It seems the rain heard our complaints and decided May first would be a good day to quit for a while. Last week we caught up on the boatloads of planting that we’d been saving for warmer periods. Yesterday the entire day was spent planting out onion, lettuce, cilantro, dill, and fennel starts, with the onions and the lettuce adding up to the bulk of our efforts.
We plant by hand, dividing up labor into laying out and planting. One person lays out the plugs at their spacing distance in the row, and someone comes behind to put the tiny starts in the ground.
Even with all the rain the last few months, in the sun and breeze the topsoil dries out quickly so if we have a lot of planting to do we run drip irrigating while we plant. If there’s a little or if we’re using overhead irrigation we wait to turn on the water until everything’s finished. Transplanting is so stressful on the little starts, it is critical to keep them well watered until they’re established – if not, even the most robust little starts will succumb to stress and dehydration.