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Spring Task List

April

Harvesting

Perennial Maintenance

  • Apply Michael Phillips holistic spray, consisting of pure neem oil, liquid fish, effective microbes, and seaweed extract. From his book The Holistic Orchard, “The fatty oils in the fish and neem fuel microorganism colonization on the leaf surface…Other constituents in the neem oil coat insect eggs tucked into bark crevices and get ingested by larvae feeding directly on the tree, which causes the molting cycle of certain pests to crash.”

Infrastructure

Crop Planning

  • Summer cover crops: Buckwheat, sorghum-sudan, sudangrass, for added organic matter and weed suppression.

Bed Prep

  • Cover crop mowing and incorporation takes place when they first begin flowering. Consider submitting a cover crop analysis to OSU’s Central Analytic Lab. Sampling and lab submission instructions here.
  • Amend your fields as you prepare for planting. Consider soil temperature when timing your nitrogen application: remember than the phase of rapid N uptake, which varies by species, is about four weeks from germination; but nitrogen does not mineralize very quickly in cold soils. Give your amendments time to become available, or plan to use highly soluble sources like fish emulsion.
  • Spreaders should be calibrated and maintained.

Propagation

  • Source/purchase/organize your potting soil(s) and germinating mixes, or their components.
  • Gather and inspect your trays, source/purchase as needed.
  • Organize your work area and tools–dibblers, seeders, mixing equipment, writing implements, record-keeping paperwork, tray labels, heat mats/lights, wicking irrigation.
  • Compost tea can efficiently be applied to starts as you water them. Does your brewer work, and do you have the ingredients on hand? Molasses, worm castings?
  • Do you fertigate your seedlings? Gather your fish emulsion, or other soluble nitrogen source.
  • Do you provide trace minerals and myco inoculants? Gather your kelp emulsion and mycorrhizal inoculants for a pre-transplant dunk.
  • Tomatillo, ground cherry, cucumber, melons, pumpkin, summer squash, winter squash, basil, globe amaranth, tithonia, amaranth

Planting in the Ground

  • Carrots, chervil, dill, fennel, leeks, onions, lovage, parsnip, parsley, arugula, broccoli, cress, kohlrabi, radish, turnip, chois, beets, chard, spinach, quinoa, orach, burdock, lettuce, sunchoke, salsify, scorzonera, shungiku, peas, anise hyssop, sorrel, potatoes, cabbage, purslane, calendula, nasturtium, flax, cosmos, zinnia, sunflowers
  • Calibrate and maintain your bed marking tools

Animals

  • Check all new animals delivered on-farm for overall health and thrift. Hands-on examinations including tracking the weights of new arrivals as they grow can help ensure healthy animals.
  • Provide environmental stimuli for new creatures that will be pen raised. A bail of hay to play in, hidden or suspended food treats, large sturdy balls to push and toss, and logs or stumps to climb all keep growing minds of all species active and occupied.
  • Clean feed and water dishes as needed to prevent creatures from ingesting waste. A hot water and soap scrub is sufficient to remove debris. If illness is present, consider washing and sanitizing equipment and spaces frequently.
  • Check bedding and shelters to ensure clean, dry and draft-free.
  • Get market ready! Prepare signs, flyers and other materials for farmers markets or other sales avenues. Make sure product packaging is ready to go and that all coolers and equipment is in clean, ready-to-work order.

May

Harvesting

Perennial Maintenance

Infrastructure

Crop Planning

Bed Prep

Seeding Indoors for Transplants

  • Any and all succession plantings of lettuce, fennel, broccoli, chicory, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, etc.

Planting in the Ground

  • Carrots, cilantro, dill, parsnip, leeks, onions, amaranth grain and greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, radish, chois, beets, magentaspreen, spinach, orach, chard, quinoa, burdock, lettuce, peas, bush and pole beans, dry beans, corn, potatoes, purslane, calendula, aster, cosmos, zinnia, amaranth, marigold, tithonia, sunflower
  • If night temperatures are warm enough and the weather is dry enough in certain parts of Cascadia, tomatoes may be planted out under plastic or row cover this month. Watch for slug pressure, and hold off til night temperatures are over 50F if you’re unsure.

Animals

  • Prepare livestock sales advertisements. Good photos of animals being listed for sale and a clear, clean description of the critter and their selling points help move sales.
  • Make sure all registered stock paperwork is ready to go with animals that are listed for sale.
  • Plant livestock feeds such as sunflowers, beans, beets and greens.

June

Harvesting

Perennial Maintenance

Infrastructure

Crop Planning

Bed Prep

Seeding Indoors for Transplants

Planting in the Ground

Animals

  • Plan for breeding. Locate studs if needed and start tracking heat cycles.
  • Swap paperwork with any intended studs or leases to ensure that all animals involved have been tested clean and are registered if applicable.
  • Ensure animals are healthy and up to date on bio-security screenings and vaccinations.
  • Check fence lines and ensure that all fences are in good repair.
  • Consider electric fencing to enable easy rotational grazing.
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