.

Please be careful around Twix the longhair tiger cat. He has lots of personality but sometimes he plays with his claws out. We're teaching him manners but he's still a kitten, all eleven pounds of him. He is obsessed with treats just like Jessie.

Let's hope that science prevails and we can all see you smile again. I miss seeing your smiles and other facial expressions. How do the deaf get along now that everyone is wearing masks and no one can read lips? So stop by, speak up loud and get your hands dirty in the garden with plants from Sprout Farm.

We always send fresh produce to the local food pantry when we have it because we have the facilities to package it right. Please support the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry that is serving over 70 families every week. The income from the thrift shop is not available because the shop is closed due to covid 19. Your donations are more important than ever and all donations stay in the local area.

Thank you and we'll see you soon,

Jay and Phyllis Sprout

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