OK - today didn't go as planned, but that is ok. This morning is was actually COOL outside. We got up a bit earlier than usual, but end up puttering around inside for most of the morning. Our Internet connection has been REALLY slow, like running at about 1/10th speed. I played around with a few things, and finally gave our service provider an e-mail. Great service - within a few hours all was well, slightly before the serviceman arrived. Apparently the lady in the office reset the port on their side and all the problems cleared.
At the same time the service guy showed up, Frank and Dave showed up. They were curious how the fields they planted last spring were looking. As is usual in small towns, of course they both knew the service guy as well, so they chatted for awhile.
Took Frank and Dave for a tour. All is doing well. We have a too much Queen Annes Lace. In an ideal world, I'd wick that with roundup since its the tallest thing - but many things like the compass plants on coming on strong now. That, and I don't have a wick and don't want to spent our last few days here building one. After the tour was done we planted the two new plum trees, watered all the trees down by the beehives, then watered in the new plums.
Mixed up another 30 gallons of 46% 2-4-D, this time at half the strength I used last time (30oz in 30 gallons vs 60oz). Also mixed up a 1/2 gallon of Remedy with 2 gallons of diesel (a fine oil carrier) in the hand pump sprayer. Of we all went in search of locust sprouts, thistle plants, and multi-flora roses (for the 2-4-D), and honeylocust trees for the Remedy mix. Ran out of Remedy and refilled (kiss goodbye about $80 worth of Remedy).
Found (2) huge locust trees making a total of three large ones on our property. Alas, they are public enemy #1 and we have been making great progress over the past 5-6 years eradicating them from our farm. Why are they a problem? They sprout like crazy in our fields, if cut down, they just come back from the roots, and they have THORNS... BIG 4-6" long thorns. In clusters! Tire puncturing thorns. Die from punctures if the tree branches fall on you thorns. Tear your clothing (and boots, and skin) if you rub against them thorns. Very, very, mightily impressive thorns. Don't believe me, click on the photo in this post and check them out... and those are just the ones on the trunk - the entire tree is full of these!
Amazingly, basal spraying the Remedy mix will kill all but the largest trees. Its almost scarey how little it takes and how well it works. Basal spraying is quite simply spraying around the trunk of the tree. Remedy is rated to work on trees up to about 4" in diameter... I have found it works quite well on any size tree. For the tree above, I used about a 1/2 gallon of spray to saturate a 4-5 foot ring around the tree. With a typically 6-8" diameter locust, a few ounces sprayed in a 1 foot band will generally kill it. At least it does for me. As will all Ag-Chemicals, use the required safety equipment and follow the label. In about 2 weeks, I expect all the locust we sprayed to be yellowed out and well along the path of dying. That said, for the 3 huge trees, I suspect it will take a couple of repeat treatments over a couple of years. After all, even applying a 1/2 gallon of mix, that's like a pint of Remedy, call it a cup of active ingredient, killing several thousand pounds of tree.
While we were searching for locust trees to kill, we were also spot spraying the 2-4-D. Ran out of both chemicals about 8:30pm and headed in.
Oh, two excitements today: 1) The Kubota UTV got stuck, the earth collapsed at the entrance of an erosion area leaving the Kubota see-sawing on opposing wheels. Long walk back to the house, brought the tractor over, and 30 seconds later all was well (used a chain and just pulled it out). Almost a non-event except that the front right tire was a few feet off the ground. 2) We raced home - Frank and I in the tractor, Evia and Gabby in the UTV. Of course, the UTV is a lot faster, but I took a short cut through a ditch on the tractor and pulled out in front. Gabby was NOT happy...
Today's jeans and shirt are going into a special cleaning pile. Under NO circumstances will I wear them again until they are thoroughly washed. If I don't come down with poison ivy from today's activities its only because I'm temporarily immune do to my bought with it earlier this year. Its seems that poison ivy is my most popular understory plant...