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Spring is in the Air-It's time to get a pig


 
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Spring is in the Air-It's time to get a pig Reply with quote

Seasonal Change
Spring is definitely in the air and I am itching to get back into the garden. Over the three months we have lived in the new/old house we have seen the garden change from a luscious jungle of overgrown shrubs and perennials intertwined with old pieces of furniture, rusty wire frames, old planters and footballs into a muddy wilderness.
The garden looked lovely on the surface when we first moved in. I took some lovely photos of it as it was and they were worthy of a centre spread in a gardening magazine, but the more I looked at the garden, the more I knew we had to do something.

Apologies
It's a bit like going to a friend's house where they apologises for the mess in the garden, you can't see it at first, just like you wouldn't notice on a photograph and you don't know what the fuss is about. When you look closer though the neglect starts to appear and you see the overgrown shrubs, weeds and old broken children's toys scattered around. Thankfully though it's your friend's garden so you can just sit and relax on the patio chairs drinking Pims or a can of lager.

It was the same for me at first because the garden still felt like it was tended by the person who lived here before us. I enjoyed the fact that there were self set sycamore trees towering over the washing line and an old rotten fence that had 20 layers of different coloured paint holding it together.

Clearing
The urge to set up raised vegetable beds to grow our own crops this year has given me the incentive to do a bit of clearing though and over the last few weeks I have taken out all of the trees with my trusty chainsaw. That sounds a bit dramatic, there were only two of them, it felt like more though because over the years the trees (both sycamore) had been chopped back, allowed to grow and then chopped back again. The results of this were multi stemmed sycamores that were mini forests in themselves. They had to go. The large rhododendron shrub has been reduced to a stump and so have the cotoneaster, again self set by the birds. I'm going to have to remove their roots soon as they could do some damage. You usually find self set plants grow in the most awkward of places, in small cracks and crevices near walls. Their roots can be problematic though if left unchecked.

New Secret Weapon

There are a lot of roots growing where the raised beds will go and I have a great idea to get them out without any effort on my part. If you remember I secured the garden a few weeks ago to keep the dogs in. This has worked well for now and the dogs have more or less destroyed the lawn, leaving it a muddy mess. I want to take things to a new level though and instead of just the top of the soil being cleared, why not the roots too? The dogs wouldn't do it, but a pig would. I was on Donedeal last night and saw pot bellied pigs for sale for 17 euro. Now that's cheap labour, they could have the ground cleared in a week, roots and all.

There are a few objections though which will need addressing first though that the family have raised. What happens to the pig once the ground is cleared? What if there are pretty bulbs that we don't know about that will get eaten, (pigs are not known for being fussy eaters) and thirdly, my question was, can you eat pot bellied pigs? I couldn't raise an animal to kill them though although I do threaten to boil up the guinea pig sometimes when it's not being fed regularly. I wouldn't of course, there's not enough meat on it to make it worthwhile.

For Hire
There was the suggestion of just hiring a pig (another one of mine I might add) I couldn't find anywhere or anyone that offers this service on Donedeal or any other classified site though. I think it would be a great idea. It doesn't have to be a pot bellied one either, it could be one of those massive pigs used for hunting truffles, I'm not fussy. I'm open to any offers, if anyone has a pig they wouldn't mind hiring out for a few weeks, you know where to bring it. Just let me know first, I still have to convince the family it's a good idea.



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medieval knievel
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would you consider a goat instead of a pig? though goats won't uproot anything, they'd just eat foliage.
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

H MK
I've tried goats before.... pesky things, you just can't keep 'em in! The one we had thought he was a dog too so climbed on all the furniture, they aren't as cuddly as dogs either because of the hoofs ..His name was Gilbert...

Like you say they don't delve underground and that's where most of the issues are in this garden...I've cleared most of the above ground growth.

Have you got a goat you don't want?

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if you are interested in raised vegetable beds and veggie growing I have a new website - raisedbeds.net We're busy on social networking too and have over 12,000 members in the group.
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medieval knievel
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'fraid not - though i do have a need to clear a field (through an organistation i'm involved with) of gorse and bracken...
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