It’s certainly been a busy week here at West Hyde, we have managed to get our third year of trees (plot C) in the ground and the farm is starting to fill up. We now have around 2400 trees either in the ground or in pots and are looking forward to many more.
The ground had been ploughed in November and left over the winter, last year we made the mistake of pulling it down behind the plough leaving us a very wet piece of ground come spring, so this year we left it ploughed over winter. Then last weekend we were lucky enough to have the use of a neighbours New Holland T7 to help break up the ploughing and preparing the ground for plants. This left us with loose ground that would be easier to plant into.
Dad has been busy in the past few weeks also working on a planter to open up the loose ground, let us plant the tree and compact the ground around it as we pass. This would allow us to plant a lot more consistently but also a lot quicker. It was based around an old strawberry planter we had in the shed so was beefed up to allow deeper planting. Unfortunately somewhere along the way it didn’t work, but not to worry we would find a way.
That way was an imalgimation of the past two years planting. The first year we went straight into undisturbed soil with a post hole borer unfortunately creating almost a “clay pot” by smearing clay around the side meaning very little water was getting in or out of the roots. Last year we dug the holes by hand in prepared soil but was a lot harder going. This year we hired a post hole borer once again but because the ground was prepared this didn’t give the same smearing as previously suffered, though it did mean the soil fell back into the holes. So we had a borer being followed by someone digging out the loose spoil and then finally the trees being planted into the hole and the soil being compacted around them.
As well as doing trees that you can choose and we can cut especially for you, we are also going to be supplying trees in pots that you will be able to keep year after year, providing you look after them of course! These will allow you to keep the tree indoors through remember an then be a part of your garden for the rest of the year. For this we have about 100 in pots that we look after as they need plenty of attention, but this year we have tried burying perforated pots in the ground, this should mean that they will get all of their required nutrients and water from the ground and you can then also bury them in your garden to save constant maintenance.
We will keep working on getting the planter ready for next year to hopefully save a bit of grovelling around on our knees, but for this now I think we will be happy to not see a sapling need panting for a good few months!
Until next time, Jack