New to rural - advice welcome ?

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1 year 11 months ago #552087 by Jem*
Hi, my husband and I have just bought a 2ha lifestyle block in Canterbury. We are new to rural living so any advice is very much welcomed. We want to take it easy at first and just get a feel before we commit to how we want to manage it. What is the best way to keep the grass down in the paddocks? It is very well fenced (deer fenced). ☀️

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1 year 11 months ago #552088 by LongRidge
Is the grass long now? If so ask one of the neighbours that has a gate into your place to graze the area for a short while. A hundred cows will clear the pasture in about 5 days. If he is able to use electric fencing front and back of the herd, then the grazing time will be longer, but the grass and weeds will be cleared better, and more destruction of insect pests will occur. In the longer term, selling the grass as hayis a handy option. The easy but less profitable way is to get a contractor to do all the work, including selling, and you get paid for the grass by counting the number of bales that have been made. Remember that it is essential to put fertiliser onto the paddocks to replace all the chemical elements (phosphate, sulphate, potassium) that have been removed from the soil by the grass.

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1 year 11 months ago #552094 by max2
Hello. My advice would be to undertake soil tests in spring, find out what is going on under there. www.qlabs.co.nz/ is one company whose philosophy we admire...

And while you are waiting for spring and before applying any fert, have a think about your food growing beliefs and environmental principles that are important to you. Do you lean towards an organic or biological approach or are you happy with the application of synthetic fertilisers?

Start as you intend to continue. :)

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1 year 11 months ago - 1 year 11 months ago #552107 by tonybaker
It's tempting to overthink things at first on an LSB. Is there a neighbour with stock that would appreciate some free grazing? That way you make a good friend who may have machinery that you can use later, and your land is improving due to the manure the stock deposit.
If all else fails, there must be someone nearby with a tractor mower who would give it a cut for some beers and diesel. Don't go overboard on soil tests, fertilisers, lime etc at first.
A few sheep of the self shedding breeds are very easy to maintain and are a good animal to start with. I doubt you have enough room for cattle and for heavens sake don't go near alpacas, llamas, goats or deer!
Concentrate on your vege garden, build a good chook house and take care of your water supply system and you will do well.

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. :)
Last edit: 1 year 11 months ago by tonybaker.

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