This week has been “get caught up on the orchard” week. Most of the time, the orchard is on autopilot. This is good, since the veggies take up so much attention. But eventually I need to attend to my trees, much like when the inside of your car gets so dirty you can’t stand it any more. The grass and weeds were taller than the trees!
Luckily, Farmer Ned came to the rescue and let me borrow his weed whacker. After about eight hours of noisy labor, I was finally able to see my lovely trees again. And what a sight! In the months since I last tended them, they’ve put on a lot of growth. They all look healthy and robust, and one of the pears is even taller than I am. Since we have so much free poop still laying around, I spread a wheelbarrow of it around each one after I pulled all the weeds. That will add even more nutrients, and will also knock back the weeds temporarily.
My long-term plan is to come in this fall with some Mechanical Muscle and clear the rocks and sticks in the alleys between the trees, level the soil, and plant proper grass. Then I will put bark mulch around the trees’ root area to keep the weeds at bay. Next spring, I want to get a herbivore (Sheep? Llama?? Geese?) to keep in the orchard so I don’t have to mow. Goats are out, though, since they would be just as happy eating my trees. You know, geese are sounding better all the time.
On a happy final note, I saw a few snakes this week as well. The biggest one was about three feet long and brightly colored, sunning itself on the bank by the brook. I used a long stick to encourage it to be elsewhere (I needed to wash my tools off), and looked it up online when I got home. Garter Snake! I’d heard of those, but never realized they were so pretty.