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March 26, 2014

Planting

Spring is here, and this year we don't have to wait for the rain to be able to plant, so we've been going crazy.

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Spring is here, and this year we don’t have to wait for the rain to be able to plant, so we’ve been going crazy.

We’ve planted trees, and already have quite a few young almonds, peaches, plums, and mulberries growing, so the year looks to be a fruity one. Beneath the trees there are a bunch of herbs, berries, alfalfa, purslane and so on. We covered everything in mulch to help keep in moisture and protect young plants from the wind. However, the guineas then decided they wanted to look for bugs in the mulch, so started digging things up. So we had to cut Juniper branches and put them around young plants to protect the mulch – luckily nothing was harmed before we intervened.

So far we have had to water the orchard only a couple of times. With the deep watering system, the ground stays moist for a long time, and everything seems to be really thriving. We have been super impressed by how little water has been used, and how easy that watering is (turn on a valve and leave it running for 5 or 10 minutes). Of all the transplants, there is only one that looks a little weak, but it hasn’t died yet despite the super strong winds, so who knows.

 
As for the garden, it is also exploding. Strawberries, potatoes, cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme, lavender, mint, oregano, roses are already fairly big. Plus there’s little baby squash, beans, cucumbers, beets, carrots, greens, radishes, corn and more coming up. Leo has his own wicking bed, which he waters diligently. While the plants are young, we’ll be watering on the surface. But as soon as things get established and their roots sink down a little, all we’ll have to do is fill up the wicking bed pipes.

We have also started a couple of hedges, on the north of the orchard and around the circle drive. These consist of drought tolerant plants (sage, lavender, rosemary, roses), spaced a couple of feet apart. We’re watering these with buckets (including laundry water) until they get established, and hopefully we’ll then be able to leave them to their own devices.

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