Saturday, August 25, 2012

We planted a 30 acre almond orchard on Wednesday and Thursday, August 22 & 23.  We used a mechanical planter this year.  The tractor is driven by GPS and as a result the rows are very straight.  I am not as happy with the placement within the rows, but they are within inches and in a year the variation will not be visible.

It has been a unique experience to be planting a new orchard at the same time we are harvesting others.  The early planting will allow the trees to get established this fall and grow very rapidly next spring.

We used the drip irrigation system to give them a good soaking immediately after planting.

Trees arrive from Duarte Nursery in Hughson
Tuesday, August 21, trees were delivered from Duarte Nursery.  Trays, each containing 16  trees, are stacked two high inside the trailers.

Everything is in place to begin planting.  The soil has been ripped and fumigated, and the irrigation system is installed.  The soil was pre-irrigated so we will be planting into moisture.

Ready for the heavy lifting of unloading

The trees are unloaded and placed at the edge of the field for planting on Wednesday.  They must be kept wet to stay healthy.

Giving the trees plenty of water
The first cart of our 2012 season loaded on August 24.
We started shaking on August 17 this year.  This is a third leaf tree.  Nuts on the younger trees matured first this year.  Nut removal has been very good and very little hand poling will be required.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hull split status

Hull split has rapidly advanced over the last week. Some nuts in the interior of the trees are still in the early hull split stage. Harvest will likely start in about two weeks.