What to plant??

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8 years 2 months ago #37385 by 7 Oaks
What to plant?? was created by 7 Oaks
Hi to all, we have been on our 14acre lifestyle for about a year now and apart from the cats, dogs, horses, cows, chickens we want to try make the property work a bit better for us down the line. We have quite a few fairly steep paddocks which we thought of trying to plant something instead of the animals wrecking the slopes. Water is plentiful and we are in the hills outside Tauranga. Any ideas? Was thinking about Xmas trees but slopes may be a problem.:confused:

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8 years 2 months ago #485124 by muri
Replied by muri on topic What to plant??
Sorry, it seems to me to be a bit of a contradiction. You want to protect the slopes, so do you want something permanent or something like xmas trees that you are going to chop down? I would suggest you work out a primary goal eg protection of the slopes, permanent vs temporary, money earning, aesthetics etc. Once you work out what you want to do there it would make it a lot easier to decide what to plant

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8 years 2 months ago #485127 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic What to plant??
How steep are the slopes and what sort and depth of soil?
Would a cropping tree (nuts, fruit...) be impossible to harvest on the slopes you have?
Would fodder type trees be useful or your stock in weather extremes?
If you interspersed xmas trees among others, so the slopes retain some protective trees, will you have enough to be worth selling? You won't get people climbing steep slopes to choose trees, so you may be selling at the cheaper precut end of that market.

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8 years 2 months ago #485189 by 7 Oaks
Replied by 7 Oaks on topic What to plant??
Sorry about the confusion. There's a difference between animals running up and down the slopes grazing and planting something which would be easier on the land. Primarily we want to generate a supplemental income of some form. Slopes are steep but not impossible to access for planting or picking. This is wasted land so would love to get some benefit from it. Aesthetics are not a concern as land is fairly well hidden. Thanks again.

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8 years 2 months ago #485190 by 7 Oaks
Replied by 7 Oaks on topic What to plant??
Thanks for the reply Hawkspur. Slopes are not to bad and will be accessible for harvest. Xmas trees probably won't suit due to slopes. Don't think the soil is very deep, paddock grass does grow well on it though.

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8 years 2 months ago #485193 by muri
Replied by muri on topic What to plant??
What size area are you talking about. It is probably hard to make a supplementary living by planting trees in a small area. If it was economic, then there would be a lot more planting on farms than we see now
What direction does the slope face? This can affect some trees if you were growing fruit

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8 years 2 months ago #485194 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic What to plant??
When I lived in Thames, cattle were grazed on some very steep hill country, even with it's clay base and heavy rainfall. Down here we only have 1200 mm of rain most years, and the soil is good draining, so I've been running our cattle on this land without any problems with ground erosion.
The worst bit of erosion that I have had is where there has been pines. The roots tend to penetrate deeply and make fissures that the water can get into. The roots push the soil apart, and the weigh of the tree causes the ground to slip away.
Thus, in my experience, erosion has been worse with trees than with cattle.
And then there is the problem of getting the trees off the slope without damaging the remaining trees, or the one that you are selling, or yourself.

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8 years 2 months ago #485202 by igor
Replied by igor on topic What to plant??
What sort of gradient are we talking about here? Where I come from in Northland a neighbour farmed Jersey cows very successfully on land so steep that much of his farm is not traversable by wheeled vehicle so he walked everywhere. When I saw him last, about seven years ago, he was in his 70's and fit as a buck rat, going hard on the dance floor like a man 25 years his junior.

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8 years 2 months ago #485240 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic What to plant??
absolute waste of time trying to make money by 'planting something'! Stay clear of IRD and you will appreciate it in the long term.

But if you want to stop erosion or provide animal feed, then Tagasaste (tree Lucerne) is the answer. Makes good firewood too!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 years 2 months ago #485317 by katieb
Replied by katieb on topic What to plant??
how would the animals "wreck" the slopes any differently to sliding in mud on a flat paddock? One of our neighbours has a 30acre block which is pretty much all hill, they have horses, sheep & calves.

Our place has no totally flat paddocks, some of its steep, theres just 1 paddock on the new part of the farm where cattle wont be going until the steapest part is fenced off.

Igor we visited a once a day farm a few months ago...its amazing how far the cows walked some days & how steep some of the paddock were....makes our place look flat!...so no prob for 1 once a day herd & a twice a day herd(cow shed being built at the moment)

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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8 years 2 months ago #485382 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic What to plant??
We have a couple of steep paddocks, one proved too steep for horses and cattle as it's soil over a clay base on an exposed southerly aspect. I have planted a few pines mixed with willow, poplar alder, liquid amber, oak, birch a magnolia. Douglas fir ......to get a colourful mix on the slope and because it can be seen from the road. Its a work in progress and each year I plant a few more trees as the shelter develops.
The pine is for shelter and I will cut it down for firewood when it gets too big. The poplar and willow has been valuable throughout the drought for fodder.

The sheep graze underneath. Keeping the grass under control and they enjoy the shade. This year I am looking at planting a few heritage apples. Some will tolerate clay soil.
Not sure you can make money but grapes like slopes

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8 years 2 months ago #485399 by muri
Replied by muri on topic What to plant??
There are many areas on farms that are not suitable for grazing, particularly on steep slopes as the soil depth is quite shallow and erosion can definitely be a problem. You only have to drive around the country to see slips in some very steep areas to think about the wisdom of converting those areas to trees.
Trees can provide so much over and above their amenity value- food for stock in times of shortage, food for humans, fodder for birds bees and beneficial insects, as well as reducing erosion.
I think the idea of planting up really steep slopes certainly has merit on farms and contributes in a special way to the overall feel of a farm.
Its a matter of choosing whats suitable for the particular area and what kind of benefits you are hoping to achieve

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