Our apple trees and our pear have a disease. I took a cutting to the county extension agent and she told me it was called "fire blight". I Googled it (she reminded me to only look at sites with "edu" in the address) and discovered it is a bacterial disease that can kill the trees. Oh, great. The leaves wilt and look burned. The cure involves spraying when there are blossoms...too late...and cutting off the diseased portion during the summer. That I can do.
In order to prevent the spread of the bacteria it is recommended to dip the pruners in a 10% bleach solution between each cut. I filled an old measuring cup from the laundry detergent with bleach and then dumped 10 more of the same amount of water. Sure glad I took math and science! It said to dip the shears for 5 seconds between each cut and I sure hope I did. There were a lot of cuts.
I had to take off some good wood as I wanted to make sure I cut about 6 inches below where there was an obvious infection.
It made the newer, smaller trees look rather sad. I hope this will make them stronger next year. Now I have to remember to spray them in spring and then I guess I just hope for the best. I hope I can get rid of this and maybe get some fruit NEXT year.
I made sure to pick up all the cuttings. Then I dumped them in the burn pile. Lee started them burning while I continued with my list.
We got new hay! We had already put our share away in the barn and out of the weather. There were three bales left over from last year, so we rolled them out to the large rolls so Mr. Crouch can get them when he gets his share for doing the cutting and baling. We took the last roll which we were currently using up to the blueberries. No point in feeding old hay when there is new hay available.
I keep adding hay to the blueberries. I put a lot down and say, "That ought to do it." Then the rain comes and it gets compacted and then the grass starts coming back up through it. We are using the hay to keep the grass away from the blueberries and to hold moisture in. They like a lot more water than they can get naturally here, so we have to water them by hand and preserve the water they do get. When they get established we may leave the hay off and mow around them, but the are small and young and I want to give them the best start I can. At some point I want to buy a drip line to water them. Then all I need to do it hook up the hose and turn it on. I am hand watering for now to see how they are doing and if they need something. At the same time I water the young fruit trees. When everybody gets established I hope to be able to cut back on all the hand watering!
By this time I was sweating underneath my glasses. It was 10:00 and I was ready to quit working outside for the day, but I had one more job to do. The horses.
I haven't lunged them in two days and I want them to be well behaved if I get a potential buyer. It has been rainy and wet and I don't want them to slip and fall. I don't have an arena and I work them on grass. Fortunately , they haven't forgotten everything with their "holiday". It is probably a good idea to give them a break now and then, anyway.
It has been so hot, I hosed them off after the workout and covered them with fly spray. It is almost time to re-dose them with Equi-Spot. This is a topical liquid similar to putting Frontline on your dog or cat to keep away the fleas. This helps to keep the flies away from the horses. It works amazingly well and is worth the money I spend every summer. Libby is allergic to flies and her eyes can swell shut from the little monsters. When I first got her I used a fly mask. They began to cause sores from the rubbing against her chin, so I tried the Equi-Spot and never went back. I still use fly Wipe on them when I work them. I spray it on them and wipe it on their faces and it adds an extra layer of protection.
After all that, it was noon and I quit for the day. Well, I quit outside work. I still want to make some new cards and I have an idea for a fruit cobbler I want to make for dessert. I want to try low fat/ low sugar and see how it tastes. That's Next!