As part of our overall farm ‘masterplan’ we have a number of tree plantings planned, including the addition of various windbreaks.
Cold winter winds come from both the North-West and the South-East. With the South-East sector closest to the house, we decided to start there.
Having ordered a number of Casaurina’s (River She-Oak), along with Acacia’s and collected Oak seeds from the streets of Canberra, we set about preparing the ground.
Without the luxury of finer equipment, the bulldozer came out to make two tree-mounds along the fenceline, after ripping with a Yeoman’s plow to ensure we made it easier for root penetration.
We spread green manure (after inoculation and lime coating) by hand, a whole wheelbarrow-full (we would have spread more, but that is what we had), it was then raked in – back-breaking work, but it protected the seeds from the birds.
With our small helpers, we dug holes by hand, spread a handful of dolomite, some on-site prepared compost, then planted the seeds.
The next pass was covering the seeds, constructing the famous pink Global Land Repair tree guards and then hammering the wooden stakes in (only one stake per guard, with the stake closest to the strongest wind).
Luckily it rained, so we didn’t have to immediately worry about watering them in, but we did so anyway, using an old spray cart towed along with the farm vehicle.
Next was preparing and setting up the irrigation line by putting in 4 litre per hour drippers.
All of this was happening consecutively with the installation of our bore pump and header tank, allowing us to gravity feed the water all the way down to the trees.
Strong storms blew a few of the tree guards out of position, but the Casaurina’s, Acacias and green manure are all going strong, the Oak seeds (acorns) are yet to sprout, but we are sure they are working hard on it.
Looking forward to them getting up above the tree guards 🙂