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Old Posted: 05-06-2011 , 02:43 AM #1
rickaddams
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Default 1/4 Acre of Land What To Do ?

Hi Everyone........

We moved into our bungalow on a 1/2 acre site a few years ago and had great plans for our garden ......unfor due to the economic downturn we just about manged to get 1/4 acre to look some bit decent. Our problem now is we got about another 1/4 acre which is overgrown and full of weeds and on top of that last year we got a horse in and the hoof damage left behind really destroyed the place.

We're at our wits end to know what to do next to make it some bit respectable as you can imagine with spring comes the grass and weeds Ive got the grass down a bit with a strimmer but theres only a certain amount you can do with a strimmer. A ride on mower was suggested to us which would cost a lot of money which we dont have right now not to mention the maintanance involved so thats a non starter.

A tractor also can only go so deep as well and many farmers are reluctant to cut because of stone damage its a very wet (well was before) we had to get truckloads of sand and stones to sort out our drainage problem which is fine now .

I read somewhere of someone planting wild flowers in such an area and as we both love nature and wildlife we're wondering would it be a cheaper and eco friendlier way of making use of this space.

We're both unfor not into vegetable gardening so a vegetable plot would not be an option but plants and shrubs and even trees we've managed to plant around the house and that worked out fine but planting wildflowers or something similar we wouldnt know where to start ........greenhorns both of us .........lol

Ill upload a pic of the land tomorrow to give you an idea of the size were talking about .

We'd like to know if possible :

1) Would we need to cut the grass right down first and then put on weed killer ?

2) Would it need to be dug up and turned or skimmed first?

3) And how would we go about planting the seeds ?

As things are financially we're looking for the cheapest options and we'd really appreciate any feedback at all from you great people here on Jumble Town...........

Many thanx in advance

Regards

Barry
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Old Posted: 05-06-2011 , 12:36 PM #2
mw100860
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Why not get a couple of sheep/goats. They'll do a job on it for you. Mind your flowers though, goats will eat anything
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Old Posted: 05-06-2011 , 12:46 PM #3
rickaddams
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Default 1/4 acre site

Thanx for that suggestion ... but we were hoping to be able to do something a bit more pleasing on the eye with it than just having animals graze on it........but I suppose to get the grass down a bit more it would be a start for sure and any animals but horses might be an option ..appreciate the input and we'll wait and see what other suggestions and ideas come up before we decide what to do .......

Regards

Barry
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Old Posted: 05-06-2011 , 02:47 PM #4
Laura h1
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Hi we have 2 gardens - on the right is a lawned area with a rockery at 1 edge and on the other we have trees, rocks, shrubs there is also a hen pen in the corner and at the top we have 3 raised veg beds which are fenced in. the mursh we have is wood chips and we did alot of it our selves Cheers Laura
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Old Posted: 05-06-2011 , 03:23 PM #5
rickaddams
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Hi Laura

Sounds nice would there be any chance of maybe uploading a pic to get a better look at what you have . Planting a few trees flowers and shrubs would be probably the best option alright as well as maybe a rockery.

The thing is what should we do first to prepare the ground for planting as this side of the house was growing wild when we first moved in . I'd like to know where to start as stated above ....obviously we'd probably have to get the ground levelled off after all the hoof damage and the grass cut down before we could plant anything . Anyway thanx Laura for you suggestion sounds pretty much up our street .

Regards

Barry
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Old Posted: 07-06-2011 , 07:33 PM #6
Recyclist
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Learn to use a scythe and use it to keep the place mowed.

http://youtu.be/gL2_chKPWjE

Sorry if this appears a bit impractical for you but it's what I would do in your position. I have a much smaller space and still I'm planning to do a course on using a scythe.

Initially there would have to be some investment of time and money but it looks like fantastic exercise, and so elegant!

If you are still thinking about sowing wildflowers, I would forget about applying weedkiller because they would be very sensitive to this.
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Old Posted: 07-06-2011 , 07:38 PM #7
tudlytops
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recyclist
Learn to use a scythe and use it to keep the place mowed.

http://youtu.be/gL2_chKPWjE

Sorry if this appears a bit impractical for you but it's what I would do in your position. I have a much smaller space and still I'm planning to do a course on using a scythe.

Initially there would have to be some investment of time and money but it looks like fantastic exercise, and so elegant!

If you are still thinking about sowing wildflowers, I would forget about applying weedkiller because they would be very sensitive to this.


I remember using these as a child, but wouldn't even know where to go get one now...:)
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Old Posted: 07-06-2011 , 08:23 PM #8
rickaddams
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Ya looks the business ok but unfor my back wouldn't sustain much of that after having a few ops over the last few years ........but they look even better than strimmers when used properly for sure Im still recovering from 2 weeks ago after a 2 day strimming session lol...........


Anyway thanx to you both for your suggestions ..........

Barry
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Old Posted: 07-06-2011 , 09:44 PM #9
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hi Barry, I have a much smaller patch than you and a bad back to boot! I just planted some small native trees, dug good sized holes, added my own compost and popped in the trees, stomp the soil around the roots and added a sturdy wood post to support the tree and water regularly till they get settled in, you can add bulbs/seeds around the tree, I put bluebells and forget me nots which have spread all over now. birds galore! planted trees road side boundery, keeps the neighbors happy and gives me privacy! I did use a fairly toxic weed killer, but only on thistles and docs, got a few tubs of wild flower mixed seeds from lidles and just sprinkled through the grass and they thrived, happy bees and butterflies!! following year added a small pond with fish and plants and rockery around it with some rocks going into the pond, lovley watching the blackbirds drink and bathe in it! this year hoping to find some thing to keep it beautiful in the winter too. hope this helps, Ann
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Old Posted: 07-06-2011 , 10:03 PM #10
rickaddams
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Default 1/4 Acre Site

Wow Ann sounds amazing ok........when you say native trees what would they be and what size roughly ? I'm still worried though about the soil don't wanna be wasting good money if the soils not up to scratch you understand.

Someone else suggested to just plant a few trees here and there at will after weeding of course. I suppose the only way to know if the soils good is to plant a few and see how I go eh I suppose I can get info on the net about planting them i.e. when to plant and where to situate them etc

Also like the idea as you say of roadside boundary we could do with some more privacy as its a very open site. And the mixed seeds sounds like a great idea as well. Food for thought for sure getting lots of ideas and suggestions on this great site .

Many Thanx

Barry
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Old Posted: 08-06-2011 , 08:38 AM #11
lushington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recyclist
Learn to use a scythe and use it to keep the place mowed.

http://youtu.be/gL2_chKPWjE

Sorry if this appears a bit impractical for you but it's what I would do in your position. I have a much smaller space and still I'm planning to do a course on using a scythe.

Initially there would have to be some investment of time and money but it looks like fantastic exercise, and so elegant!

If you are still thinking about sowing wildflowers, I would forget about applying weedkiller because they would be very sensitive to this.

Very retro. I like this idea, for a small piece of land I would imagine it was an efficient maintenance tool.
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Old Posted: 08-06-2011 , 08:58 PM #12
amybaby
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Default 1/4 acre

hi barry,

how about planting loads of young trees (whips). after a few yrs growth thin and use the thinned wood for firewood (beech, birch etc). you could plant or throw down wildflower seeds too so they could come up among the trees (eg: primroses; bluebells; wild garlic; fern), or even work a sort of curved pathway using woodbark. when the trees get a bit bigger and develop some foliage, they will create a lovely canopy, under which you will have a fascinating array of wild flowers etc, and a lovely woodland walkway..........your very own little paradise path. :)
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Old Posted: 09-06-2011 , 01:39 AM #13
rickaddams
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Default 1/4 Acre Site

Hi amybaby...........

Yes it looks like trees might be the best option ok and your description sounds fab with wildflowers mixed in.........how long woud these whips take to grow and at what size would I plant them ? Aint gotta clue about trees esp ...we have planted some bushes and apple trees and they seem to be doing fine. Birch trees were reccomended because of the bad soil (clay) but gotta get the grass down and rotivate the area first Id say before I plant anything .Do you know if now would be suitable for planting young trees or should I wait up a bit ?

Many thanx for your suggestion gotta start doing something soon before it really gets out of hand.

Regards

Barry
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Old Posted: 09-06-2011 , 10:55 AM #14
Laura h1
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Hi i took some photo's this morning before work i'll post them later for you
cheers Laura
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Old Posted: 09-06-2011 , 11:01 AM #15
rickaddams
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Default 1/4 Acre

Cheers Laura much appreciated .........

Barry
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