Contractor recommendation - South Wairarapa

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4 weeks 1 day ago #559567 by WasPhaantom
We're going to be doing some fruit tree planting in the spring and with our heavily compacted / tired soil it has been recommended to throw in some rows of highly diverse cover crop over the winter. While we wait for some rain to make this a reality, I'm looking at what my options are.

Currently, I'm looking at either hiring a tractor / tiller to prepare the ground, and broadcast seed + harrow/rake for good ground contact for the seeds, or getting a contractor in to do it all and perhaps do a more direct sewing option.

Just wondering if anyone would have any recommendations for contractors in the area who could be up for the contractor route - maximum area is around 2 acres, but more likely it will be selective rows within that paddock.

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4 weeks 14 hours ago #559569 by tonybaker
As I understand it you want to have rows of trees in a paddock? You need to think about irrigation, rabbit and stock proofing and wind protection. Fruit trees don't need much in the early years until they start producing fruit. I would hire a post hole borer at least 30cm diameter and do your planting holes now then fill them with compost and let it sit for while to allow the microbes to develop. Don't worry about the grass as the ideal is to spray the strip to reduce competition. In the meantime, order your trees now but don't collect them until you are ready as they dry out so easily in the pot. Small trees will go better than big ones so don't pay top dollar for the bigger ones. Don't do anything until you have the fencing and irrigation and tree guards in place or you will lose the lot.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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4 weeks 12 hours ago #559570 by WasPhaantom
Thanks for taking the time to reply Tony. I'm looking at a different overall system to a monoculture trees such as you've outlined, a much denser and diverse system, it's just easier to say a row of trees, heh.

But this system does go over a broader area than singular holes, which is why I'm looking at doing the cover crops over winter to start the process of soil health, before getting stuck into it in the spring with a large installation.

Stock proofing is this weekend, wind proofing is part of the planting, and I will be looking at the rabbit situation between now and planting, but yeah, just wanting to get that cover crop in once this weather starts to be a bit more favourable.

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