Monday, May 26, 2008

Water, Water, Water

I haven't talked about the orchard lately. What happened to the trees, you ask. Why isn't that Nutty Mama doing anything with them, you wonder. Fear not. I'm here to tell ya today, the trees are fine.

It's hot in the Nutty Forest right now. We have had 2 days in a row with high temperatures in the upper 90s... we're talking 98 and 99 degrees here folks. It's HOT! And what the trees need most is a good rain to cool us off. But since rain isn't in God's forecast, we're doing the next best thing. Irrigating.

There are three options for delivering water to a tree in an orchard. Some farmers drip irrigate. This means they have little water hoses around the trees that just constantly drip, drip, drip. If you don't have too many trees, this is a nice way to irrigate. Here at the Nutty Forest, we have 1,500 trees. So that would mean lots of hoses trailing all over the place. Not the best choice for us.

Another way to bring water to the trees is to flood irrigate. To do this, you just open up the valve and dump a truck load of water into the orchard. This works if you are in a valley or somewhere the water would stand long enough to settle into the ground. The Nutty Forest is off a farm road and it would get washed away if we tried that. Next!

Here in the Nutty Forest, each tree gets special individual attention. Each tree has her own personal sprinkler to provide water and nitrogen directly to her roots. We offer the finest quality nitrogen for our special trees, N32, and it's served up through the water, a few times a year, depending on how many nutlets a tree has. The trees received a good helping of nitrogen in March, so we are strictly watering right now. We have the water running 24/7. I water half of the orchard for a few days, and the other half the next few days. Water is super important.

I noticed a problem the other day, however. When the Great Pecan Man was here a few weeks ago, we dug. Remember? We dug and dug and dug. I still have nightmares about all that digging. Well, the other thing the Great Pecan Man did was calculate... he added, subtracted, divided... water flow, minus number of trees, divided by rate, blah, blah, blah... and voila! He created the half in one day half the next philosophy. Previously, we were watering one sixth of the orchard at a time. It took forever to get everyone water and they were impatient. This way works so much better!

Anyway, since we have recalculated how to water the orchard, I've noticed that the sprinklers aren't really saturating the entire area around the tree. Just the spots where the water is hitting. It doesn't look right. I need to contact the Great Pecan Man and ask him about this. Or better yet, I'll just summon him through his wife, who reads my little blog here...

Dear Mrs. Great Pecan Man,

I hope you and your family enjoyed your vacation and didn't get sunburned. (I can't imagine the Great Pecan Man vacationing... does he offer complete strangers shovels and tell them to start digging? Do you have to pack shovels for him in case he gets a digging urge? Does he offer suggestions to resort staff about how to more effectively run the irrigation system?)

Please ask the Great Pecan Man what I should do about this little problem I've discovered... are my trees alright receiving this spotty water treatment or should I press on and buy new sprinkler heads for all 1,500 of my precious trees?

Thank you for your time, Mrs. Great Pecan Man. I hope to visit with you soon.


The Nutty Mama

There. That should take care of it. I'll let you know what he says. In the mean time, I'll be watering. You should too. Go forth and water your trees!

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