Saturday, August 26, 2017

Working in the orchard

Peaches are ripe

So are the pears

These were gifted to the lady who provided daycare to Kubota and Belladonna.
I was cleaning up storm damage today so I could mow.
I found a Yellow Jacket nest yesterday.
More accurately, they found me.  I got whacked five times in the ankles.  Circles around flying Yellow Jackets.  I got stung one more time while taking the picture.  Yellow Jackets put down a scent marker when they sting you which alerts other Yellow Jackets.
Nearly all of the young trees set terminal buds.  That bodes well for winter hardiness.  Instead of sinking carbohydrates into shoot extension they are packing them into roots and increasing bud hardiness.
Spreading branches is one way to induce early fruiting of trees.  There are many ways to pull vigorous shoots from the vertical to approximately 45 degrees.  Unfortunately, tying them to a ground weight like a chunk of firewood makes them vulnerable to breakage.
This was an exercise in reframing for me.  Zeus crashed into the string three times before he ripped the branch off the tree.  I had to remind myself that the tree still had three shoots with 36" of growth.  I had to remind myself that Zeus is a young, healthy dog.  I had to remind myself that I am fortunate to have a place where I can plant an orchard and where my dogs can run.  I had to remind myself that many folks would not have bothered to tie down branches because they just don't know. 

So the loss of this branch was the result of many, many good things coming together.

This is another place where I used a deadweight on the ground.  I cut this line after taking the photo.  It is not just dogs that can trip over these lines.  Deer can snag them.  I have walked into them when distracted.  I even had somebody drive into one with a dirt bike and get flipped off his bike.
Here is another method of branch positioning.  The trees are protected by 48" tall, 10" diameter, welded wire cages.  The horizontal wires can be snipped and the branch moved downward.  Bending one of the wires as shown positions the branch.  I need to place insulation between the branch and the wire before sub-zero weather arrives.
Here is a third method of pulling down branches.  This works well for higher branches.  I must remember to cut the zip-tie before it girdles the stem.  I figure I have a few years before I need to worry about that.
Larry Sibley grows some MONSTER garlic.  Both bulbs are the same variety.  The bulb on the left has more wrapper leaves.
This is one of the patches of ground between the new trees.  Much light hits the ground because the trees have not canopied over.  It is a great place to plant things like garlic.
This is what it looks like after planting twenty cloves of garlic and mulching.

DNA studies suggest that many types of garlic that are sold as different clones are, in fact, identical.  For example, there are 36 varieties that have identical DNA to "Artichoke".   Vendors figured out long ago that customers will buy one of every clone offered.  More clones means more sales.  I have no idea what Larry's clone really is, but it looks much like one offered in commerce named 'Montana Giant'.
I have a trail cam in the orchard.  The wind made the Foxtail seedhead bob.  The bobbing seedhead triggered the camera.  I have 345 pictures of that seed head.  Note to self:  In the future make sure there are no weeds that might fall in front of the camera.

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