Thursday, June 28, 2012

I did not know I was so green

We have all either noticed or taken part in the new green movement. We all know the importance recycling, we now take our own shopping bags to the grocery store, we are fuel conscious by buying hybrid or electric cars, and email has taken the place of letters. But are we as green as we should be with our most important commodity.  Water is essential in our daily lives. From the showers we take, to brushing our teeth, to washing clothes, the food we cook, to quinch our thirst, and to water our plants. I have always taken the approach that someone else would do my share and that one single person can not or could not make a difference. Water is the life line of a farm or plant nursery. We have to have it, the plants have to have it, and we would not be in business without it.

One of the ways we are "green" is the use of our drip irrigation systems. Drip irrigation is a low flow, low pressure watering system that drips water right to the root zone of our plants. When we water with a hose or overhead sprinklers we are wasting water either by runoff or watering weeds or other undesired plants. Drip irrigation can provide optimum moisture levels in the soil at all times, resulting in less water lost to the sun and wind. With drip irrigation, water is not wasted on non growth areas, and the root zone  is maintained at a steady moisture level.

Drip irrigation is simple and inexpensive to use. If you can connect a garden hose to a water faucet then you can install a drip system. We have fittings that will adapt to a garden hose or faucet, from there you will run the tubing on the ground by the plants you wish to water, and lastly punch a hole into the tubing and place an emmitter near the root zone. Simply turn on the water supply and  you will have water going to the root zone of your plants without the waste of time nor water.

We recommend using drip on new or established planting to ensure healthy plants, larger fruit, increased yields, and earlier production.

Over the last year we have planted additional acreage in peaches, blueberries, blackberries, and muscadines.We had to plant the majority of the acreage during the hot months of June and July, our nursery schedule does not allow planting at other times. Because of the use of drip we were able to successfully plant with little or no plant loss.

Yesterday before I left work I turned on a single valve and was able to water 2 acres of peaches, 1 acre of blueberry, and  a 1/2 acre of blackberries with our drip system. Not only was I being green with the conservation of water, I was able to get home and enjoy time with the ones who mean the most to me. I think I may wear a green shirt to work tomorrow.

Save money and lower your water usage.
Give us a call with any drip irrigation questions.  We will be happy to assist in the layout of your drip system.

Greg Ison

Drip Irrigation
Advantages and Benefits of Drip Irrigation System

·   Water Efficiency
·   Water only goes where needed
·   Ease of Installation
·   No special tools or glue required
·   Reduced pest problems and weed growth
·   Only water the roots plus increase fruit yield and plant quality
·   Works anywhere in the home garden
·   Save money and lower your water usage

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do your plants have gas in their tanks ?
Do you make sure your gas tank is not on "E" before you make a trip to work, shopping, or vacation? One of the first things I do when I get into my vehicle is to make sure I have enough gas to get where I need to go. Fuel is what keeps us going on the road, if we run out of fuel we are going to be stuck.

Plants and trees are the same way, if they do not have adequate fertilizer releasing to their root zones the growth is going to get stuck and the plant is not going to grow to its potential.

Customers tell me all the time that they were told not to fertilize the first year or that they just did not realize that it was necessary. I have never understood the logic of  "do not fertilize the first year so the plants can get established" to me it is a huge mistake not to encourage as much growth the first year as possible.

The first year of planting we want to encourage as much vegetative growth as possible to establish the framework or the branching of the plant.
  • On fruit trees if we can encourage 6-7 feet of growth it allows us to choose the branches we wish to keep, develop the scaffold of the tree, and be that much closer to production.
  • On grapes it allows us to have the vine reach the top of the wire and extend down the wire and be that much closer to production.
  • On berries it allows us to push the primocanes and to be that much closer to production. The first year we can be the most aggressive because the plants are not of fruit bearing age, so all of the nutrients the plants receive will go strictly to the growth of the plant.
Recommended Fertilizer Schedule on Young Plants and Trees

Fruit Trees:
     1 lb 10-10-10 April 1st,  1 cup calcium nitrate June 1st,  1 lb 10-10-10 July 15th

Raspberry and Blackberries:
     1/4 lb 10-10-10 April 1st,  1/4 calcium nitrate June 1st, 1/4 10-10-10 July 15th

     1/4 10-10-10 April 1st, June 1st, and August 1st

Muscadines and bunch grapes:
     1/4 lb 12-10-10 or 10-10-10 April 1st, May 1st, June 1st, and July 1st
     1/4 lb Calcium Nitrate April 15, May 15th, June 15th, and July 15th

Follow these recommended guide lines to ensure your plants get where they need to go.

Greg Ison