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HOW CAN I TURN A WILLOW AND HAZEL JUNGLE INTO VEGGIE GARDEN?


 
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killian o donnell
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:50 am    Post subject: HOW CAN I TURN A WILLOW AND HAZEL JUNGLE INTO VEGGIE GARDEN? Reply with quote

Hello - I am attempting to convert half an acre of willow and hazel scrub land - so thick it can hardly be entered! - into a veggie garden in Connemara. Really don't know where to start...I've been advised to hire a mini-digger/bulldozer - but that's about all I know. Any advice at all on how to go about this venture would be very very gratefully received. P.s. The site is quite near the sea.
Many Thanks
Killian
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Foxylock
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Joined: 08 Aug 2009
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Killian if it's going to become a veg plot , the first thing you will need is access so clear the place of unwanted growth, weeds, roots, etc. Test the soil to see what your dealing with and take it from there. Is there any way the willow and hazel can be utilised ?, maybe use it as a hedge for some shelter, seems a pity to just bulldoze it, could you put up a pic ? and the good folks round here might provide some inspiration for ya. Good luck.
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killian o donnell
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks Mr Foxylock - such a quick reply!- I'll don my safari outfit, sharpen the machete, plunge and take a picture soon - Watch this space..K
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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful it's a jungle out there Laughing Laughing
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inishindie
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: hold your horses Reply with quote

Hi Killian

The plot sounds great...Doing a but at a time might be a good idea. A friend of mine cleared a large area to plant veggies with a JCB. It compacted the soil, cleared all of the wind protection and was too much for him to cope with so the whole area became a weed field.......

A wide band of trees around the boundary would be a real asset.

The willow and hazel was probably planted by a farmer to give shelter to cattle......You could coppice these to get sticks for you peas and beans and any wattle fencing ......Post a photo if you can like Foxylock suggested...I'm intrigued....

Cheers

Ian

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killian o donnell
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian -I think you're right about taking it in batches. But the place really is jammed with saplings and small trees, so there's no way I could do it by hand...is a jcb/digger the right way to go about it? And at what time of year? And do I then spray it or what? You can tell I'm a rank amateur - only grown a few spuds and rhubarb in a small clear part of the plot. But I've got the bug!.
So the most basic advice about clearing would be welcome. I'm amazed how generously people dig in and help out on this site ..

Killian
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Grovey
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Clearing willow/hazel for veg garden Reply with quote

From the sounds of things you will need a machine to get the worst of the scrub cleared, scrape off the soil, remove rocks etc. Depending on what kind of soil you have you may also need to import topsoil and/or create raised beds. Try not to remove all of the trees as shelter is of paramount importance. I am engaged in a similar excercise on a site near Westport and had to get a machine in to clear the worst of it. The one thing I did wrong was clearing too much ground and I now have a serious weed problem. I would say reduce your scope to maybe 2 or 3 raised beds and give more thought to the soil quality and provision of shelter than to clearing a large area. Machines are great at clearing big areas but not the magic solution for creating a garden out of nothing. It;s going to take time and patience. If you want to see some pics of my garden before and after clearing then let me know. Best of luck with it and don't give up, Conor.
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killian o donnell
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Conor - think I'll scale ithe project down to a manageable size as suggested, and take it, as they say, handy. Be great to see photographs of your before and after if you have them - shows what can be done...I'll try a post a few of my wilderness soon.
Cheers Killian
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walltoall
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:27 am    Post subject: Thank goodness for that Reply with quote

"think I'll scale the project down to a manageable size as suggested, and take it, as they say, handy."

Go for it Killian! One step at a time.

You've already got some brilliant advice on this post. I'd swop yours for mine any day. Listen to Inishindie particularly. Read his contribution over [and over].

Your willow and hazel particularly can work for you. You have loads of almost ready-made wind-breaks and shaders from what you are saying.

Put "willow fence" into the google searcher at the top of the page and you MAY find something interesting written by me recently enough about making living hedges. You seem to have the raw material already growing on the site.

Keep heavy equipment out of your plot. You have a fragile ecology there. Very easy to destroy with brute force and loadsaeuros. Don't do it lad.

Tóg go bog é

Shaun

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