EMPTY PALLET BOXES AWAITING CLEANING. Once planting is complete we shift over to Summer tasks which include cleaning and disinfecting with bleach hundreds of triple-stacked hardwood pallet boxes. The disinfection is a Best Management Practice (BMP) aimed primarily at stopping the spread of the dreaded Bacterial Ring Rot (BRR).
Today was yet another wet, gray day in Aroostook County. With the rain that fell since last night, we now have had over 7″ of rain in the past four weeks.
There are still some local farmers who have not yet planted all their potatoes – despite planting all day and up until 10-11pm at night during dry weather – because of wet ground problems.
In wet Maine Springs it can go like this: You plant potatoes on a Monday. Then it rains Tuesday. It drys out some on Wednesday. On Thursday you get another day of planting in. Then it rains again Friday into Saturday. Now with the accumulating moisture and with little to no evapo-transpiration to help out, you need the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday for the ground to dry out again. With each rain it takes longer to dry back out. This is how one week can qucikly degenerate into just two good days of planting.
If you’re tempted to be impatient and work the soil too wet in the Spring, you run the risk of compacting and crusting over the soil. Then you’ll be plagued for the rest of Summer and into Harvest when you dig up big clods that accompany the potatoes coming out of the ground.
Wiser to sit and wait. Caleb, Megan & Jim