Remove the Competition
you strip the sod away, lay your soaker hose, and then cover it with
mulch. Two to three inches of coarsely shredded hardwood bark will
help conserve soil moisture, moderate soil temperature, and help
keep down weeds.
Photo: Removing sod with a spade
Coarse-textured bark lasts longer then more
finely shredded mulch. It is also less likely to mat together and
become water-repellant. As the bark decomposes, it will add organic
matter to the soil.
"Rules of Mulching"
Avoid physical contact between the tree trunks
and the mulch. Deep piles of mulch against tree trunks can cause the
bark to rot, and act as a hiding spot for rodents to chew on the
bark unnoticed until the tree starts to decline.
Avoid piling-up mulch against tree trunks!
You should pull the bark back when you fertilize the trees every
spring. Broadcast granular fertilizer evenly over the area under the
tree, staying six inches away from the trunk all around. Water it in
and replace the mulch. Do not fertilize after July 15. Fertilization
pushes new growth that may not harden off for winter if applied
later in the season.
laden with fruit
Beyond thinning your abundant peach crop carefully so that you leave
one fruit every six to ten inches along the branch, propping the
limbs up from below is probably the least damaging to the tree.
Place something soft between the prop and the treesí bark to
minimize damage. Make your mulch circles at the base of each tree
large enough to contain the props, and you will not have to mow
around the props any more.
Thundercloud Plum storm damage
Growing larger apples
Saving money on trees