We welcomed in June with some beautiful weather at the nursery! Growing conditions in the field couldn’t be better. Spring rains, sunshine, and warm temps are getting our growing season off to a great start. Here are some updates from the field:
SALES: All of our SGN Trees have been harvested and pulled in from the field to our SGN Holding Yard. Read more about the process here: LET’S GROW blog post. The sales yard is well stocked with over 1400 trees ready to plant! We have an assortment of pictures in the SGN HOLDING YARD PHOTO GALLERY. Check it out HERE or call to make an appointment to come out to the farm. We have some beautiful specimens available for tagging!
PLANTING: In the field we are finishing up a few more last minute plantings that didn’t get in during our first round in early April. Those later plantings will need a little extra attention with the water tank, but hopefully the spring rains will take over and they will be well on their way to growing along with the rest of our liners. The liner crop this year looks great! We have had several nice rains to help settle them in. Our crew has been back through those blocks 3 times now to straighten and tend to the new crop. Next up in the liner blocks is pruning and staking as needed.
SOIL: Our field soil work is also in full swing. The blocks that we harvested have been cleaned up and chisel-plowed. Now that they are leveled up, we can plant our soybean cover crop. Half of our soybeans were planted a few weeks ago. The next round will be planted this coming week after we finish up a final disking. The soybean cover crop will help protect and rejuvenate our soil for a year or two before we plant the next crop of trees. Becky’s brother, Chris Harford from Harford Farms, handles our cover crop plantings, and he does an excellent job. It’s tricky to navigate around the nursery when it comes to planting, spraying, and harvesting. Chris is careful with our trees, and we really appreciate the partnership with our other family farm business. In addition to cover crop planting, we are working through the blocks to spray weeds and mow our grass strips. These extra steps to keep our soil in good condition really help create an excellent growing environment for our SGN Trees.
TREES: Pruning & staking is in full swing out in the field. We got started in a Honeylocust block this week removing some of the “feathers” along the trunks and lightening up the canopies. Oaks will be next – we will remove them from their stakes, let them flop a bit, prune them, and finally re-stake as needed. This process will happen on all species throughout the nursery over the course of the summer. Every tree will get pruned and staking will be as needed. We try not to stake any more than necessary so that our trees can develop their own trunk strength. In addition to pruning & staking, we are regularly spraying for pests as needed. We use IPM methods to spray at just the right timing for the pest & plant. This allows us to use minimal chemicals and get great results.
PLANNING FOR 2023: We are in the process of placing our liner orders for the 2023 growing season. It’s never too soon to plan ahead! Out in the field we are evaluating how varieties are performing, checking on growth, and projecting what we want to add into our field for future crops. Our partner liner growers are making the rounds to see how their trees are performing for us and updating us on new varieties they have available. Now is a great time to let us know if there is a tree you would like that we aren’t currently growing. We love to try new trees!
As you can see, June is off to a busy start at the nursery! This is a perfect time to visit our farm. You can see lots of growing practices in progress and get a feel for how we grow our SGN Trees. We are looking forward to longer summer days ahead now that the craziness of the spring rush is behind us. Welcome June… it’s time to GROWWWWW!