Thursday, 4 December 2014

More Work On Our NZ Farm

One of the big jobs we wanted to tackle while were in NZ was planting out the rest of our fenced of shelter strip.
Last year when I was back in NZ we got the fencing started and planted out about 150 trees.  But that did not even get us half was down our 190m boundry.  So the goal this time was to get it fully planted, get the fence finished and get the big dirt pile moved that I dug through by hand last year.
Over the past 12 months my parents have been mowing around the trees and replacing any trees that did not make it (including those that got ring-barked by a rogue whipper snipper operator).

So on our first morning we packed the trailer with a barrel of rainwater (we do not have water at the property) all the plants, spades, carpet squares for placing around the plant to help keep the grass down and the moisture in the soil and a picnic lunch.

The plants almost all come from mums garden and are a variety of natives that I listed in this post.  And this year half way our trip we also got some different natives from my Aunties garden.

On arrival this year we first inspected the plants from last year some of which were a bit had to fin in the long grass.

Hubby and Mum checking for plants in the long grass
We made our way down the fence line checking on the growth of the plants.  Some seem to be doing really well others had not done as well.

Then it was on with the work.  Hubby used the whipper snipper to clear the grass around all the trees and the rest of the strip that was yet to be planted.

Once the grass was trimmed back it was easier to see the trees and which had done well.

Then Mum and I cracked on with more planting.

By the time day 2 rolled around we had a good system going with Hubby going ahead digging holes and mum and I planting behind.  Then we all took time carting water, collecting up empty pots and putting the carpet squares around the plants.

As we got closer and closer to the end it was a great feeling.

Nearly at the end

Our boundary starts about 50 meters past the second power pole

While we were there I organised for a digger operator to come and move the big pile of dirt inside our planting strip that I dug through by hand last year.
It took him less than 30 minutes to move the entire pile (compared to my trwhich he spread out in the gateway to fill in the hollow there.  It turned out there was quite a lot of stones in the pile so I am really glad I did not have to move it my hand.

The dirt pile dug through last year
To remove the dirt pile we had pulled out the timber end fence for the digger driver to get access. Once the dirt pile was gone we could finish wiring the fence and put the stay posts (these stop the end posts from being pulled inwards) in place.

Dad and Hubby finishing the fence
Below is a photo of the entire boundary.  Our property ends at the third power pole in the distance.

We almost made it to the end but we need about 30 more plants to completely fill the strip. Unfortunately mum did not have any more seedlings big enough to transplant yet.

Check out how much the grass grew in a week since Hubby whipper snipped 
After planting out all these trees we spent another day in mums garden digging up more seedlings and potting them up to get a good root system going in the pot.  We potter up about 100 more plants so mum has plenty to fill in any gaps for ones that do not make it plus extras as we will need lots more shelter trees in the future.  In fact I think we will be planting out hundreds of trees a year for many years to come since we are starting out with a blank canvas.

We have now planted nearly 400 trees in just this strip and it is such a good feeling to have gotten so many in the ground.  And hopefully all these natives will attract native wildlife in the future.

Have you had to plant out lots of trees/plants at your place?


  1. Looks like a great working bee. How big is your property I've forgotten. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  2. Well done! What good preparation for your property. Trees make such a difference to the amount of birds around. Ou place had no trees near the house when we came. Now we have lots and so many different birds visit our yard.

  3. You are giving your property good bones for the future. Do you know where your veggie garden will be. Perhaps a few loads of manure dumped in that location will get the soil started.

  4. Sounds like lots of hard work! Have you got access to a seedling hole digger (I can't remember the proper name for it)? When I was at school we had a tool that we simply pressed into the ground, and used our feet to push it further in - and out came a hole the size of a seedling. Pretty nifty tool and meant we could get through heaps of planting!

  5. It looks like it was a bit cold there, but so nice and green. What do you think you'll call the new place? We are currently thinking about which trees to plant out for shelter belts on our place NE of Warwick on the Darling Downs. It is quite windy here a lot of the time, so we want some shade shelter for future cattle, but also wind breaks for the house yard. It is a lot of hard work putting in heaps of trees, but sure is rewarding later.


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