Ive finished building my log cabin and would like to start farming a few crops before adding in a few animals and moving there.
The location an hour from Quebec city hardness zone 4b. the land is drained at some areas other its swampy meaning 8inch under the soil it will old water and not drain. its mostly rich clay 200 years ago it was farmland now its mostly pine trees because of the dampness.
What kind of plants can i grow in these damp soil. Or in soil where small dead pine trees are standing and need to be cleared?
Perhaps your best bet would be to give a layout of the property, what’s already growing well there, and how you want to Zone things around your cabin. Then the Permies here can help come up with layers of plantings that might work for you and your vision for your place.
It sounds like water management is going to be an issue, so perhaps digging a pond and using that soil to create higher ground could be useful.
The felled dead trees could be used to create hugelkultur swales to raise up areas for planting. The more dry (relatively speaking) areas you create, the wider variety of things you should be able to grow. Those dead trees could be an answer to the problem.
I have no idea if this has anything to do with your situation. But. The moldboard plow was invented specifically to bust sod on the Western Great Plains. Unfortunately it appeared to work so well that farmers everywhere started using it. Which wasn't a good plan. The two most basic parts of a moldboard plow is a flat plate on the bottom and a curved side that turns the soil over. As you use it, the curve turns soil nicely, but what you don't see is there is a lot of down pressure on the flat bottom. That pushes the bottom down with a great deal of force. The plows are pretty much designed to plow at the same depth every time you use it. Few guys know to vary the plow depth. So, when you plow year after year you are applying down pressure to the same depth over and over, until after a few years you have created a (practically) hard as rock flat surface under the turned soil. Roots won't go thru it, water doesn't drain thru it, nutrients can't migrate up thru it. You end up with a mess in time, and don't even know it, because the surface of the ground looks nice and "fluffy".
Since you said some of your land doesn't drain at a depth of 8" (which is a fairly typical plow depth), and it was farmed in the past, maybe you might have a plowing problem. A remedy is to get a subsoiler. It's sorta essentially a 3 point attachment spike you pull behind your tractor. It spears deeply into the ground and breaks everything up, without turning anything over. ~~Actually, even if any farmer thinks his ground is properly turned and permeable, they should still subsoil once a year or so. It just does all sorts of good things for you and your soil.
It's always good to try to keep a tractor off your ground, the weight packs the soil down. A less harmful, but still not helpful, version of soil packing is just simply walking on the soil. Any weight where you want plants to grow isn't much good. The looser the soil (mostly) the better. --But, when you have a situation somebody else created on your land (or you self created) sometimes you just have to fix it. So if you are going to subsoil, try to do it when the soil is as dry as its going to be, before you plant. For some folks, subsoiling in the Fall might be best. For others (depending) after you plow and mostly disk (fit), just before final fitting in the Spring. After you've sub'ed a couple years, hopefully you won't have to again because the problem is fixed.
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