Saturday, May 2, 2015

Orchard, Day Two

The vision.  Orderly.  Productive.  Easy to manage.
8:30 AM.  The reality.  Tennis-Shoe pear in the foreground to provide consistent reference.
10:30 AM.  The fence came out slowly.  Grape vines and Virginia Creeper had grown through it.
12:30 PM.  The original plan was to mow but there was a rogues gallery of obnoxious weeds.
Nettles.  Lots and lots of nettles.  That is why this is a good time of year for clearing the mess.  They are not tall enough to sting me....yet.
 A good pollen plant but other than that it is a pain in the posterior.
Burdock.  All three of these plants are common on ground that has been deeply enriched by manure.  Think "Barnyards".
Cleavers.  This is an interesting little guy.  It is covered with tiny barbs that want to grab your socks after they lignify.  It is also one of the few plants that will grow in my climate that, reportedly, has caffeine.  Cleaver-and-nettle tea was the favorite morning pick-me-up for Mark Boyle
Nettles.  Three hours after spraying with 2-4-d, amine formulation.  All of the usual magic was applied.  That is, the water was  pre-treated with sodium bisulfate to bind up hard water ions and to lower pH.  Also, a goodly squirt of dish soap was added to improve wettability.  A coarse, low pressure spray was used to minimize wind drift.
The prize.  A Bud-118 rootstock.  Yes, it has red leaves.

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