Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Early Days of the rainless summer, 2016

The west coast is on fire.  The Mid- and Southwest are struggling with high temps.  The South and Southeast including Texas are struggling with flash floods.  Here in the Northeast, although temps continue to be relatively mild, we've received nearly half as much rain as we had by this time last year.  Spooky.

On the plus side, the late cold temps in Spring caused many of the blossom heads to drop making culling fruitlets a much simpler task.  The dry conditions add to the fruit drop.  Too much water stress however can cause fruit trees to not bear the following year, so we have to be vigilant.
It's easy to forget that trees need supplemental watering in warmer or dryer weather.  Setting up a sprinkler in the early evening may seem like a great idea however one needs to consider how much competition  for the water your tree may have.  Flowers, grasses, and other trees are all taking up the water being applied.  Additionally, the drier the ground, the more difficult it is for the soil to hold water and not allow it to merely run off.  At My Happy Acres, we start by moistening the soil around the tree before giving each one a long drink.
Determining how much water to apply to each tree is a simple calculation.  Begin by measuring the circumference of the trunk.  Divide this number by 3.14.  This will give you the diameter (D) of the trunk.  Multiply the diameter times ten to get the number of gallons needed (D x 10 = #gal).

Although there are gizmos out there that will allow a user to precisely me asure the amount of water flowing from one's hose, most households produce enough water pressure that using the calculation, diameter times five, will tell you how many minutes of water flow will provide your tree with its water needs.  (D x 5 = Minutes)
Remember that it's important to measure your trees.  Although many of our trees were planted four years ago, some are slow growing and others are more robust.  The Sansa for example are only 1.4" in diameter however the Northern Spy are nearly 3".  The difference is in the variety.  Some grow fast.  Some grow more slowly. 
Take care of your trees and you will be rewarded in the fall with some lovely fruit!

No comments: