Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Pasture -> Veg plot
Page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management
Author 
 Message
tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:21 am    Post subject: Pasture -> Veg plot  Reply with quote    

How do I turn some of my pasture into veg beds? I wasn't going to do anything until next year but having to buy all our winter veg, and the lack of herbs has made me change my mind.

The land is all pasture, the grass is quite tussocky so I don't think a lawn scudder will do it, I was thinking of getting a mini digger wth a bulldozer bit, clear some beds and get some topsoil in.

What say you?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What do you mean by get some topsoil in? Surely it's there under the grass.

A digger and half decent driver will be able to scrape the grass away, it's just really a case of digging it over/rotavating it then.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was going to hire the digger meself, so d'you reckon a skilled diggerman could do it so that there's still decent soil left underneath?

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I know it desn't exactly fit in with your religious beliefs, but it would with your environmental ones, but pigs are highly adept at turning over the surface and removing weeds.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Northern_Lad wrote:
I know it desn't exactly fit in with your religious beliefs, but it would with your environmental ones, but pigs are highly adept at turning over the surface and removing weeds.


I want 4ft wide beds, not that easy with pigs, plus I'm definitely not interested in livestock till at least 07

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you want tto get on quickly I think you'd be best scraping off the sod with a digger, stack it in a pile to return in a year or so when all the grass has rotted down, and then rotovate the soil underneath and incorporate a lot of rotted manure. If the pasture has been left to itself the structure of the soil may be good but not particulalry fertile as the only imput has been the rotten grass that itself was an output, if you see what I mean.

Before going mad with a digger (you are a man, you will go mad with it) dig a few test holes around your chosen area to see what the depth of soil is like. there's no point in scraping away the sod to reveal 2 inches of soil and then glorious clay/bedrock/builders rubble/old mine shaft etc.

While you've got the digger what about getting the poly tunnel up, do any necessary levelling and dig the trench to anchor the cover?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We took my veg plot from pasture to garden using a mini-digger. Brilliant fun! The wide bucket took off the grass, which was then stacked to make loam. The topsoil came off next and was moved it to each end of the plot. We then built the raised beds, and I spent a couple of months barrowing the soil back, mixing it with compost and manure, etc. It took a long time, but the soil in the beds is really good now.
Our biggest mistake was not putting down weed suppressing stuff and levelling the paths properly around the beds straight away. Two years on, we haven't quite finished that job as other things got in the way, so I won't be winning any best-tended veg plot awards just yet .

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They haven't got to be pristine as I don't know what the final llocations will be, good ideas so far, thanks.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The thing to remember is that taking off the grassy layer doesn't get rid of the weeds, so rotovating or just putting the soil back wholesale will be storing up problems. You still need to get the weed roots out.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would give serious thought to getting it right first time as it's a b*gg*r to start moving stuff around when you've got stuff growing.

But of course you can just start again in the South Paddock.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Judith wrote:
The thing to remember is that taking off the grassy layer doesn't get rid of the weeds, so rotovating or just putting the soil back wholesale will be storing up problems. You still need to get the weed roots out.


So clear and rotovate one weekend, sift and de-root the next?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Behemoth wrote:
I would give serious thought to getting it right first time as it's a b*gg*r to start moving stuff around when you've got stuff growing.

But of course you can just start again in the South Paddock.


As you say I'll be able to leave a patch on the go whilst I'm establishing my permanent beds, so shouldn't be an issue, except of course soil improvement.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
So clear and rotovate one weekend, sift and de-root the next?


I'm not a fan of rotovating to break new ground, but that would work.
Don't know how big your intended plot is, but the sifting took me about two months!
Are you planning to build raised bed containers or do you want the mound-type of arrangement? The latter would certainly be faster if you are in a hurry.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44226
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mounded rather than raised beds, I'm not keen on rotavators either but just ain't got the time to do it manually

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 06 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I once read about a system called lazy beds in the Kitchen Garden magazine, which was I think part of a rotation, involving potatoes (maybe root veg too) as the first crop, to break up the soil without requiring too much manpower. Obviously this would mean getting to play with less machinery, but I am sure that it was supposed to be used in Ireland for just the purpose Tahir is after, ie new vegetable gardens (only on a cottage scale). Has anyone tried this? I thought maybe I have read about it here too.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management All times are GMT
Page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com