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Taming half acre

 
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aisling



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 06 9:34 pm    Post subject: Taming half acre  Reply with quote    

We have about half an acre of old pasture land which is basically grass and docks. Very rough and full of holes. We would like to get it to a state where we could rotavate and seed it, making smooth lawn as such, with the intention then of planting fruit trees bit by bit or taking over parts for veggie garden etc. But in meantime could be cut with mower and we would not need to ask friendly neighbour with tractor to top it twice a summer and risk losing kids in it in meantime. So basically want to clear it. Were thinking of flame-gun or roundup - would prefer not to use roundup but does the flame gun work? Or any other options?

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 06 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The usual Downsizer reply is "get some pigs", any chance of that or letting someone else raise a few for a year or so?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43954
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 06 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Trees don't like grass, veg beds don't like grass. Grass is a weed to both.

I'd say the best course of action would be to plough up the whole lot, possibly (based on the type of soil) removing the existing turf first (to compost) rotovate and then plant with a green manure. Keep the green manure cycle going until you know what you're going to plant and where. Use grass only as a last resort.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43954
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 06 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You may gather from my last post that I'm a bit anti grass, if you came and saw what it was doing to my veg plot you'd understand.

monsieurpoule



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 56
Location: The more exclusive Northern end of France
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 06 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Get pigs. Pigs will turn over the ground a treat and eat everything whilst at the same time. Then eat pigs.

PS I want pigs but OH says no. Says I can have bees but I don't want bees. I want PIGS, PIGS, PIGS

(nurse, can I have my medecine please. Nurse, nurse........)

oddballdave



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Telford, Shropshire
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 06 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Taming half acre Reply with quote    

aisling wrote:
Or any other options?


Strip off the turf, stack it in the corner grass to grass, in about 12 months it will have rotted down to a good loam.

The stripping will reveal the deep seated roots of the dock, either burrn it, chop it repeat indefinitely.
Or a splash or roundup on the very small leaves when it starts growing back.

Keep hoeing the rest of the ground to prevent weeds, plant a tough grass mix and watch your new lawn grow.

Advantages - you get a lot of good topsoil to make your vegetable beds with.
- The lawn will be flat (because you will be able to flatten it)
- you can get rid of all the deep rooted weeds.

Disadvantages - lot of hard work.

HTH

Dave

aisling



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 06 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks a million for the responses. New baby in the house so only getting back here now - sorry. Pigs idea interesting but we don't eat meat so would have to have them as pets and frankly have enough dependents of human and animal kind at the minute. Stripping and green manure ideas have been passed on to "he who would actually be doing the work" for further consideration. Thanks again - off to bed now while babs asleep.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 06 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You could always rent the land ouot to pig owners - watch them do the work and get paid as well. The words new baby kind of swung it for me - many congratulations and commiserations for the sleep deprivation you must be currently undergoing.

vickersdc



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 247
Location: Surrey / Hampshire Border.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 06 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi there, one option may be to plant the area with trees - just make sure that you maintain a clear area around each tree of at least 1m diameter. As the trees grow, they should shade out the weeds and eventually reduce this growth.

Cheers,
David.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33696
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 06 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Where are you? Pigs could be loaned...you'd actually only need them for a couple of weeks.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 06 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

At least top the docks by hand (sickle, secateurs, machete, whatever) before they seed (like about now, probably).
Get it mown, get stock on to graze it (a few tups, perhaps)
Did you decide what to do in the end ?

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