Northland Newbie

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7 years 3 months ago #39302 by Barnrat
Northland Newbie was created by Barnrat
Hi all, from a single aging lifestyler on 5 acres.

I've been looking in here for sometime looking for ideas and general information, so decided it was about time to join up and share some knowledge and experience with like-minded members.

35 years on lifestyle blocks. 2 1/2 acres for a couple of years, 1 1/2 acres for over 20 years and now 5 acres for 12 years.

Kept chooks, grown orchards & extensive vege gardens, done a lot of preserving etc. Propagated a lot of trees, fruit and natives. Caught and smoked a lot of fish... raised a few brats...!!!

Kind of winding down at this end of life with mortgages etc paid and focusing on raising trees to earn a few dollars.

This 5 acres is mostly steep ground not suited to grazing, so I'm slowly getting it regenerated in natives, particularly species that will provide me with seed and cuttings for future propagation.

You can never have too many trees.

I enjoy the birdsong... And breathing the oxygen...!!!

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7 years 3 months ago #503639 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Northland Newbie

Barnrat;509796 wrote: ...You can never have too many trees. ...

Unless you want to live in Titirangi, in a new house. Then some trees are simply too old and must be removed!

Welcome to the forum. :) Which bit of the huge place called Northland is your bit?

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7 years 3 months ago #503645 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Northland Newbie
Welcome.
One tree is one tree too many :-). They cause all sorts of prblems, especially when those horrible squawky birds (Tooheys I think they are called) perch in them, but we have magpies now which seems to have got rid of the Tooheys .... :-((

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7 years 3 months ago #503658 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Northland Newbie
Who the hell'd drink Tooheys LR? Welcome aboard Barnrat.

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7 years 3 months ago #503941 by Barnrat
Replied by Barnrat on topic Northland Newbie

Ruth;509805 wrote: :) Which bit of the huge place called Northland is your bit?

Just a little north of Whangarei.

Thanks for the Welcomes.

Being the rebellious type... I will ignore the sarcasm and continue to plant trees and murder magpies... :D

Meanwhile... surrounded by the choir of a hundred Tui - well usually, but just right now there's a cyclonic wind building up out there...!!!

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7 years 3 months ago #504047 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Northland Newbie
Welcome ignore the nay Sayers trees are great....

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7 years 3 months ago #504048 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Northland Newbie
There was only one.

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7 years 3 months ago #504055 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic Northland Newbie
welcome barnrat....we too are pretty new up here and loving it...ex Auckland now just sth of whangarei..

love the trees and we have lots of bush and streams...brilliant..lots of birds and the tress keep the stock sheltered from wind and rain and keep the house sheltered from same..
we have a flock of wild turkeys here, which I enjoy.. but for some reason the neighbouring farmers can stand them and are busy shooting them :( ..

ahhh well I have 2 mothers with associated offspring wondering around for my entertainment !

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7 years 3 months ago #504407 by cook2l
Replied by cook2l on topic Northland Newbie
planting some of our paddock in natives is part of our plan: it has been suggested we wait till spring, fair enough - we've been too busy with the house anyway - but the more I look at the space, the more daunting the task seems.
:confused:
How did you get started? Any tips? Am getting a wee bit anxious about the cost too but desperately keen to move on with it as want to encourage bird life which is lacking here, there's just nothing for them. Not that that stops the bloody magpies....! haha

CookieL [:I]

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7 years 3 months ago #504408 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Northland Newbie
Hi Cookie L. Start by looking at which natives grow well on your neighbours place. We are about 20 km away from where beech trees grow very well, but they are almost impossible to grow on our soil. But totaras grow very well indeed, which they don't do in the beech forests.
Then fence off the area that you are going to plant.
Clear the grass from where you are going to plant, then plant the seedlings preferably. Totara transplant moderately well, but many natives are notoriously difficult to grow from seedlings. Thus find out which ones you might have success with before to go and collect them.
Then, consider planting gorse. It provides shelter and nitrogen to the newly planted natives, and will be suffocated by the trees when they grow. It also tends to make them grow straight.
Mark the plants so that you can clear the grass in spring, and water them in summer.

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7 years 3 months ago #504416 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Northland Newbie
Never consider deliberately planting gorse. While it is good bee fodder and can provide valuable lambing shelter in addition to its nitrogen fixing properties mentioned by LR it is also a noxious weed because it spreads so fast. Propagation and planting of gorse may result in prosecution if you get caught.

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7 years 3 months ago #504437 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Northland Newbie
OMG don't plant gorse[:0] If you want a fast growing nurse tree you can grow from seed then grow tagasaste (also called tree lucerne) The advantage with this is that its relatively short lived and can be cut down for fodder and firewood. It also attracts birds.
Also consider flax. Just collect seed from any growing in your area and sow it in a tray. It is easy to propagate and is excellent as a first planting for shelter. It also attracts birds which deposit droppings and with luck you will get free seedlings ...

another suggestion I have seen is to collect leaf litter from a native forest close by in an ice cream tub. Put the lid on and keep moist and see what comes up. These seedlings can be planted out eventually and will have the advantage of being local varieties.

The important thing is to keep the seedlings free from competition by grass.
To get a natural look to your plantings get a bag of tennis balls and fling them all up into the air. They will fall in a random pattern and you can use that as a guide for planting.

Start small with a corner and aim to plant something every year. That way you won't break your back (or the bank) doing it. And have fun researching your local flora :)

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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7 years 3 months ago #504450 by cook2l
Replied by cook2l on topic Northland Newbie
thank you all.... am sure will look a bit daft chucking several tennis balls up in the air but who is going to see me? haha Will give it a go and you're right - I should focus on smaller areas at a time then it will all seem a little less daunting. [^]

CookieL [:I]

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7 years 3 months ago #504451 by Barnrat
Replied by Barnrat on topic Northland Newbie

LongRidge;510666 wrote:
consider planting gorse. It provides shelter and nitrogen to the newly planted natives, and will be suffocated by the trees when they grow. It also tends to make them grow straight.

I can hardly believe I read that...!!!???!!!

NEVER even consider planting gorse.

EVERY lifestyle block and farm owner should be sworn to remove every sign of gorse from their land.

I think it may be a criminal offense to actually intentionally plant gorse.

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7 years 3 months ago #504452 by Barnrat
Replied by Barnrat on topic Northland Newbie

Anakei;510699 wrote:

another suggestion I have seen is to collect leaf litter from a native forest close by in an ice cream tub. Put the lid on and keep moist and see what comes up. These seedlings can be planted out eventually and will have the advantage of being local varieties.

Great idea... A good way to do this is in a trench filled with potting mix, and make a plastic tunnel house over it. Rake up some bush litter from under trees where seed is likely to have fallen, and roosting birds have dropped their droppings. Spread on your potting mix trench. build a plastic tunnel house over it... WAIT.

Remember that many natives will take months to sprout... Some a year or more. Keep it damp at all times. Once you have seedlings up to 10cm approx, pot them on into PB3 pots and keep them in a shade house type environment to grow on before planting out. Species vary, but most natives are going to take a year or two before you can plant them out.

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