Where to buy for good soil?

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5 years 8 months ago #526711 by Kacer
Hello my name is Kim, my partner and I are looking for land to start a small orchard/garden/farm on.
I am currently looking everywhere but keep coming back to Northland for price and also I suspect my own spiritual bias - whenever I need time for contemplation I usually find myself driving North.
Have been living in Auckland for about 15 years working in media but feel utterly saturated, along with my partner, so we're getting out-somewhere we can grow, breathe and get back to more natural rhythms.
There will be so many questions am so glad there is a place I can ask them.
My first is this: soil is soo important I know and a lot of Northland is poor draining clay and not so fertile. I know that Kerikeri is THE place to be if you want to grow stuff but we are simply unable to afford land there.
Does anyone know of other pockets of land or areas that are able to be used for horticulture? I have been thinking Okaihau due to it's volcanic nature, also looking at Rawene, Kohukohu or Karetu-though that is near Opua which is all clay I have been told.
Have also been looking in Masterton, does anyone know anything about growing conditions around there?
Have been trying to do lots of research but as you can see am a little at sea with it all...I figure it's just best to ask people who actually have knowledge and experience!!
Many Thanks in advance :)

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5 years 8 months ago #526716 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Where to buy for good soil?
I grew up on my parents' dairy farm on the Northern Kaipara where Mum had an amazing vege plot which grew awesome produce. Both sides of the Northern Wairoa is sandy alluvial soil which is great for growing many crops. One of the biggest harvests in the region is Kumera.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

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5 years 8 months ago #526717 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Where to buy for good soil?
Any of the valleys are probably pretty good, as long as they don't also flood. I lived near Peria/Fern Flat as a child and anything grew.

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5 years 8 months ago #526726 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Where to buy for good soil?
There are probably soil maps that show the different soils I have never looked to find out.
What do you mean by good soil? - free draining, good depth, free of clay, volcanic, the list can go on.
When I look at a property, I take a spade and look at the soil profile, if you know how to read them.
To me the depth of the soil is a really important issue, not only the soil type.
I avoid heavy clays and ppor draining soil.
One farm can differ from its neighbours substantially, depending on topography, how its been used and so forth.
I have bought land at Wellsford not known for its good soils and surrounded by clay but this land is beautiful and rich and free draining. The neighbours property has been denuded of topsoil and is poor quality that grows poor grass.
Having said that, there is some beautiful land around Kamo and Whangarei that is volcanic and always looks in good heart in winter when many areas look to be quite poor

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5 years 8 months ago #526736 by Stikkibeek
There is some very good areas around Whangarei, but make sure if you decide to go there that you check that the land is freehold. Some parts are Maori leasehold and I have no idea ho long those leases are.
Soil can vary greatly within a few acres. Part of our land is hilltop clay and some of that is wet in the winter, while other parts are ok, and down on the flats, we have Clevedon river silt, which is very good soil.
In our vegetable garden, two autumns back, we poured 3 cu metres of sand to make it easier to work. Apple trees have grown exceptionally well in our orchard, but plums not so well. so some things will suit some soils while others will not. Think about what you want to grow as well.

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

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5 years 8 months ago #526772 by greenfingers
I think you'll find the interactive NZ Soil Map, run by Landcare useful: smap.landcareresearch.co.nz/home

9.5 acres with 300-odd pines and lots of wobbly fences [:D]

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