Early spring...finally. What a winter we had! We ended up with about 48" of total snow this winter, in the top 3 snowiest years ever recorded for our area. It is good to see clean ground after such a harsh winter. Long range outlook from O.S.U. is saying slightly below normal temps for the next month and our final "freeze" will be later than normal. I suspect our final frost will also be later than normal. We have been having a final frost most years around May 10-12 but I have seen it as late as May 19 in recent years and this spring may follow this same path. I recommend not setting out tender plants too early this year.
Once the ground is dry enough to work, it is time to plant potatoes and onions. It is time to start cabbage, lettuce and other cold crops too. It is also time to start pepper and tomato seeds indoors. Remember, once they emerge, they need lots of strong direct light. A grow light works great but a window sill is not enough light and plants will stretch trying to gather all the light they can.
So far, all our equipment has checked out good. We are slowly getting all the maintenance done so when the time comes, we can get to tilling and planting. This year's major corn seed growout will be "Aunt Mary's Sweet Corn", an heirloom variety from here in Ohio. We are planning on between 1/4 and 1/2 acre to be planted for the sole purpose of a seed crop, much of it has already been contracted by Southern Exposure in Virginia. We are planning on at least 36 different bean varieties to be grown for seed along with a couple squash and a cucumber. It looks like we will have between 35 and 40 varieties of tomato seedlings available this spring. Plants will not be available until the first weekend of May.
We were featured in the current issue of Salt magazine. The two page article was good exposure for the farm and has created more interest in what we do. You can view this issue online at www.thesaltmagazine.com for the next 30 days.