Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time to sow your flax!

Well folks, the time is here according to the long range forecast.

There's no frost forecast in the next couple of weeks, and the temperatures after Monday seem to be rising nicely, so the soil will have a chance to dry out and warm up.

Based on this information, I would say that sowing your flax sometime next week, towards the middle or end of the week. However, do check back at the forecast and make sure that there isn't any frost forecast. Sunny days mean no cloud cover at night so it can get cold enough for an overnight frost.

How to sow

You'll need to do a last weeding on your plot, then hoe the soil and rake it to a fine tilth, break down any small and large clods and remove stones.

For those of you with larger plots.

I recommend roughly dividing your seed in half and broadcasting it to get an even coverage. Start in one corner just throw the seed out in front of you in a sweeping motion. Walk forward a couple of step - repeat. Go to the opposite corner and broadcast the remaining seed in the same way. Now rake 1cm of soil over the seeds, and either walk evenly over the whole plot or firm the seeds in by tamping down with the flat head of the rake.

For those with small plots.

When your plot is weeded and raked, spread your seed evenly over the whole plot. Rake 1cm of soil over the seeds and tamp the soil down either by walking evenly over it, or tamping down with the flat head of the rake.

Don't feed the birds!

You'll need to protect your seed from birds, so I suggest some netting over the plot or string black thread across it for a week until the seedlings emerge.

And don't forget to water the seeds (if it isn't about to rain in the next few hours).

Please email and  let myself, Sharon or Caitlin (or the UW address) know what date you planted your flax. We'd like to know which dates turned out to be the most successful in producing a good crop, so we can be equally successful in the years to come!

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