Friday, June 7, 2024

Linen Flax Enjoys the Month of June 

Update on the Gale Woods plot

Yesterday, I was doing a minor weeding of the linen flax plot at Gale Woods Farm—mainly looking for more thistles. The best part of the work is being outdoors on a gorgeous June morning! Aside from needing to button up to avoid ticks and douse myself in mosquito repellent, there is nothing like a real garden experience in open fields in June! Huge, puffy clouds were sliding across the most intense blue sky. There was a crazy wind, though—gusts of 30+ mph. But that was natural bug repellent! Yay!

Image of blue sky with farm field below.

Above: The flax plot is in the foreground. Use your close-up vision to see the red barn and silo in the distance!

Image showing a long row of flax stalks in field

It was fabulous to see the dramatic growth in the plot! It is beautiful! At one month (precisely 30 days), the stalks are tall enough to blow in the wind (on average, they are about 8–10 inches tall). It is a wondrous sight! If you come out to visit, the plot is easier to see now that the stalks are poking up more from the surroundings. Look for it behind the fence, to the right along the entrance road, and across from the red pavilion building. There are some tall grasses between the metal fence and the plot. You will need to climb over the open wooden fence to get closer to the metal garden fence. (Careful about ticks in this area!) Perhaps in another month, the plot will be visible without going over the wooden fence.

One section towards the middle of the plot has meager growth with smaller stalks. Why? I don’t have a clue. Maybe there was something in the soil in that area—too much or too little of a particular nutrient? Maybe that bunch of seeds was less vigorous? It is curious.


Update on my personal plot

It’s a mixed bag of heights between the front and back of the plot. They all received the same amount of moisture and were sown and emerged at mostly the same time, so I assume the height difference is because of inconsistent sunlight. The stalks in the front receive more sun and are dramatically taller. 

After nearly 2 months of growth (precisely 54 days), the maximum height is 17 inches. That is almost halfway to their final ideal height (about 40–48 inches). However, due to the sunlight issue, I suspect my crop will be shorter at harvest time than the Gale Woods flax, even though they are the same flax variety. We shall see! (Having mostly dense woods for a backyard is wonderful, especially for the fireflies that will soon be dancing back there, but it’s not optimal for a linen flax crop!)

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