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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Wet Winter Veggie Sowing

Wet Winter Veggie Sowing

In the early days on the farm, I adopted a calendar based sowing schedule based on the idea that cool season crops should be sowed in March and warm season ones in September. The passing years have demonstrated that approach is overly mechanical given the variability of seasons from year to year. Spring sowing in particular was extremely unpredictable. Some years the winter would be mild and wet, allowing very early sowing of crops that demand warmth. Other years a drought would stretch from winter to late spring, delaying direct sowing in the absence of irrigation (though I found warm season crops kept producing to the end of autumn, so the late start wasn’t a big deal).

This year we had a strange, persistently rainy end of summer and start of autumn. The highlight was a spell of heavy downpours followed by blue skies, a cycle that repeated every few hours for several days. The ground turned to mud from February until late April, which made sowing cool season crops challenging. Previously I would have waded into the muck to try my luck getting things started, but this year I chilled out and focused on other priorities.

When I did start preparing beds I looked at the available spaces and decided to put my veggie garden where my weedy maize patch experiment had taken place. The pumpkins were still bumbling along, but I gave up the last few fruit to get my winter veg going in time. The space had a heavy weed seed bank in the soil after years of neglect, but the cycle of germination and slashing back during the maize crop had started depleting them to manageable levels…

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