The PMC Update for September 30, 2021
Activities at the PMC are on schedule and continue without interruption so this week’s update is going to be brief:
Sales continue to be very strong. While some items have sold out for the upcoming planting season there is still a lot of stock available. Feel free to check out the Plant Availability List on the PMC website at https://www.wacdpmc.org or call to see what is available.
Early Live Stake Harvest Starts Next Week
Live Stakes refers to the unrooted Willow, Cottonwood, and Red Osier Dogwood (among others) cuttings that can be stuck in suitable ground to grow. They are vigorous and adaptable species that do okay when harvested and processed with green leaves still on them. We will start with a crew of eight seasonal employees and see if we can stay on schedule. There is more request for early live stakes than usual. If anyone would like to try an early live stake planting, please allow two weeks to be worked into the schedule.
Bare Root Harvest
Bare root harvest does not begin until they are fully dormant. Unlike live stakes, they experience significant stress when lifted non-dormant which can result in reduced vigor and increased mortality. Many of these species will not be adequately dormant until early December. The list of clients requesting bare root plants as soon as possible in December is growing and the lifting schedule for the first couple of weeks in December is filling up. If anyone would like to plant bare root in December it is advised they let Jacquie know soon before the whole month is booked.
Rather than list the ongoing activities, it is time to look at the growing activities that have wrapped up for the year. Irrigation is one such activity. The rains have arrived, ground is wet and it will not be dry again until next spring or summer. The weeding has also wrapped up as has fertilization, root culturing, and most of the disease and pest control program (hopefully). As implements and tools are cleaned up and stored for the winter it brings to mind what comes next.
As mentioned above, bare root harvest cannot begin until around the first of December. Preparing for that is not something that can be done in a day or two. There is a lot of packaging and other consumables that will be needed, harvest equipment needs to be prepared, and a lot of work to get ready to bring in the 20 seasonal employees needed. Hopefully, enough workers will be available, which is a common worry that begins this time of year. About half of last year’s crew have already expressed interest in coming back and more are sure to come in as the fall progresses.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Jim Brown, WACD PMC Nursery Manager