Starting from scratch - fencing planting ideas?

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9 years 4 weeks ago #39641 by whinny
Hi all, newbie here :) Its taken 10yrs of scrimping and saving but we've finally bought our first LSB yippee. In a nutshell its slightly north of Puhoi (Rodney), 10acres bare land, rectangle shape boundary with no internal fences, exposed to coastal winds (easterlies). Land ranges from flat then up fairly steep hill to rolling land on the ridgeline. Driveway will have to run through middle of land due to contour, up to house site near top boundary. Stock wise will be horses (2 maybe 3 max) and sheep, hopefully some alpacas and goats at a later stage.

Would love some thoughts/ideas around setting out new internal fences and planting :) Some dos or don'ts?
I'm thinking of using the drive as the race, not sure if its good idea in theory but a pain in practice? Also thinking of planting poplar or willow stakes asap on the hills as can see some early erosion.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #506842 by lisaeve
Not sure how this works with sheep... but we found it invaluable to run animals on our place with no permanent fencing for a while. We quickly worked out that where we thought we wanted gates was actually totally wrong.
Also while it's really tempting to start planting asap, either fence off your planting, or wait until you have permanent fences in place. It's a bit gutting to do loads of planting and then find someone's stock have got loose and pulled up all your cabbage trees...
ETA: we don't have an actual race; but our neighbours do and we borrow theirs and then bring stock up our driveway. Cattle are quite keen on sticking to driveways unless they're really hungry. Not so sure about other animals. It doesn't take cattle long being on our place before they work out where we want them to go once a gate has been opened.

17 Ha lifestyle property in Bay of Plenty... 7 Ha covenanted bush, remainder scrub, hills, and flat.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #506843 by lisaeve
PS congratulations! It's a satisfying process, setting up your own place.

ETA again: saying that reminded me of something else. Take photos before you do anything. Whenever we get a bit tired and feel like we're getting nowhere, being able to look back over the last three years' worth of photos helps A Lot.

17 Ha lifestyle property in Bay of Plenty... 7 Ha covenanted bush, remainder scrub, hills, and flat.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #506844 by Stikkibeek
Perfect if your drive has to run through the middle, then plan your paddocks to go each side, so that if you have to move stock, you can use the drive as a race. Include a boundary gate at the road end of the drive and another at the start of your proposed house site. If you forgo planting things down the drive, you will be able to graze out the veges as required. For the boundaries which are exposed to prevailing winds you may need to plan shelter planting. There are good natives that tolerate coastal winds, and you may need to start them off behind flax shelter. Plan about three deep in your planting and fence off from any livestock even if temporarily for a few years. Plan a good set of yards with access for stock trucks both for handling stock in or out and for any vet visits you might need. It's better practice these days not to have the yards at the road if too far from the house for obvious reasons. You will need to allow room for a truck to turn and back in over metaled area so they don't get stuck. Poplar and willow will help stabilize any erosion areas, and you may be able to beautify those spots with some native planting as well. Totara are good trees and will provide shade in the future.

Aerial photos which you might be able to get off google, or your local council if they have a GIS, will help you get a good idea of where other fences should go.

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

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9 years 3 weeks ago #506869 by Farmersden
I agree with Lisaeve if you can wait a while until you understand your land (wet / dry areas, shelter etc) you will end up with a better result. You can use portable electric fences for the horses (sheep are not always respectful of them) and most importantly consider water access (great if you can use one trough for 2 paddocks through a fence and where the gates will go; not in the middle of a fence line if you want to easily move stock..its a steep learning curve but worthwhile in the end.. good luck :-)

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9 years 3 weeks ago #506896 by whinny
Thanks for the thoughts everyone. Sounds like electric fencing is the best idea starting out. My mare will stay behind tape and pigtails fine but I wasn't too sure about sheep. If I get some taller standards and put several strands down low will that keep them in?

Thankfully there's a natural spring near the top boundary which the current stock drink from. We're planning to pump the water up to a top tank and gravity feed to the future paddocks. No troughs at the moment, budget will probably dictate plastic ones with two paddocks sharing across a fenceline.

I'll admit I'm keen as mustard to get stuck in but I do agree about taking our time to figure out the land.

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9 years 3 weeks ago #506898 by Stikkibeek

whinny;513447 wrote: I wasn't too sure about sheep. If I get some taller standards and put several strands down low will that keep them in?

Not if they are wooly sheep. They will still go under or through it, get themselves nicely tangled with the electric fence wire/tape and carry it away across the paddocks.
You might be better off with young cattle which mostly will stay behind electric fences, until such time as you have means and time to erect proper sheep fences.

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

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9 years 3 weeks ago #506921 by eelcat
Our sheep stay behind 3 strands of electric fence, internally. The first sign that it is not working however, is a sheep or more usually, a lamb on the driveway!

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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9 years 3 weeks ago #506961 by Althea from Middelmost
It will take you at least a couple of years to have the beginnings of 'planting safe' fences organised or paid for (unless you have just won Lotto) but there is a lot you can do now. Obviously you have a good, sheep proof boundary so start in your windiest corner. Buy some gates (or get some pallets) ... the gates will always be handy later when you have fenced this area off properly. Gate, or pallet, the corner off and plant it. Then start on the next corner. Set up a propogating/nursery area which is sheltered and safe and start to take cuttings. I am in the process of potting 200 pitasporum cuttings. Divide and set flax and toitoi. Put wet sawdust into barrels and poke slim, tall and straight poplar branches into it and they will develop a good root system for planting later. I am picking away at the fences here as I can afford them and, when I have another patch the sheep (or Last Thyme) can't get to or reach, I have a selection of ready-to-plant shelter. If you start now, in two years time you should have the shelter plants to match your fencing achievements.
Look around your friend's gardens and ask for some cuttings or buy a couple of plants from a nursery and use them as your 'propogating' starter. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago so don't wait until you have your fencing finished ... get the trees you will need going now to save buying them later.

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