St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works

Mulching, mulching, and MORE mulching

It's been a busy week out at STOGROW Farm! We've planted around 450 tomatoes (50 more brandywines are on their way!), 400 green, red, and yellow bell peppers, and about 100 orient express, nadia, and mackinaw eggplant. The summer squash and corn we direct-seeded are popping up like crazy, but most of the beans are still deciding whether or not to make an appearance. The lettuce and greens mix are loving their shady section, so we have six bright strips of green running the length of the field. We've had dry, hot weather for the past week with only about half an inch of rain last night, so we'll continue hand watering all of the veggies until they get a good soaking. Do a rain dance for us!!

As Farmer Dan noticed this morning, it's spring in the greenhouse! Since this is our second season and we more or less know what to plan for, we've had time to think ahead and do more extra projects, like planting a greenhouse full of herbs and flowers, many of which are beginning to germinate and burst into green shoots! Some of the herbs include three types of basil, sage, rosemary, cilantro, yarrow, parsley, thyme, echinacea, chamomile and chives. We'll have sunflowers galore -- 18 varieties in all with names like Autumn Beauty and Stella Gold and Munchkin! Other flowers include lots and lots of marigolds, daisies, statice, sweet peas, larkspur, lobelia and oxypetalum. None of us has much experience with flowers, so this is where the Garden Research part of STOGROW comes in!

Today and yesterday the four of us spent most of our time bent in half mulching the plants. Using hay from broken bales collected from local farmers as well as loose hay from the barn we've been able to tuck all of the peppers and most of the tomatoes in. The back breaking work now will pay off later when we don't have to weed in between the plants, and it keeps the soil from blowing away during dusty periods like the one we're in now.

In other news, STOGROW was news recently! We received coverage in the Boston media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Check out the story at:


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