Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week of June 18 2012 : Bees. BEES!

Here is a photo of a bee.  A real, and hard working, bee!  There are many bees working the blossoms this week.  This particular bee is working the rows of cantaloupes.  His hive friends are nearby working the watermelons.

Part of successful farming is timing.  We won't say how much of good timing is hard thinking and how much is blind luck because proper strategy is easily negated by the weather.

One of my habits as a grower was to start transplants too early.  My attempt to get plants to set fruit early actually back fired and caused them to set fruit later.  Just as the plants were accepting a life of being root bound in a tiny flat and begrudgingly beginning the reproductive phase, I would then set it out in the field.  Excitedly the plant would shift back to vegetative phase for a few more weeks before shifting back to reproductive phase.

This year I intentionally started the plants later.  It was a hard habit to break.  But the timing has worked out much better.  The plants have not had to waste time shifting between phases; as a result the plants reached vegetative maturity earlier and are now in reproductive phase.

Sure the heat helps the plants grow and encourages the bees to work a full day.  Combine better timing with great conditions and cantaloupes have set fruit about 3 weeks early.

Hopefully our watermelons share this same wonderful experience.

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