~ September 10, 2023
Fall is a great time for planting, and at SGN Trees we just finished planting our new evergreen crop and our grass filter strips. Here is a little info about each of those processes:
Grass Filter Strips:
Caring for our soil is a top priority on this 6th generation farm. We run a no-till farm operation here at Spring Grove Nursery and on all of our other family farm ground. We have seen the benefits of taking care of the soil for multiple generations now, and it is important to us to keep up this tradition and practice of conservation.
After a new crop of tree liners are planted in the field, we use minimal tillage to prepare the area for our cover crop. Every year around Labor Day, we plant grass strips into our new tree crop blocks. We leave the grass strips in place for several years while the trees are growing. After the entire block is harvested we will clean up the block and plant a cover crop of soybeans for a year and let the soil rest. We harvest the soybeans, which while growing, will add nitrogen back in to the soil. The following season, our new block is ready to plant without any additional tillage needed.
Having soil that is not continually tilled allows for high organic matter content to be built up in the soil. The grass & soybean cover crops also help hold our soil in place from wind and rain erosion. Our soil is one of our most important natural resources here at the nursery, so taking care of it is something we take very seriously. We will be proud to pass this ground on to the next generation. Hopefully along the way we will have taught them to respect the land as much as we have tried to do!
Fall Evergreen Planting:
We have switched to fall planting our new evergreen liners for a few reasons. The spring season is hectic and the window to get everything planted, dug, and shipped is tight. Traditionally, when the evergreen liners arrive in the spring, we are already past our optimal spring planting window. If they get planted too late in the spring, then the watering needs on them in the field is also difficult to keep up with. To align better with our production cycles, we have switched to an early fall planting. We received our tree liners this fall from Sester Farms in Oregon. They were beautiful! We got them planted in early September, and they are off and growing. This season we planted Norway Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Fat Albert Blue Spruce, Vanderwolf’s Pyramid Pine, White Pine, Green Giant Arborvitae, Techny Arborvitae, Nigra Arborvitae, and Emerald Green Arborvitae.
Here are some pictures and videos of fall evergreen and filter strip planting at SGN Trees (Sept 2023):
Here are some pictures & videos of fall planting in the nursery (Fall 2022):