Orchard season work in full swing
Jun/04/2014 03:18 PM Filed in: orchard
It is a busy time here right now. We have finished with protecting the susceptible trees from the fungal disease scab, and have moved on to insect pest management. So, the trees are covered with white clay dust to irritate insect pests so much they leave the tree, especially plum curculio, and we are keeping close records on degree days so we can manage the insects effectively. This year we are spraying a virus that infects codling moth larvae, and later in the year we will spray the ground under the trees with parasitic nematodes that hopefully will infect many of the codling moth pupae in the ground that the virus missed. We are also mowing for the first time this season. Soon we will start thinning the apples on the pick-your-own varieties, to improve fruit size and quality. I hope to start earlier this year, as I was unable to finish the job last year.
Meanwhile, the barnyard is noisy with big machines excavating and laying blocks for our new barn addition/fermentory/cidery. In the next few days, the foundation work should be complete, and we will pour footings and begin building. It will be a very busy summer as this project will take as much time as we can manage to invest.