The cows are great at producing manure. I remembered to bring some home for some new beds we are going to put in this spring. I used to scoop a lot of horse manure growing up since we had 21 horses. I’m now scooping up after the cows. Some of it I’m palcing on the Swales and others in piles for composting in the spring. I think the asparagus is going to benefit as well. asparagus likes a soil food web with extra bacteria so the manure should help there.
I’m now giving the cows bales of hay out in the pasture in different areas each time so as the part they don’t eat is providing ground cover. I’m glad I heard Greg Judy recommend this. He said they unrolled all their hay at once. I’ve not been that brave but I did put four or five bales out this week.
As part of my friendship practice I fed the cows alfalfa from my hand and fed them some organic feed treat.
Transplanting apple trees grown from seeds. Since they have 4 or more real leaves they were transplanted to larger pots. To sprout apple seeds place the seeds in a plastic zip lock bag with a damp paper town and place them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or more. When you see the seeds sprouting you take them out and place them in pots and keep them moist. Bury the seeds a few millimeters under the soil.
The larger pots were placed in a larger container to control the extra water since they are still being kept indoors to keep them from freezing.
I remembered Geoff Lawton mentioning to provide a broody hen with food and water so as she could stay on top of the eggs. Snow Flake is a very broody hen but usually we don’t have any fertilized eggs. We acquired some from our neighbor so now we are ok encouraging her to sit on the eggs.
These cuttings were taken in the fall and placed in dirt from Regen Farms and kept indoors. Two of the 6 have some leaves growing. When transplanting them we noticed that they didn’t have any roots. Amazingly they have taken in enough water to grow. We scrapped them a bit to expose the cambium layer and cut the bottom dead part off then dipped them in root and grow rooting hormone in hopes they will grow some roots. They were also placed in a potting mixture soil instead of regular soil.
I believe pocket gophers ate at least 5 of the 2014 food forest trees. I was out spreading seeds for ground cover on the newer swale when I saw a tree laying down. I went over and realized it wasn’t broken but rather it had been eaten away from the roots.
I then walked down the line and was able to pull up more trees. I am hoping some of the trees will survive so I put rooting hormone on them and brought them home. Most likely they are dead but some had a few roots. I also took cuttings but most of them looked really dry already.
So what can I do to protect the trees from gophers? Use wite around them thatgoes at least three feet deep. And I’m wondering if deeper and something on the bottom would be best.
Either the daffodils or luck has kept the 2013 trees safe. I read that daffodils planted around the trees deter varmints as well as marigolds and onions. I picked up a pack of 100 onion bulbs and planted them around the other trees.
I built some stand that I hope attract the resident owl and some Hawks for the brief times they surface.
Poison can be applied to their active burrows.
I think something like voles may be enjoying the hugel swales so I’m going to keep an eye on them.
I think I will apply as many safe guards as possible and will order a hundred or more daffodils.
To note I didn’t see any damaged nitrogen trees which were every third tree in the row.
Also the asparagus patch looks ok even though there are signs of gopher activity in it. Do gophers eat asparagus? Looks like they haven’t so far.