Thursday, June 17, 2010

Early Summer work at the Orchard

In the orchard we have been thinning persimmons from the trees, weed-eating around the sprinklers and checking and repairing the irrigation.  In the vegetable gardens we just finished planting the last winter squash by seed.  Most of the zucchini and summer squash plants are starting to produce.  The tomatoes are all green still, and they do seem like they'll be ready later than usual. 

We pulled up the last of the garlic from the wire-lined beds and then planted the beds  with specialty pumpkins (such as cinderella and white pumpkins). There's just enough time after the garlic is pulled out in early June to put in pumpkins that will ripen by the beginning of October.  The beds are wire-lined to keep out gophers, since garlic is one of gophers' favorite things to eat.  They also like to eat roots of pumpkin plants and chew on the pumpkins themselves.

To keep gophers out, we make a raised bed with hardware cloth on the bottom and aviary wire on the sides.   Though it's a lot of work to make beds like this, it's worth it for certain crops, since gophers are unable to chew through the wire to whatever is planted there.  Toshio has also been setting lots of gopher traps around the orchard to try to get rid of gophers in the other parts of the vegetable gardens.  In the photo above is Toshio with a few gophers that he caught in traps.

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