Tending the Orchard
March is apple tree pruning month…so in preparation, practical philosopher, agricultural deep thinker and farmer Mark Fulford came over to evaluate the heirloom orchard and give Steve some pruning/grafting tips for reclaiming our older apple trees. We have dozens of trees spread throughout the campground and we rely on their apples for our eating pleasure throughout the year, to supplement the hay the goats eat during the winter and to provide fodder for the deer that drop by from time to time during the off season. Did I mention that walking through the apple blossoms in the Spring is a pleasure rivaled by few others?
Mark is famous around the world for his research in Soil Biology. He recommended an affordable and practical way to feed our trees by adding 25-50 #’s of common limestone known as Agricultural Limestone. If you want to follow his sought after advice, spread Ag. lime away from the trunk under the drip edges of your tree and feel free to add seaweed to your best trees (we’ve got plenty every time we clean the beach). These simple additions will enhance the health of your trees and lead to better crops in the fall.
Our soil along the coast is deficient in calcium so we’ll go with the 50 pounds per tree to be applied in April. This month he’s just concerned with getting the trees pruned…while he cuts, I’ll be making two piles…one for a burn pile and one to chip so that we’ll have rosy red dye for the wool I buy in the Spring.
A tiny aside note, Mark makes up a premium soil and crop recipe called the Waldo Custom Blend that meets the needs of any New England gardener wanting to replenish the health (and growing potential) of their soil. He also grows some awesome seed garlic! Click over to his website and spend a little time in the shadow of a master.