Hi... I'm a total newbie here! Am just after some worldly advice on removing lawn for Food Forest preparation.
I'm not sure whether to get a Dingo Digger in to remove the turf or what other methods I can use to remove the grass? Plant stacking perhaps? Will use a chook tractor where possible also. Am a tad impatient and want to get a start on the Food Forest.
The area is approx 25 metres x 12 metres. It's hard clay compacted soil with grass (not sure what type but it's not kikuyu or couch). I just want to make sure the method I have below is a good thing:
- Mow the lawn first in a catcher & keep for later use
- Bring in Dingo Digger to remove turf
- Apply soil ameliorates eg. lime, gypsum and humus.
- Broadcast green manures and cover crops
- Apply biological fertilizer / compost tea
- Use the grass clippings from the mower catcher to mulch with
- Plant out support species including groundcovers, perennials, shrubs, short to medium term trees and long term trees
- Plant fruit trees (6 - 18 months after)
So, back to the original question ... is it best just to remove the turf with a Dingo Digger in the first instance?
this is an often repeated question, so do some looking down thru the threads.
my best advice is, if you are going from a bacterial makeup ..which lawn is..and going into a fungal make up..like woods are..you will do best if you clear a small area for each tree/food forest you wish to start, removing and composting the grass or upturning it..and bring in some forest soil to put in your tree hole..so that there is fungal medium in that soil to feed the roots of your tree..rather than just backfilling your tree with bacterial soil.. this will give you a better start by far.
then wor out from each tree with your food forest..other herbs can handle the bacterial soil..but not your trees, they need the fungal..as do all woodland plants
Bloom where you are planted.
thanks to both of you for the replies! much appreciated and have taken your advice on board. yes i have watched "Establishing a Food Forest" etc. will think about the process a little more before i delve in regarding the lawn.
I suspect identifying and understanding the ecology of your grass is important (for example I don't know kikuyu from the back end of my spade). If it spreads by rhizomes, you have a very different kind of problem than if it is a bunchgrass or stoloniferous variety. The other question, is what kind of ground vegetation do you envision having in 5 years? If your target ground vegetation is less competitive then the grass, then you have to be careful. If you are growing stuff that can compete easily with the grass, than you can be more reckless. If you have compated ground I think a tillage crop, like radish would be nice, and so some kind of tillage and sowing might be worthwhile. Start contemplating free mulch sources... arborist wood chips, leaves, etc...
Paul Cereghino- Stewardship Institute Maritime Temperate Coniferous Rainforest - Mild Wet Winter, Dry Summer
Why not start somewhere and not everywhere. that is quite the large area. I am thinking choose a location for some fruit trees and establish a guild, amend the soil as best you can and after you are happy with that one location....move along to the next. Even one location would be quite satisfying.
Personally, I cant afford to do it all at once. But as the forest starts to yield, it will pay for its own expansion.
I would leave the grass and juts clear out around where you will plant the trees. In time the grass will be controlled by shade. The idea of bare ground under trees is foolish. The grass protects the roots and still provides for the stuff trees need. Keeps run off from happening and all kinds of stuff. Let it go to nature. The bounty will be great bubba.
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