Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weather, IPM, Soil, and More ...

Another one of my colleagues, Jonathan Rotz, the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Agronomy Educator, has installed a data gathering weather station over at the Horticulture Center Gardens.  He hopes to have the data available online, so that real-time local data will be available to farmers, growers, and us gardeners.  One benefit will be calculation of Growing Degree Days using precise local conditions for help in predicting pest emergence as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

The station also tracks soil temperature and moisture at 2 inches and 1 foot as well as leaf wetness.

So far, soil temperatures at the office are averaging about 51 degrees at 3 inches.  That means it's OK to sow cool season crops like arugula, fava beans, kale, lettuce, pac choi, parsnips, peas, radicchio, radish and spinach seed, which will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees.  With a soil temperature above 50 degrees, Chinese cabbage, leeks, onions, Swiss chard, and turnips can be planted.

Still need to wait on beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and the rest.  Here's a good article on when to direct sow vegetable seeds, or transplant those started indoors, based on soil temperature.

If you want to try to fool mother nature (always a risky venture) and artificially raise soil temperatures, you can build cold frames and hot beds, as described here.  Please use caution when using uncomposted manures.

No comments:

Post a Comment