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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Citruseria and such

Trying to get caught up on projects here at CMO before the weather gets too hot. Also this is a good time to do it before I want to spend more time pursuing odes and butterflies. All the summer nesting bird species are here now except for the buntings and grosbeaks. Did a little spring revamping to the citruseria. Not really noticeable, especially with the stark shade on these photos. I had planted several citrus last year to see what would survive the winter. The trifoliate orange survived well so I set out 3 more that I had been raising in pots.


A couple other citrus that I had raised in pots from seeds of fruit from the store died back to the ground but are putting on new growth. I pruned back some catclaw and dug out some weeds, then added a chair so one person is able to take photographs from the shade there in the afternoons. There is no other shade on hot afternoons where the light isn't backlit on the hummingbird feeders. I figure a one-person blind is better than none.


So, whereas the citruseria is still in its infancy, it's not quite a lost cause... yet.  None of the trees are more than a foot tall. That kumquat tree in the middle doesn't seem to be growing. I think I should have put it in better soil. I added some potting soil when I set out the new orange trees. The ground was so hard I had to wet it to penetrate it with a shovel. Not good. Plus I have a really challenging micro-climate. I've learned to expect the coldest predicted low for the entire Big Bend region (Marfa Plateau) and the hottest predicted highs (along the Rio Grande River). So today the high's were predicted to get up to 80° along the river and only to the low 70's in the mountains. It got up to 85° here. You get the idea. Here I am, a 76 yr old woman trying to have an oasis in barren desert soil, with no underground water, and scant annual rainfall. But heck, anyone could do it in a lush tropical valley. There'd be no point in doing that.

Pretty much a day of drudgery. Drained the stucco tank down to mud. I need it dry and cleaned out asap so I can put water in it from what's left in the big concrete tank. Until that happens I have no way of watering. I watered everything today, frugally of course. That should keep it alive for another week. Since it takes the mud about a week to dry I'll probably not remove it all before I start pumping water. Then I'll have to start cleaning the big tank. It hasn't been cleaned for years because I had a pump in it and was afraid to put the water from it into the stucco tank since it has a tendency to leak. But I feel confident it won't leak this year anyway, and there's no longer a pump installed in the big tank. Not sure how much I'll get done, or if I'll get the energy to do any patching on it. It's so steep that it's treacherous to work on.

Reakirt's Blues

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