Sunday, December 16, 2012

I have been very busy with farm work and I have been neglecting my blog postings.    One project since harvest has been to get "Blue Sierra" farms planted.  The soil here is a sticky clay on rolling terrain so we needed to get it planted before the rainy season.  After slip-plowing the soil we laid out the row and tree spacing to allow placement of the irrigation system.

The existing well had been tested a year earlier, but it was nonetheless a relief to finally fire up the new pump and see that the well is going to be more than adequate.  The initial water appears dirty, but it cleared up shortly after old rust and sediment from years of sitting idle were purged from the well.

 Here the trees are staged by variety at the head of each row.  Using potted trees allows us to plant at virtually any time of year.  In this case early fall to be ahead of the rain

 Each tree is placed near its new home just ahead of the planting crew.  The weather was cool and overcast which was nice for the trees since their only source of water was the limited moisture in the plastic sleeve it was grown in.

 After the trees are planted a protective cover, a "milk carton", is placed over each tree to protect the trunk from herbicides, sunburn, and rodents.

After planting, we immediately irrigate to settle the soil around the root ball and to be sure there is ample moisture for the trees.  Of course that germinates the weeds.  We followed the irrigation with a weed spray to control the weeds along the tree row.  We were very fortunate because the rain started just one day after completing the herbicide application and the ground has been too wet for equipment since then.

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