So, last night, on our way home from a date, we noticed that the row covers had blown off in the strong winds and rain. I really wanted to wait until morning to fix it, but Aaron just had to remind me that one hungry deer would destroy everything over night. So, I put my rain gear on over my dress, put on my muck boots and a headlamp, and headed out to once again put the row cover back on. Aaron gallantly came out to assist me. The romance is really non-stop around here.
During the all-day rain on Saturday, I spent a pleasant afternoon in the hoop house tying up the trellis string to the overhead supports, and then tying them to the clips on each tomato and cucumber plant. And I did the weekly tomato pruning as I went. They always look so scraggly after I finish. This is the first year I have attempted to aggressively prune the tomatoes. It is supposed to help reduce diseases, by allowing the foliage to dry out, and to force the plant to put more effort into growing tomatoes than leaves. We'll see how it works.
I spent a good portion of today prepping the final two beds of my six "field" beds. I first went through and loosened the dogsbane up with a shovel, then hand-pulled them, and then re-shaped the beds to get them ready for planting.
I think I have finally (on my fourth planting!) figured out the key to planting carrots. I recently weeded the third planting, and was quite irritated to see that less than 50% of the seeds had germinated. I kept hoping there were more seedlings hidden amongst the weeds, but alas, I was mistaken. However, I saw that my fourth planting had more like 85-90% germination! Success! Tonight, I planted, my fifth, and final planting of carrots for the year. Aaron made me a handy jig with little dowel rods spaced every 1.25 inches. So I lay that down, step on it, and when I remove it, there are a bunch of little holes spaced appropriately. I painstakingly drop a seed in each hole, and then, instead of just brushing the soil back over it, like I had been doing, I sprinkle compost on top of the seeds to cover them. We'll see if it was actually the method that produced my success in the fourth planting, or just dumb luck.