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  • Comments Off on Safe to plant?
    Posted by Volante Farms in Theme Additions on

    The number one question of the week, month, and spring, is “when is it safe to plant?” There is no right answer to this. But, I think we can let The Weather Channel decide for us. They don’t show any temperatures below 50 for the next 10 days, which puts us into June. And June my friends, is when it is safe to plant or not bother. So what does that mean? If you haven’t come in to get your vegetables and flowers yet, it is now the time. Take care of the garden this week so the upcoming holiday weekend you can be kicking back and enjoying it already.

    Lettuce is forming heads, crisply and fresh for spring. We will plant our second crop this week most likely.

    Not to mention, we need you guys to clear out some more of the stock of pottery and fertilizer in the stand, because the best news of the week is that the strawberries are ripening quickly, so we should have them as soon as we make the switch over to produce in a couple of weeks.

    This will be the first year we have harvested berries off these plants, so it is exciting to see how early this early variety is.

    As far as the field goes we have removed the floating row covers on the early beans and peas, and they are greening and growing nicely. This week we planted the Early Girl tomatoes, 4 double beds of them, at the Standish Rd. field. They are of course under cover, to protect them against extra chilly nights, pests, and under ideal conditions to give them a little heat boost.

    We also planted the first zucchini crop at the home field. We are trying something new this year. We are putting this crop on plastic mulch, like we do with the tomatoes. The mulch is a 5 foot wide sheet of black plastic that allows water to permeate but prevents weeds from germinating by blocking light to the soil. The more time we save in weeding, the better for everyone, our backs and your wallets.

    Summer squash plants get acclimated to their surroundings. If the temps threaten to dip we will cover squash and zucchini with hoops and row cover, like we do with the tomatoes.

    We have planted more beans and corn this week too, and watching radishes and spinach pop up all over. Next week should see peppers and eggplant making their way in to the ground. Plenty to do and plenty already done. Check in with us soon for what’s next.

    The onion sets I showed us planting a month ago are not only up, but ready to pull. We will certainly have some nice spring onion scallions for you, when we open with produce.

    Posted in | Comments Off on Safe to plant?
    Comments Off on Greenhouses Bursting with Color!
    Posted by Teri in Theme Additions on

    If you’re longing for a tropical getaway, all you have to do is wander through our greenhouses! We have never looked so good – our greenhouses are packed to the brim with flowering annuals, perennials, shrubs, roses, hangers, and tropical plants! We have an incredible variety to choose from this time of year, and that friendly and knowledgeable staff you’re familiar with to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

    Don’t forget about our custom planting program! If you aren’t sure what would make your containers and windowboxes really stand out this year, just come in and we’ll help you find the perfect combination. Just bring your empty containers and we’ll do the rest! You’ll have beautiful, unique pots that you can show off to friends and family all summer long.

    Here are just a few pictures of some pretty things around the greenhouse… but come in to experience the spectacular views for yourself!

    Posted in | Comments Off on Greenhouses Bursting with Color!
    Comments Off on Tomato Guide
    Posted by Volante Farms in Theme Additions on

    We have an ever increasing variety of tomato plants available for sale in the greenhouse this year, and as it is just about time to be putting them out in the garden it is high time to think about what sort you are after this year. We have added a few new to us heirlooms, Box Car Willie and a Red Zebra. We have also added a new tomato, Christa, which has an updated and varied disease-protection package, which could help insure against some of those problems many of saw last year.

    We are continuing to plant a majority of our field crop with Early Girl, a classic small tomato, but it has so much flavor and is ready real quick, as the name would imply. Below is our tomato planting and purchasing guides as word documents. As summer comes along and we have some fruit to show, I will add some photos to it and place it in the variety guide page to the right on the home page.

    Tomato Variety Guide

    Tomato Growing Tips

    Posted in | Comments Off on Tomato Guide
    Comments Off on Mid May Check up
    Posted by Volante Farms in Theme Additions on

    Everything is flowing along nicely. We are putting the days of pansies and violas behind us and moving on to the true summer season. Just a little more time and we’ll be ready for warm weather gardening.

    We’ve been bringing in some of the hot weather tropical plants, mandeville and hibiscus and plenty of bright blooms. We have tons of geraniums and more arrive all the time. It’s still a wonderful time to get some of the early perennials into the garden, if you want early spring color now is the time to find it, so you can sit back and enjoy next year. Especially if you want some unique shade plants, don’t forget we have the shade structure in front of the greenhouse with real nice shade specific plants underneath.

