Sorry I haven’t posted in a while because we bought a Class A Motor home that has been a lot more work then I had planned on. It has sure been a lesson in what to look out for when buying a Motor Home and I will do a post about it some day to explain all the stuff I had to do to this thing.
Recently a friend of mine Johnny Copsy and I went to the farm to check on things and see how the trees fared during the winter and to see what damage the recent flooding did on the farm in April. My wife couldn’t get the time off work so I talked my friend into helping me out.
The drought is officially over in Iowa. The farmers were concerned about the ground moisture going into spring, but with all the rain, snow, and flooding there this spring that is no longer a concern. I got there on Monday May 6th but on Friday May 3 they had 12 inches of snow on the ground, but it was all melted by the time we got there thank God
The first thing we did when we got there was to get out the tractor and drive down to the bottom ground where the trees are planted and check on them. I let John drive my tractor (That’s how I talked him into helping me) and I drove my pickup truck there with all the new pvc stakes that I brought with us to change them out with the bamboo stakes that are on our tree tubes that are starting to rot. I didn’t get more than ten feet on the bottom ground before I got the truck stuck. The tractor wasn’t having any problem so I thought the truck wouldn’t either but I was wrong. We went to the neighbor and borrowed a chain and the tractor had no problem pulling the truck out.
The tree tubes in the front section looked pretty good a coupe stakes had broken and the tree tube was still there being held in place by the tree that was still inside.
Some of the tubes were also missing, but the tree was still there, so I put a pvc stake to mark where it was at so we wouldn’t accidentally mow it over and it would help mark the row. I think I may have made a mistake by doing this because I know deer are curious and they will come over to check out the white pvc stake and see this little tree and it won’t be long before they figure out were there is a pvc stake marks a young tasty tree. I am not too worried during the spring and summer with all the fresh new grow of vegetation for the deer to eat but come fall I may move the stakes a couple of feet to one side of the tree in the row so it don’t mark exactly were the tree is. I also may spray on a chemical called Deer Guard that makes the trees smell and taste horrible to deer this fall.
I noticed from debris piled up against the tree tubes that the flooding was about a foot higher this year than it was in 2010. When we got back to the very back part of the property were we had planted trees, half the tree tubes were either gone or knocked over. The trees were all still in place were the tube used to be and the ones knocked over were being held in place by the tree. We went about removing the knocked over tree tubes from the trees and we staked out the spots with a pvc stake. I couldn’t put the tube back over the tree at this time because they had mud on the inside and were too dirty to reuse. I will clean them up this fall and may put them back on in October so the deer and mice can’t get to them this winter.
I am not distraught because we lost very few trees, just tree tubes. The tree tubes have done their job and without them the trees would not have survived up to this point. Most of the trees have now had over two years of growth. I don’t have to mow around them any more to keep the weeds down because the root system on the trees are now deeper then what the weeds are.
For the trees with tree tubes still standing we added a pvc stake to the existing bamboo and tube. We got lazy and did it the easy way instead of pulling out the old bamboo stake.
The fruit trees we planted last spring are looking very well, thanks in part to my friend Tom who watered them for us all of last summer during the drought.
The shade trees we planted last spring up on the building site are also doing well.
All in all the farm is coming along nicely and we are still counting the days when I retire and move there for good. Until next time, that concludes this farm report.