Monday, July 30, 2012

Weeding fields and orchard care

Wes, Ruth, Tom and Bob on the tractor weeding the meadows
 A shot from a few weeks ago - weeding Treflach's meadows by hand before the harvest. There's a huge variety of plants in the fields which makes for rich haylage for winter feeding. There's also docks, thistles, ragwort etc which we don't want, very satisfying to remove these by hand rather than by spraying. Fortunately we've had a few rare dry days here and the harvest is pretty much in after much frantic activity.
Ducks enjoying our work in the orchard
We've also been busy in the orchard looking after the trees and also the forest garden edge planted during previous Forest Gardening courses. Very interesting to see how much the ducks are enjoying rootling about in the fresh mulch - I hadn't thought of them as woodland creatures at all.
Starting a bed for perennials around the base of one of the apple trees. 
This is an experiment we're trying, making a bed around the base of one of the apple trees for perennials starting with cardboard and horse manure. We plan to plant it up with herbs, maybe a small bush or two and also a climber, kiwi fruit perhaps, to build up diversity and yields and also to help to feed the tree. I'm wondering if this could apply to Janet and Clive's olives...


cgb said...

Hi Ian, we tried spreading "strume" (manure) around tens of olive trees. We found that the ground around the olive trees is very hard, almost like cement, so I could only dig in a little organic material. Where I didn't dig it in it got roasted to dust by the hot sun and blew away in the hot afternoon winds. Most frustrating. The best I can do is to spread organic fertiliser around the trees in winter and hope for enough rain in spring to wash it in. This spring we had 3 inches in five months so the minerals did not reach the deep roots. We'll do the same every year and hope that eventually we feed the roots.
For you, with plenty of rain, I bet it will work really well, especially with the companion planting around the base of the tree. Good idea!

Ian Watt said...

It's a bit different to rain-soaked shropshire out there... e-mail on its way to you, good luck!