By Jannie Vaught
Just last week I received notice that the fruit trees are available for purchase in local nursery’s.
I’m surprised simple due to the ever oppressive heat and no rain for so long. Yet it is time for fall tree panting and early purchase gets the good ones.
Would I plant them now?
Personally I would wait and plant when these temperatures get below 90. If you purchase a Bare root tree it needs to be planted as soon as you get it home. Trees in containers can wait. Prepare the placement and dig the hole and water it before you bring it home. Talk to your nursery about How to plant the tree and if amendments are needed, how deep and how wide? There are general instructions for tree planting 2 times the circumference in width, same depth plus half and the soil needs to be level to the existing line on the tree trunk. Loosen the soil and water it in. But I have learned that some trees have their own quirks about location and soil requirements. I called and asked about a specific plumb tree before I even drove to the nursery, left a message and surprise I received 2 return calls from the nursery. I’m Impressed, it was Back Bone Valley nursery in Marble Falls. This year there are some areas on our place that need shade trees and if they produce food all the better. But these areas are hard soil, sun scorched and what I call “Killer” areas, nothing seems to survive being planted there.
This year I will start with a light tilling, stone removal, a good dose of compost tea to bring the microbes in. Then and a heavy layer of wet newspaper to suppress the weeds. Then rough compost of hay,leaves and yard material. This will be left for a month then the trees will go in. And there will be other nurse plants planted along with the trees and some cover cropping. You cut through the newspaper to make your hole. This same method can be used in any planter area and even raised beds, every year repeat as the paper decomposes and more carbon, compost is added until there is a deep layer of restored soil, compost, worms and microbes. As for the remaining sunflower and millet that has been eaten by the birds I cut it down and make “Sanctuary Piles” in out of the way places, usually in the back of flower beds or around trees , These are mostly stalks that are of a “hollow’ nature like sun flower stalks and I just stack them up so the beneficial creatures and insects have a home to live, lay eggs and winter over. As a Wildlife Habitat the area needs to supply nesting sites for natures creatures, natural feeding areas and watering locations. Having done this for the last 10 years the results are that I have no Blister bugs, very few grasshoppers and almost no aphid problems.
Its is about balancing the natural life. Provide the place and they will come. Next week it will be about one of my very favorite plants to grow and eat Garlic!
Growing green and getting ready for trees, with Jannie
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