Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planting in August

The Concord Drill is on the horizon
Bill is planting flax on ground that was too wet to plant last Spring. This is called a "cover crop."
He is solid seeding at a very light rate, approximately one fourth the rate we would seed if we planned to raise a crop of flax. There is a little dust being raised on our prevented planting ground today.
Just under the surface, however, it is still wet. The flax will grow up and remove some of this moisture.
Grandpa has a chisel plow working up areas of the field that were too wet earlier this Summer.
He is making sure the ground is prepared to receive the flax seed. The weedy spots in the field have been treated with herbicide.
The chisel plow digs up the roots of weeds that have grown up in the low spots. Grandpa will work up a seed bed that is smooth and conducive to growth.
When flax is planted in August, it will freeze long before it matures. In mid September our plan is to plant winter wheat here. The flax stalks will hold snow and help keep an insulating blanket on this field through our long brittle winter.
The winter wheat will be our 2011 season crop. Under the blanket of snow the tough wheat roots survive our subzero temperatures.
If the plan works, the winter wheat will spring to life in 2011 and field access will not be an issue on this wet piece of land in GriggsDakota.

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