Taking Inventory

One brisk but sunny day, while the boys played and Ray changed the chickens, I mapped out the swales.

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I walked up one side.

Then down another.

I sketched.

I scribbled.

I knew what most trees and shrubs were…but I guessed on a few.

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At the end of my stroll, I had a map and inventory of both our swales.

  • 11 Cherry trees
  • 6 Apple trees
  • 11 Raspberry
  • Mint in 2 spots
  • Comfrey throughout the south swale
  • 2 Rhubarb on the north side of the south swale
  • A variety of oaks and willows in the north swale
  • A walnut tree
  • 2 Mulberry trees

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I’m sure we’ll plant a few more trees this year, but we will be focusing our efforts in three areas:

  • Pest control
  • Propagation
  • Pruning

Pest Control
We’ll use companion planting to control pests and attract beneficials. We’ll plant garlic and nasturtium around the fruit trees to repel aphids, ants and mosquitos. Mint will go everywhere to help control ants, mice and moths.

And our milkweed and other wildflowers will continue to attract bees, butterflies and beneficials of all kinds.

Propagation
We’ll try propagating the cherry and apple trees and we’ll continue to spread out the raspberries and blackberries.

I’m hoping to successfully propagate mulberry trees this year. They grow fast and are considered one of the easiest plants to propagate.

Pruning
I’d like to learn to prune the rose bushes as well as the trees.

Proper pruning is so much more than just lopping off a branch here or snipping a leaf there. Guessing can seriously damage or even kill trees.

There are so many variables to take into consideration before you start cutting. Why are you pruning? What sun exposure is the tree getting?

I have a lot to learn before I just go out and start chopping.

The swales are now mapped
So many more trees than I thought
So much more to do

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