It’s been a tough year for plants. We had an incredibly wet spring followed by no rain at all for months. However, that isn’t what the biggest killer of trees this year was, rabbits were.
We made bone sauce and applied it but it did not deter the rabbits at all. In fact I think I can say that every single nut tree is gone at this point. We had some almonds holding out but when I went to check yesterday, gone, super depressing. I’m not sure what to do about the rabbits now. I also saw an apple tree in the cider orchard that had clearly been lopped off by rabbits. I think I may end up opening the gate and letting the dogs in there to take care of the problem. Enjoy a slew of cider orchard photos:
Oh that dog! That turkey too……. He managed to get in once. At his body weight in clover.
I had some amazing help documenting the orchard this weekend. Son was lead photographer and Daughter was official musician.
Other than the nut trees a lot of the trees are doing fairly well. I’d say we had 80% live. An excellent survival rate with my, minimal intervention, approach. The peach trees universally did poorly. 3/4 of them did not come out of dormancy. 1/2 the cherry trees did not come out of dormancy as well. The bushes all did poorly. I’m not exactly sure why. The Goji berry, the bush I thought would be the hardest to keep, is doing the best of all. The cranberries were doing very well and I was so happy with them but…now I can’t even see them. Were they eaten? I’m just not sure. I have requested a refund on the trees that did not come out of dormancy. If it grew and then died because of my planting method I did not request a replacement.
Dead cherry tree here.
blackberry from 2014. It’s spreading out of both sides of the berm now. Must protect from rabbits this winter so I can get some fruit from it.
Black locust which has survived with 0 human intervention and is doing great!
Go PawPaw Go!
Frustratingly one of the paw paws had a single leaf. I was so happy, it lived! Took a picture, turned my back and BAM, daughter killed it. /sigh Maybe it’ll come back?
I was pleasantly surprised to find asparagus growing in a few of the Kraters. It’s also interesting to see the variation among the Kraters. The deepest Krater is doing the best, the widest and shallowest has the least amount of vegetation. The Krater that has a fair amount of that black pond clay mixed in with it is doing the best of all.
Look at that difference and they are literally right next to each other.
The osage oranges I planted are doing amazing. I’ve never watered them. We’ve done nothing to them, but they’re growing so well. I may have to get some more of them. Great natural fence and the fruit is great for livestock feed.
I still have a lot of flowers blooming and a lot of unknown things, as well as turnips and radishes doing their part in the cover crop.
All in all, not a bad year.