First ever lifestyle property, 114 acres of scrub and native. What now?

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5 years 10 months ago #524585 by Sparxnz
Hi all, first LSB post.
So I've just sealed the deal on a 46ha block in the Tasman region and I'm wondering what to do with it aside from shooting pigs. It's pretty steep in parts with good stands of beech in the gullies and plenty of water from permanent springs, some was in grazing ten years back but those parts about 15ha are now overgrown with scrub. Plan is to mulch those areas down with a mulcher mower and get that 15ha of grass back for sheep then work on clearing the steep bits for planting manuka. We will leave the beech as it is. So I have a few questions you good folks might be able to help me out with, and the most important one is whats the best way to plant 15ha of grass and what is the best variety to plant for slope stabilisation and erosion control which will still be alright for grazing? I have quite a good background in heavy machinery so getting hold of equipment shouldn't be an issue.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Sparx


120 Acres of Broom, Hawthorn and Barberry.
And a little orange tractor.

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5 years 10 months ago #524591 by LongRidge
Welcome. Depending where you are (towards Rotoiti I guess, because we cannot grow beech but can grow totara in Brightwater) will make lots of difference.
Before you do any pasture renovation, start by testing the soil, and making the fertility and acidity right for pasture and wrong for your unwanted plants. Phone Ravensdown on 0800 100 123, and the helpful person will find the right person for you to talk to. I can't remember if Ravensdown sell pasture seeds, but if not then Farmlands do. When you have the soil analysis, one or other will tell you what to do next.
Remember that the climate has been unusually benign this past year, with no cold weather and much more than average rainfall.
Until you have sheep fencing , any sheep that you buy will wander off looking for quality pasture. I used to "save money" (yeah, right ...) by using 8 wires and battens, but have now gone over all my wire fences with netting. The neighbour, who I lease, used wire and electricity but that is as useless as tits on a bull in dry weather.

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5 years 10 months ago #524592 by Stikkibeek

LongRidge wrote: ............ but that is as useless as tits on a bull in dry weather.

Are tits more useful on bulls in wet weather then? :whistle:

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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5 years 10 months ago #524607 by tonybaker
friends of mine had a hilly block in the same area and cleared it all with pigs. As far as sheep go, yes netting is the best way to go and I found that Dorpers are good for clearing woody weeds due to their goat lineage.

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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5 years 10 months ago #524616 by LongRidge
Well spotted Stikkibeak :) :)
sparx, how well the soil stays in position has more to do with the soil structure and composition than the pasture planted on it. We are able to graze cattle on very steep slopes here because the soil is free draining and does not have a clay pan underneath. The soil is not knocked off the slopes .... but big cattle do injure themselves :(
With manuka, it is moderately moisture dependent and can be hit hard by dry summers. Remember that with manuka it is the antibacterial value that makes it financially valuable, so try to obtain seedlings with known high MGO and UMF. Also bees gather nectar from flowers up to 3 km away, and will not gather nectar selectively. Thus to get pure manuka would need a circle of 3 km diameter of only manuka, with the hives in the middle. So, talk to the neighbours to see if any of them are also thinking of planting manuka.

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