We made it down to our farm recently to check out the pond and to plant some grass seed where we had it excavated. We also checked on our trees that we have planted to see how they fared through the winter and to check on our pole barn and all it contents. I am happy to report all is well.
It was nice to see the pond with about two feet of water in it. There on the farm we didn’t get nearly the snow we did here in Chicago, if it had it would have been full by now.
We put down about 100 lbs of mixed grass seed altogether. My friend Tom put down about 40lbs for us, but he didn’t think that was nearly enough and he suggested we put at least another 40lbs down. So we drove to the farm and put another 60lbs down.
After putting out the grass seed we then we put 9 bales of straw on top of it to help keep the birds from eating it all and the straw helps keep the seed moist so it has a chance to germinate. It was a lot of work and I hope it gets enough rain to germinate and then grows and gets established before the area floods which it has done at least once a year since we bought the place in 2009. It was a two-day job but we managed to get it done. The soil where we planted the seed looks really good and very black and is some of the best looking soil I have ever seen. It was also light and fluffy and we didn’t drive on the ground to keep from compacting it. I think the seed will grow good if given enough moisture.
There was a little erosion on the embankment but nothing to worry about yet. We have to keep our fingers crossed and hope it all gets established before the heavy rains and flooding comes and causes major erosion.
I took our battery charger with us just in case our tractor wouldn’t start after sitting all winter, but there was no need. The tractor started right up. They only thing that worried me was a mouse ran from up by the engine compartment through my legs under the seat somewhere. I am not afraid of mice for myself but only worried about them chewing engine wires on the tractor. The next time we go back I will need to get something that will get rid of the mice, not sure what to do, I don’t like to use poison because that could kill other animals that would eat the mice. I am thinking my best plan of action is to get several different kinds of traps and use some bird seed to lure them in.
We checked on our tree tubes and fruit trees while we were there and the pvc poles we replaced the bamboo poles with on our tree tubes have held up well. We didn’t see one tree tube toppled over. I am glad we did the extra work and replaced them all, it was well worth the effort.
We also looked at all of our fruit trees while we were there and every one of them including the two Honey Crisp apple trees we planted last fall are looking good. I have to admit I was a little bit worried that when we mowed the fields next to all the trees we planted and cut down all the small willow trees that we might be asking for trouble and all the field mice and voles would head to our trees and girdle them. We didn’t see any evidence of that and will do a better inspection the next time we go to the farm in May.
Every thing is looking good at the farm and we can’t wait until the day we retire and move there for good.