Several weeks ago, I had posted about the suckers that were growing beneath the plum trees. The suckers are coming up from the extensive root systems of the old trees. Since we do not use chemicals to control the suckers from sprouting up, I use the weed eater or lawn mower to keep them under control.
By cutting them, they tend to form two stems from what had originally been one stem. Pulling the suckers rips the stem right from the root and dramatically slows the sucker progress. I have been slowly working under the two trees with the thickest sucker population and with a pair of channel-lock pliers have been pulling the stems one by one.
I find that if I set up the cows in my barn with their breakfast, I have about 10 minutes of free time each morning to head to the garden with my pliers. Believe me, 10 minutes of stooping and pulling hair sized and larger stems from the ground is about all I can do for one day. I can usually fit in five or more pulling sessions a week.
Finally, the suckers under the two prune trees have been eradicated, at least for this year. The ground around the two trees has been picked up and they are now ready for the winter to kick into high gear.
Spring will show how well the pulling job worked and if I missed some stems right at the surface.
It sure looks a lot better than the mess that was there before I started. Now I will be able to concentrate on the rest of the garden and work to winterize each section.