Archive for August, 2007

Late Summer

August 22, 2007

Alexis and I went to Maine last weekend, and Keith R joined us for a couple days.  The oats and vetch are coming along nicely in the new orchard ground; the peas look a bit weak, and there’s a significant amount of sorrel as well, but all in all it looks pretty good.  I did one tank’s worth of chainsaw work around the orchard, mostly cutting out old wild apple trees (they apparently harbor pests, and complicate low-spray/organic culture), but that was the extent of the woodswork.  Also had a nice paddle in a canoe down through Five Islands harbor, then back home in the teeth of a stiff northwest breeze.

It’s been a wet summer in Maine, and the grass has grown up quickly around the trees in the nursery bed; I beat it back with a string trimmer and weeded around the trunks by hand.  The paint/plaster mix we put on the trunks had started to crack, so KR and I repainted them with pure paint.  A few had suffered some mouse damage at the bases, but none fatal, and there was also a borer hole in one tree, though it’s not clear how old it was, and it also was non-fatal, at least so far.  I ran a piece of wire down the hole as far as it would go and didn’t get any bug-goo.

We’re down to 20 high-octane maples; a bunch have died or disappeared, cause is unclear.  I should read up on the soil conditions preferred by sugar maples; perhaps I can do a better job with a subsequent batch.  It’s possible that they don’t like full sun; maybe the next batch will go directly into the woods.

We got soil test results back from the University of Maine; we need about a ton of lime and some phosphate, but otherwise not bad; I’ll post it when I get a chance.  I’m working on a plan to lime, cultivate, and replant with winter rye in September; probably transplant the trees next spring.