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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Late August Morning

We are not suffering from drought this year.

August in Kansas should look like this

Instead it looks like thisNo, not complaining.

Even with the rain fall, some of my trees in our orchard are struggling. I am starting to think it has more to do with the soil than with the amount of water they are receiving. In some areas, despite the rain, the clay is hard and cracked. Other places are soft and yield gentle under your feet. Just looking out into our field you can see the marbled effect of the clay. It has been the cause of some stress here. We are unsure if we are going to make it.

We have an apple and a cherry tree that are the same age. The apple tree is touching 6 feet in height, while the cherry, who stand only a few feet away, is struggling to touch the 3 foot mark.
We choose an area that the field grass was struggling for life to plant our grapes. It should have been a perfect area, the grapes would concentrate more on their berries then the foliage. That is not the case.

I have followed the advice of books, yet have rarely been successful with their sure things. Time now to do it our way. If this means re-landscaping, then so be it. But something has to change if we are to make it. I fear that this land will only be good for growing field grasses.

3 comments:

alrescate said...

That's quite a difference!

Are there any local orchards around you? Perhaps they could give you some tips....

Dawn said...

We live a long way from you, but we have very sandy soil, and sometimes it doesn't matter how much rain we get, it still doesn't seem to be enough for some things. Hope you find a way to make it work.

farm mom said...

I've lost a lot of trees too, because I thought I could just plant whatever I wanted to, and my soil is clay. What worked for me, is really looking hard at varieties and only planting those native to the area or those that like clay soils. If it's a fussy tree with lots of needs I can't tend to and conditions I can't provide, I have to just give it up. It's wasted time and money to try. I've also had horrible luck with growing berries in my clay soil, so I've moved or bought new berry plants (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) into my raised beds and had fantastic luck with that.

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