The Urban Farmer: It’s REALLY Hot Out – Dealing with Summer Heat on the Farm For the Farmer and the Crops – The Urban Farmer (FSFS56)

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Heat causes issues on the farm.

Not just with the farmer, but with the crops. Crops bolt quickly, pest pressure increases, water usage goes up, seeds dry up, transplants fry.

How do you deal with those issues?

How do you raise the crops that your customers want in a way that works and gets you a saleable product, and in a way that doesn’t cause you to burn out?

There are a whole bunch of active and passive strategies that you can employ to

From harvesting early in the morning to harvesting and late in the day, there are options, and this episode is all about dealing with the heat on the farm for the farmer and for the crops…

Tips on dealing with extreme heat:

  • Get rid of field heat on crops quickly when you have to harvest in the heat.
    • Get them right into the cooler or submerge them into water.
    • Put the crops into the shade.
  • Ideally harvest when it is early or late.  When it is cool.
    • Also harvest crops when they are ready.  Delaying harvest could cause issues in the heat. 
  • When transplanting or starting seeds make sure that you use enough water. 
  • Do the hardest and most labor intensive tasks in the cooler parts of the day if possible.
  • Take breaks as needed.  Burning out doesn’t help the farm in the long term.
  • Grow the right crops.
    • If you are getting pest pressure or bolting issues with a certain crop, can you grow another variety or crop that is better suited for the heat?
  •  You could look at using shade cloth to shield some of your crops from the heat.

Base Principles of Dealing with Heat:

  1. Harvest early and often.
  2. Do physically intense and/or field work early/late in the day when it’s cooler.
  3. Know your crops.
    1. Seedling timing.
    2. What crops bolt, when.
    3. How many cuts you can get.
    4. Pest issues affecting certain crops.
    5. What crops to avoid.
  4. Use enough water.

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One reply on “The Urban Farmer: It’s REALLY Hot Out – Dealing with Summer Heat on the Farm For the Farmer and the Crops – The Urban Farmer (FSFS56)

  • Daniel Cortes

    I can relate to this episode big time. My Salanova does not seem to be growing fast enough, about 30 of them got thrashed by some type of pest at one of my plots. As a starting farmer who is losing money in the beginning as it is, this is rough. It’s interesting that the problem Curtis has with Tatsoi in the summer I have with Mustard Greens and Arugula. So here in the southern part of New Jersey, USA, there is no point to growing Mustard and Arugula may or may not work depending if your plot has flea beatles. My yard does have it so I will try to do Arugula on my landowner’s plot and maybe another plot I have elsewhere. Okay I am going to go water my crops again now.


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