New Tauranga Life Style Blocker

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8 years 7 months ago #39970 by duke-nz
New Tauranga Life Style Blocker was created by duke-nz
Hi People

Just thought i'd introduce myself.

I live on a 18acre block just out of tauranga. It has two paddocks about 1- 1.5 acres each, the rest is in regenerating native bush or pine.

We have recently had a large block of pine taken out, and wish to put that in to paddocks.

I have 4 dorper/whiltshire cross sheep which are really good. They seem to each all the rough weeds first, and then move to grass. so all the gorse and blackberry which used to cover both the paddocks(to a height in excess of 2m) is kept in check.

Also have 5 Hyline chooks which seem to be good for eggs, well in the summer anyway. All 5 have stopped laying since its got cold, something i wasn't aware of.

I have employment off the block, so really all this is pretend farming for me, and i don't need to make living from it, just enjoying the journey.

Plans for the future is to ramp up the fire wood production, put in an orchard and a large verge garden. None of this i have ever done before, so its both excited and daunting!

Ive got quite a few tools and machinery around here, A Great Husky chainsaw, log splitter, Old tractor with a rotary slasher, a rotary hoe, and a few other attachments.

Anyway, thats a bit about me. Happy to be here and learn a bit more from everyone. thanks!

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8 years 7 months ago #510168 by LongRidge
Welcome John to a hobby that will take 5 or 6 lifetimes the learn about. May I make some comments, from my experiences, which you might find useful SUGGESTIONS ? :-)
1. Weeds in small quantities can be useful for sheep, but they are designed to eat pasture. They will do better on pasture, and they will enjoy it more if it is nutritious.
2. Pasture is able to grow without the soil being the correct fertility for it. But it will not be as nutritious for cattle or sheep as it could be, and weeds will grow in preference. To grow pasture needs pasture fertility, and forestry tree fertility. So sort the fertility out, especially acidity. Lime application by truck is the best way to address this.
3. Weeds in excess will be poisonous, andd sometimes the excess is very small.
4. To rapidly convert forest to pasture requires the stumps to be ripped out, so that fertiliser can be more easily spread. If the lime is to be spread by air (very expensive), then the stumps will rot away in 4 or 5 years.
5. I spread fertiliser (super phosphate and the likes) by hand on my steep 20 or so acres.
6. I have wasted my time with an orchard, which is rather silly in Nelson, with no irrigation. But it does mean I can still get Granny Smith apples (of poor quality). Orchard trees need different fertility and minerals to pasture, so I have to be careful which animals go into the orchard.

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