    Out in the field we have planted the rest of our spring peas and our first lettuce crop. We have seeded spinach and radishes and our second crops of beets and carrots. We are kind of ahead of the game, so we see how long that lasts. Our big push is coming for getting broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, and the rest in by the end of next week (or maybe the week after).

    Check back soon for online access to our tomato guide, it’s time to start figuring out what you want to plant this year and don’t miss out on your faves

    Speaking of shade plants, here’s a little gallery of some of those darkness lovers:[slideshow]

    Posted in | Comments Off on Mid May Check up
    Comments Off on New extended hours!
    Posted by Volante Farms in Theme Additions on

    Officially announcing that for the remainder of May we are open @ 8:30 am every day to help you get an early start on those flowers beds. We will be open until 6 on Sundays and 6:30 every other night, so no more free passes after work, there is plenty of time for you to pick up your plants and mulch and take advantage of all the awesome sunlight and warmth we have had lately.

    So just so you know, we know you know now, and we can’t wait to see you here.

    Posted in | Comments Off on New extended hours!
    Comments Off on Spinach and Kildeer
    Posted by Volante Farms in Theme Additions on

    Kildeer chicks on their birthday, waiting patiently for their sibling to pick up the pace. A sure sign of spring in the field, and an annual obstacle for the plow!

    That’s about it in the field! We have reached that somewhat golden zone where most of the early crops are in the ground and now we just have to play the waiting game for the threat of frost (still technically May 31 guys!) to pass. So we have just been doing small things here and there out in the field. Clearing the brush and detritus of the winter months away uses up a lot of time. We got the first crop of spring spinach seeded, so that should be ready in a little over a month. We are happy to have been able to get our old variety of Tyee spinach seed again this year, so

    This is the flower bud on a rhubarb plant, by snapping it off near the base by hand or with a knife, you can prolong the harvest season of the rhubarb stalks which will become tougher after the plant is allowed to set seeds. The flower is easy to spot, sometimes extending up to 3 feet in the air.

    if you weren’t taken with last year’s more commercial variety that is good news for you too!

    We got some more ground plowed at the home field and over off Charles River Street as well. These fields will host our second crops of peas and corn, due to be seeded later this week or early next week. So we are prepping that ground and in the process of getting more ground ready for blueberry bushes. We will be transplanting them this week and mulching them with wood chips. Blueberries have proved to be a success for us in recent years, so we are excited to be increasing the crop by about 50%, though it will take a few years before these new bushes start to produce.

    Thankfully, though the turkeys are back in the neighborhood they are shopping for perennials and not peas just yet.

    Peas, beets, carrots, corn and beans are all pushing through, and we have had to start weeding already, so at least we know some things are growing. With so many early spring days in the 70’s, 80’s and even pushing 90 it seems like it could be an early and great year for summer harvest, at least let’s hope so.

    If you are itching to plant veggies at home, it’s a perfect time to seed and transplant early spring crops still lettuce, roots veggies, greens, broccoli and cabbage, peas, and perennial foods like rhubarb, berries and herbs. Keep it up!

    Posted in | Comments Off on Spinach and Kildeer
    Comments Off on Wanted: Dead or Alive
    Posted by Volante Farms in Theme Additions on

    We’ve had a lot to say to you so far this year about our new biological pest control program, via the blog and our first weekend workshop, but it seems like time to give an update. We are very happy with the results so far, especially for our first attempt at it.

    The insect pressure on the greenhouse has been remarkably low compared to other years, which is going to result in stronger plants with less chemical for all of you at home. We have found our predators to be so successful that they have outpaced our banker plants. We have had to order in aphids just to keep our little wasps happy and procreating. They have been so busy mummifying they haven’t left any to keep the colony going.

    In addition to our original little A. colemani wasps, we have introduced A. ervi wasps, which have a broader palette when it comes to aphid consumption. They tend to go after our potato aphids in addition to the peach aphids. Also you may find a styrofoam cup shoved into some of the hanging plants you look at in the greenhouse. We aren’t littering, these are housing colonies of predatory midges bent on aphid destruction. Feel free to move it to a neighboring plant or hand it to one of us if it is in a plant you are craving.

    Paulo goes above and beyond, settling mite colonies on the various trays of transplants in one of our hoop houses. The mite colony lives in a bran mixture and helps control thrips in the plants in their close proximity.

    Keep an eye out around the greenhouses for our tiny heroes , which we have drawn attention to with posters in various locations. Also, please stop us and ask about the program. Everyone can tell you that I have gone crazy for the bugs and love to discuss them.

    Posted in | Comments Off on Wanted: Dead or Alive