Pruned plums...

and figs today. Pruning is definitely a fine art over which I have little grasp. Trying to get a sprout happy plum to spread out into a nice low open-centered bushlike tree is no easy task. It is painful to lop off all that nice growth and just hope it turns out well. But it's done. We'll see how it looks later this summer. I don't think we will have much in the way of plums this year, but it is more important for the tree to have proper form than to worry about having fruit this year. Trees are long, fruit is short... to paraphrase Pablo Neruda.

Also put the fittings on the feeder pipe for each of the drip hoses. All 61 of them. Most of our rows are split and have two connections. Javier and I laid out some plants for tomorrow. Hopefully I will have some extra help in the morning. The Climax bushes, planted last year, are starting to bud out. Berries in 90 days. Yum.

Playing in the mud

We at least got some things done today. Had some help from Amber, Panchito (Javier), his dad Pancho, and their friend Daniel. It was too wet to do any actual planting. The tilled rows sucked up water like a sponge. You could float the mud like you would do concrete. Luckily most of the irrigation trenches did not refill themselves. Only a little cleaning out will be necessary before we put the pipe in. Just want to make sure the pipe is far enough down that if later I want to disk between the rows I won't shred the pipe. What we did manage to accomplish was laying the drip hose in each of the rows. We put t-posts on each end of the row and then pulled the hose tight and tied it off to the posts. I wonder how many days it will be before the soil dries enough to plant. I don't feel like shoveling mud. There may be a light freeze next weekend (rain??). I would just like to be finished with this particular chore.

Rain day

No planting today. Maybe tomorrow.

Installing irrigation

Rented a riding trencher today and dug the lines for the irrigation pipe. Much better than the walk behind types. Javier and Dad put the pipe together while I drove all over Mount Pleasant looking for parts that weren't there. Looks like we'll be buying online again. Tomorrow we've got workers showing up at 8 am to start planting. Of course, the forecast is for rain in the morning... It's hard work working hard.


Planted our "personal" garden yesterday. Sorry, nothing for you folks. Last year I really went overboard with cucumbers and tomatotes out the ears. Not so this year. Taking things a bit easier. Of course, it is already more than I had planned on. Let's see... the rows are 36'. 2 rows english peas, 2 rows sugar snap peas, 1/4 row lettuce, 1/4 row broccoli, 1/4 row brussel sprouts, 1/4 row cabbage, 1 row onions, 2/3 row spinach, 1/3 row mustard, 1/2 row carrots, 1/2 row beets, 2 rows red potatoes, 2 rows yukon gold potatoes. 12 rows already. Digging the trenches for the potatoes I could see roots and shoots of grass from last year's neglected patch. Just a little warmth and BAM the weed nightmare begins.

Zen speak

If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer. - Yogi Berra

Inside weather

Been cold and rainy since last weekend. The groundhog was right. Not much work getting done outside. Mostly been getting this site up and running. The blueberries wait patiently for their interment. "Spring is coming," they say. Are you ready for it?

Planting time

Transit worked like a charm. 35 nice, straight rows. 14,168 feet of which 11,625 will be planted this year. 2,352 plants. We planted the first row of Tifblue plants last Thursday. Put the drip hose down first and then dug holes right by the emitters every five feet. Only 2237 plants to go. Really cold weather blew in this weekend. Might spend this week installing the main irrigation lines (buried PVC) and then get some extra help on the weekend to get all the plants in the ground. It's not a quick process with just Dad, Javier, and me.

Setting up rows for new blueberries

Just got back from Buckatunna, Mississippi with nearly 2400 blueberry plants. 1150 Tifblue, 600 Britewell, and 600 Premier. Loaded them one on top of the other in our cattle trailer. There were so many the trailer was almost as heavy as when it's full of cattle. Tomorrow we are going to lay out the new rows. 12 feet between rows and 5 feet between plants. We should have 35 rows if all goes according to plan. We bought a used surveying transit just for this purpose. Hopefully the transit will keep us straight.