New - Stock for grass control??

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5 years 1 month ago #532887 by dadofseth
Hi - I've newly bought a lifestyle priperty with mostly bush, but also one paddock of about 700square meters. Fully fenced with water and a trough.
I intend to eventually plant the paddock in bush nut realise that's a way off - I've got grass for africe there and hadn't planned on stock but wonder if that's a good idea to control the grass, I don't intend to make an income off the stock, just want mobile lawn mowers. It's fenced with 6 bits of wire. I didn't want sti=ock initially as I saw them as a hassle, but maybe not.
There's thistles there, would goats be an option? or sheep? or cattle?
Any advice as to what I need to do to look after them would be great - and anyone elses experiences.

Brian Wanganui 3 hectares, mostly native bush.
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5 years 1 month ago #532891 by Anakei
As its only a small paddock I would get a few geese. No shearing/footcare/worming required.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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5 years 1 month ago #532892 by Rokker
700 square meters is less than a fifth of an acre - not enough for cattle. You might be able to borrow a couple of sheep or goats short term to get it down and then maintain it with a ride-on until you decide what to do with it.

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 1 month ago #532894 by dadofseth
Thanks for the comment, I left a 0 off the paddock size - it's 7000 square meters not 700, Ie nearly a hectare.

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5 years 1 month ago #532895 by tonic
My first thought would be what the fences can contain. Six wires is probably not going to be a goat proof fence. Can you tell us if it is electric, has battens, is it tight?

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  • sandgrubber
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5 years 4 weeks ago #533080 by sandgrubber
Replied by sandgrubber on topic New - Stock for grass control??
I'm having trouble getting a picture of what you have and where you're wanting to go. The photo seems to show a pond or waterway. I can't figure out whether the plant in the foreground is grass or something with broad blades, perhaps larger than most grasses. You say "nut realise that's a way off - I've got grass for africe there" ??? Typos I think but can't make out the intent. You're planning on eventually planting bush? What sort?
I'm no expert, but water can complicate fencing, and local regulations may be sticky about livestock near water.

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  • stentor
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5 years 3 weeks ago #533104 by stentor
Replied by stentor on topic New - Stock for grass control??
I believe the rough rule of thumb is 6 sheep to the acre?

If you have a neighbour who wants some grazing that might be the easiest option

Otherwise we run a few Arapawa sheep and they are hardier/more low care than regular ones

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5 years 3 weeks ago #533187 by tonybaker
mowing it would be my first option. If the fences are good then a couple of sheep - Dorpers will eat rough grass and don't need shearing and you probably would need to mow it first to encourage some lush new growth. Def not goats, pigs, alpacas. elephants etc.....

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 3 weeks ago #533193 by LongRidge
If the fertility of that paddock is correct for pasture, and it has been fertilised for pasture, then a few animals might be worth bothering with. But because it is now long and rank, sheep will not do well. Because you wish to plant it in trees, personally I would not bother with stock but would fertilise for the type of trees I wanted to plant. Natives that are native to your close vicinity will not need fertility modification. But if you want to grow something that is native to NZ but not to your area, you will need to modify the chemical and perhaps physical attributes of your soil.

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5 years 4 days ago - 5 years 4 days ago #533711 by Belle Bosse
You mentioned you have thistles... easiest way of controlling them is to do a regular "thistle patrol" with a hand grubbing tool, or two pronged weeding hoe.
I have not noticed cattle going for thistle... the bulls usually eat all my water cress and leave me the thistles.
If you only have 7,000 square metres/ 1 hectare to clear of thistle, it wont take long to work through... heaps faster than doing 26 acres (10.5 hectares) by hand.

Main thing to remember is to get them out before they flower... and go to seed..!!
Then go back a few weeks later to pick up the ones you missed the first round.
Repeat step two regularly.

The long "grass" in your photos is a reed or rush of some sort, and yes, cattle love eating them. Their weight and hooves are rather harsh on wet areas, so best if they are fenced out, which will sort of defeat the purpose of getting them to start with. Cattle, sheep, goats are all herd animals and need company to be content.
Last edit: 5 years 4 days ago by Belle Bosse. Reason: Extra info.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ferg-HB

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5 years 3 days ago #533723 by Ferg-HB

Belle Bosse wrote: You mentioned you have thistles... easiest way of controlling them is to do a regular "thistle patrol" with a hand grubbing tool, or two pronged weeding hoe.
I have not noticed cattle going for thistle... the bulls usually eat all my water cress and leave me the thistles.
If you only have 7,000 square metres/ 1 hectare to clear of thistle, it wont take long to work through... heaps faster than doing 26 acres (10.5 hectares) by hand.

Main thing to remember is to get them out before they flower... and go to seed..!!
Then go back a few weeks later to pick up the ones you missed the first round.
Repeat step two regularly.


Very good advice from Bello Bosse so I'm not going to repeat it - but I found this tool really good for getting the thistles - much better than the old fashioned grubber. Available from Mitre10. Please ignore the way the model is holding the tool and the advice about "dandelions" - this is my "go to" tool for thistles and I use it regularly (per Belle Bosse's post) every week.

www.fiskars.co.nz/Gardening-Yard-Care/Pr...Weed-Puller-4-Prongs

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5 years 3 days ago - 5 years 3 days ago #533728 by Belle Bosse
Hi Ferg,

The two prong weeding hoe I use is my "go to" favourite for all sorts of jobs.
I have not seen, or been able to locate one like it in New Zealand. It was purchased in New Caledonia and brought back to NZ. The hoe is made of steel and is only 30cm in length tip to tip and about 7.5 cm wide across the flat blade.
I use the prong end when removing thistles and can uproot them from the soil with little effort. I find it easiest to uproot the thistles if the soil is still wet from winter and the plant base is a little larger and fits between the forks. Then it is a simple forward rotation movement onto the flat blade and the forks bring the root up with them out of the soil. I sometimes bend the plant stalk to the side and step on it to create extra leverage. Some of the thistle roots are quite large.
In summer when the soil is dry I have to use the flat blade to cut the thistle down. The hoe is also excellent for uprooting dock, foxglove, ragwort, small pampas grass clumps, as well as the finer weeding needed in the vegetable patch.


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Last edit: 5 years 3 days ago by Belle Bosse. Reason: photo repeated 5 times
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5 years 2 days ago #533731 by Ferg-HB
I haven't seen one of those locally but it looks like a handy tool - as you say you would get good leverage off the flat blade to lever out the roots.

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