April and May storms bring better soil to Crabtree Farms
Tomatoes, squash, and zucchini: it's time to pick and time to buy.
Tomatoes, squash, and zucchini: it's time to pick and time to buy. Crabtree Farms tells Channel 3, the storms in April and May helped the soil for summer crops.
For a farmer, this time of year is always a gamble. The heat wave in May didn't help spring crops.
"Our mustard greens bolted, radishes bolted, lettuces bolted," says Executive Director, Sara McIntyre with Crabtree Farms.
When a crop bolts, she tell us it means it's done producing edible vegetation, and it's ready to spread its seeds. The early heat wave helped summer crops. McIntyre adds that the rainfall has been good and bad. More mud makes it difficult to get around.
"It's more difficult for us to get into the fields because we don't want to impact negatively our soils. It also means with increased humidity and moisture, there's an increased risk of disease," adds McIntyre.
Greenhouse Manager Mike Barron says his team doesn't touch the plants when water is visible. This prevents diseases from spreading. But thunderstorms this time of year are a good thing.
"Thunderstorms specifically give an infusion of nitrogen into the soil. So you get a lot more foliage growth. This is why everything looks so green and lush in the spring," says Barron.
Storms filtrate nitrogen into water droplets, that then sinks into the soil. Barron adds that due to rapid growth, gardeners need to watch out for more bugs.
"Aphids, these little super tiny insects will latch onto the leaves and the crowns of baby plants and small plants and suck the sap out," states Barron.
He says thanks to the needed storms in the spring, the plants are at their maximum size now. But now, the plants need more sunny days. The sunshine sparks more sugar production in the flowering plant, making for a better tasting fruit.
Crabtree Farms is harvesting its first tomato batch this week. Tomatoes will be available this Wednesday at Main Street Farmers Market at 4PM.
For a list of events this summer at Crabtree Farms click here.
Have a weather related story idea? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.