Five things to know about the PMC for August 12, 2021
Last week’s update mentioned that sales for this fiscal year were at $516,554 on July 31st, which exceeds a similar date last year by $178,000! Since then, Jacquie has been busy making sure that number did not remain static. Orders continue to come in at a fast pace so there has not been time to update the sales report. There are a few larger quotes pending that would significantly affect that number if they become firm orders, which could make the next sales report noteworthy.
Live stakes have been a big part of recent sales. Their sales dropped off considerably last year, probably due to the pandemic. It is good to see demand for those and other plants pick up. A brief review of the PMC availability on its website (wacdpmc.org) will confirm that. Many items on the availability are selling down but many others are still available in ample quantities.
The PMC production schedule is on track. Irrigation continues through the drought but it is becoming less frequent as more and more stock is being drought-stressed to slow growth and initiate the onset of dormancy. Weed management has continued through the summer with herbicide applications, cultivation, and hand weeding. That should start to taper off as the initial flushes of weeds have been dealt with. Much of the groundwork centers on preparing seedbeds for fall sowing.
PMC Exposé of the Week – Fungus: Friend or Foe in the Forest Nursery?
The answer to that question is a resounding: it depends. The PMC has encountered many fungi that are definite foes. Some of the garden variety diseases such as rust and powdery mildew can cause modest grief. Others such as Pythium and Fusarium can wipe out a season and are most definitely a foe.
A lot of fungi are beneficial to the plants and play an important or even vital role in plant health and vigor. These fungi are called Mycorrhizal Fungi and they are very welcome friends in the nursery. They are so welcome that the seedlings are inoculated with them to ensure their presence. They occasionally produce mushrooms which are the fruiting body of the fungi.
Seed collection continues. Most of the seeds the PMC uses are acquired from contract collectors but the PMC does some of its own collections. Some of those come from plants that are being grown here for that purpose. One of those species currently being collected on-site are the Beaked Hazelnuts (Corylus cornuta californica). Most of the Hazelnut seeds are still from wild collections, but in order to conduct a successful collection, timing is critical. There is a narrow window when the nuts are ripe enough to collect but not so ripe that they are taken by the crows. So far, we are beating the birds at their own game.
The next few weeks will look a lot like the last few weeks. If we keep up on incoming sales, weed control, irrigation, disease, pest management, and propagation, the time will be considered well spent.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Jim Brown, WACD PMC Nursery Manager