Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rain, Rain, Rain, and more Rain!

I had to ask for some rainy days! Just one or two would have been fine, but it's been raining now for 4 days and could go on for 4 more. We're stuck in this low pressure formation that looks like a mini-hurricane on the radar and just keeps hovering over Lake Michigan, spinning just like a hurricane. The jetstream is in this funky pattern that keeps the low pressure just circling around the lake. And in the meantime, we can't get into the orchard to spray at a critical time. The fire blyte model keeps telling us we are in an infection period and we need to do a strep spray, but it just keeps raining. We got a good spray on about 24 hours before the rain started, and will apply another as soon as it is dry enough to get into the orchard. We should be covered for the time being since a strep spray is good for only about 72 hours. if we get a break within the next 24 hours and can get another strep spray on, we will be completely covered.

Last week I spent most of the week weeding in the peach orchard. This time of year, since we just planted about 50 or so new peach trees, we can't apply our usual Roundup spray because the new trees are not Roundup resistant yet. They need to be at least 2 years old before being introduced to Roundup. So we use roto-tillers to till the soil in the tree rows and work the weeds into the soil. Then we apply a pre-emergent, that will keep seeds from germinating and new weeds from coming up. After the trees have matured for a year, we then introduce Roundup in small quantities.

Next time I'll go over out IPM trap setting and scouting for orchard pests.


At 11:34 PM, Blogger jdeere630 said...

You know,
you keep explaining away our secrets to success, it won't be any fun trying to have people guess. You've got to leave a little bit to the imagination. Part of growing crops is the unknown, the unexpected. J/K. Hey, I thought I would pipe in and add my comments from time to time just to keep orchard keeper (a.k.a. my dad)on the level, especially since I'm the one invlolved in a lot of the work (minus the peaches).

At 2:29 AM, Blogger Orchard Keeper said...

Somebody has to do it! Can't think of anyone better than my son, jdeere630! By the way, he's a bit of a John Deere fan if you couldn't tell. When he and my father-in-law get together and start talking about looking at a tractor (usually a John Deere from the 1950's) look out!! They have added 2 new ones to our collection of 4 givign us a total of 6 and are talking about looking at another one this week. We'll probably end up with 7 before its over!!

At 2:15 AM, Blogger jdeere630 said...

I always say you can never have too many pairs of socks or tractors. Frankly, I'd like having one for every day of the week so getting that seventh one is not too bad of an idea. By the way, it looks like another wonderful week of rain, rain, and, oh wait...did I mention rain. It looks like Wednesday is the only decent day this coming week. Looks like I'll be breaking out the flint to put out the scab fire. That seems like and oxymoronic thing to say. This weather has been the green light for those nasty scab spores. Hopefully, we can knock enough of them down. Course we have to be able to get out there to do that. You know its bad when your visiting your in laws for Mother's Day and you see the sun shining and the first thing you think of is I got to race home and spray. Course that's always a good excuse to get away from the in-laws. In the end, it didn't matter cause the rain paid another visit the evening anyways. oh well, as they say, there's always tomorrow...or the next day...or the day after that.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Tatum Stewart said...

At what depth do you till to prevent weeds? I tried using a spray sheild while spraying roundup, but had a slipage and lost a tree. What pre-emergent do you reccomend? Please keep posting, this blog is very usefull.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Orchard Keeper said...

Tatum, we till to a depth of about 6 inches. We are currently using our old multivator to till down the rows beside the trees and roto-tillers to till in between the trees. As a pre-emergent, I am using Preen in the commercial 20 lb bags. We use our own wand system attached to a John Deere Gator to apply Simazine and Buccaneer in the older tree rows. Although, we found that the Bucaneer did not take out the broadleaf or canadian thistle. For that we folloed up with 2-4-D Amine.

Feel free to e-mail me at any time at with any questions you may have in hte future, although it is better to share tem through the blogwhen I have time to update it! Been a busy summer, but I will definitely keep the blog going. Thanks for the comments.


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