Several days of warm, dry weather are doing a lot to dry out our waterlogged lower fields--which have only today fallen below "flood stage"--but it's making our wonderfully well-drained upper field a bit of a sandbox. We hadn't planned on growing in this field at all this season, and we're not yet prepared equipment-wise to push water all the way up here from the river. Our only option was to lay drip irrigation in everything, which does a somewhat mediocre job of wetting the entire sandy bed when it's not protected by mulch. When we finished planting for the day, we had to make a couple of passes with a 100 gallon stock tank on a farm trailer to water the two rows furthest from the drip line.
Once everything was in the ground, we covered up the most bug-prone crops with remay to protect them from pests. This poly material sits loosely on top of the crop and allows water and sunlight to get through, but not bugs. It also raises the temperature a bit. The best way to secure it is to shovel a small amount of dirt onto the edges in a continuous band all the way around. This makes a seamless seal that no pests can sneak under. It's also incredibly time-consuming, and every time you open the remay to cultivate or harvest, you have to re-shovel. The faster but less effective method is to weight the edges down with sandbags. We're trying a hybrid: shoveling in the windward edge, but using sandbags on the leeward edge.
Filling the sandbags is a little back-breaking, but we were able to get two birds with one stone by filling them with sand that had clogged a culvert near the ice house. It's so hard to ever get anything done that we delight in the opportunity to cross two things off the list with one chore. Now if we can just finally get in down below things will be going swimmingly!