Growing an orchard has a lot in common with watching very slow-drying paint dry. The trees are doing fine but nothing much exciting happens, at least to the naked eye. After the pruning of all fruit a few weeks ago, we can’t even go watch the fruit grow and ripen.
But there is more growth than one would think possible, and more growth than we’d want for our young trees. Brambles, nettles and other wildflowers (in the widest possible sense) are set to suffocate our trees, overgrow them, overshadow them, compete for water, and make accessing the trees for maintenance or watering impossible.
Obviously, we can’t let that happen. A few of us went in for a good after-work exercise on one of these not quite so warm early summer evenings, forming crop circles around the trees, opening up access, and adding more wood chip mulch.
We think this exercise will need repeating every few weeks throughout the growing season. Please let us know if you live locally and are available to help with this effort on an occasional short-notice weekday evening call for nettle fighters.