Whitemans Valley Upper Hutt 4ha Plot

3 years 6 months ago #551431 by LBDhopeful
Hi all,

My husband and I are contemplating buying a 4 hectare plot in Whitemans Valley, Upper Hutt. The section is entirely flat. We live in Wellington currently.

I'd be really keen to hear from anyone with a LSB in this area. How do you like it? What is the weather like? Do you get flooding along the valley floor? How frosty is winter? The soil is silt sand loam overlying peat- what fruit and veges can you grow? What have you struggled with growing? How much wind gets up on the valley floor?

We are researching the section and how much the additional costs will be of installing water supply and septic systems. As part of the conditions for building on the section it is required to have an AES raised bed septic system - has anyone had experience installing this? How much did it cost? What are the costs of ongoing maintenance? Any reoccuring issues we should be wary of?

We are thinking of getting 2x 25k L plastic storage tanks, with concrete base. Has anyone put these in recently and can offer a rough price range?

In terms of screening for wind and privacy, which trees/shrubs/hedges would you recommend that worked well? We will likely be grazing sheep and have chickens, but that's about it.

Any helpful tips that you have we'd greatly appreciate, what should we be thinking about now prior to buying? The property has power up to the boundary and seems to have okay broadband capabilities - if you've struggled with internet in this area, or found it ok, we'd be keen to know as well. We've looked at the surveyors report of the land and soil.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Stay well.


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3 years 6 months ago #551448 by LongRidge
Welcome Stacy. Lots of questions there, most of which I won't be able to give my opinion, but .... Before we moved to Brightwater in 1990 we looked at purchasing an LSB in Whitemans Valley ... but I've forgotten most of what we learnt.
If the land is currently pasture it will take a few years for the soil to become more suitable for fruit trees. Trees require the ground to have more fungal micro-organisms whereas pasture needs bacteria. The fertility needs to be altered for fruit trees too, or they won't grow well. Have you asked the owners if you can do a soil test on the area that you are looking at? That will give an indication of how much lime and fertilisers you will need, to grow the plants that you want to grow.
Why do you want concrete based water tanks? The outlet of a plastic water tank is about 15 to 20 cm above floor level, so once it has some water in it it will not move in most winds, especially if it is tied down by wires. Do you have a reliable spring to divert water from into your tanks? Are you going to irrigate the lawns, vege garden, flower beds, and/or orchard? If so, especially if you do not have a spring, you will need more water storage than 50 or 60 thousand litres. What is the low rainfall data for the area? Is the house going to be one story or two storied? A single story house of the same area has more roof area, so rainfall collection area, than a two storied house.
When we were in Belmont we were able to grow apples, plums, kiwifruit some citrus and nectarines. Peaches and feijoas would have worked to. We have not been able to grow apricots reliably inland from Brightwater, so they might not work up there.
Sheep require much, much better fencing than cattle do. How good is your fencer at erecting sheep fencing. They require shearing, hoof care, drenching more often than cattle, are fussier eaters than cattle, and ours have hugely more reproduction problems than our cattle do. Yards will be needed for either, and cattle yarding has to be much stronger and bigger than sheep yarding. It is possible, but difficult, to use a cattle yard for sheep, but a sheep yard will be smashed in seconds by an excited cow or calf.
Remember that tame sheep, cattle and deer can kill humans. Never, never keep an unneutered ram, bull or stag as a pet. Jack donkeys have done quite some damage too. With electric fencing, it is very very useful but sheep need much higher voltage and current than cattle, so electric fencing has and does kill toddler humans (and animals that get caught in it).
Good luck with your enterprise.

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3 years 6 months ago #551453 by Stikkibeek
Check with the tank manufacturer re the concrete base. many of them recommend you put a sand base in or, that very fine gravel that can be levelled and compacted.

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

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3 years 6 months ago #551489 by tonybaker
too much drama here! Plastic tanks can easily be installed and connected to water supply by yourselves. I would start with the biggest tank you can find and work from there. Water pumps are cheap on TM. www.trademe.co.nz/business-farming-indus...sting-2629870579.htm Sheep, especially self shedding Wiltshires or Dorpers are easy care and don't need any attention as long as you have grass and don't overstock. As long as you exercise common sense, animals are not dangerous. Sheep netting is easily installed over 7 wire fencing and is not so expensive.

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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