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small property info

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:05 am
by oakwdpk
Hi there! We own a small 11 acre property in the Adelaide Hills SA, and have been developing our own ways of interpreting agronomy, organics and pasture management for a few years after virtually always getting bad results following standard advice! Have loved reading Peter's books and finding a 'fit' with what we're trying to do, able to afford, and the immense experience Peter offers.

We are a 'hobby' equestrian farm. We run our own 4 horses plus a handful on agistment (other people's horses who we care for and let eat our grass!). Keeping adequate ground cover to prevent erosion is the primary issue we have.

We have perhaps the ideal situation - the top 1/3rd of our property is on the top of a hill, which is where the house, arenas, stables etc all are - the next 1/3rd is a steep slope; the bottom 3rd is floodplain. So lots of Peter's ideas are fairly easy to work with despite our small scale operation.

My first question is whether there's any quick-reference info on suitable plants to work under powerlines! With such a small property it's hard to work around our limitations such as boundary fences and where the overhead lines go, I'm pretty sure willows and sheoaks will grow too tall. Any suggestions on shorter suitable species for us to start with? Thanx heaps in anticipation.

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:42 pm
by Adrian
Nice to have you aboard guys,
Thinking outside the box is best if you want small trees under power lines, how about fruit trees!

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:39 am
by oakwdpk
Thanx! We have thought about fruit trees but I doubt they'll do the job (slow down water)? The horses would also have a field day and get very sick most likely

We're in a very heavy frost area so none of the tropical type fruit trees that might be useful have a chance here :) Plants that do well around here (and therefore called a Weed in a lot of cases) include hawthorn, photinia, blackberry, some pittosporums etc. Our neighbours would die if I put blackberry on the fenceline! I think the fenceline in question is too wet in winter for lots of the trees we've thought of, while very dry over summer also. The local smaller fruit trees such as cherries apples or pears wouldn't like the site at all.

Hawthorn might be something to think about. Any idea if that would be useful in slowing the water down / surviving on the downstream edge of our hoped-for flood plain?

Prior to reading Peter's books we had just been thinking about native reeds. Would be nice to find something taller to provide some shade though. :)


Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:45 pm
by Shirley Henderson
Willows and she oaks handle pruning very well. Is that a possibility? Also Pittosporum is a great choice. Revolutum is a smaller tree and there are other choices but Pittosporum also handles pruning. You can give these trees a hard chop to shape them when needed.