Richard Yorke

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since Apr 20, 2016
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Recent posts by Richard Yorke

Yeah its illegal in England, looking on the Internet there seems to be an open season in Scotland. I have spoken to the police, but takes 10 minutes to get through and another 20 mins to send a car. Mostly the hare coursing is on a local farmers land. Could get some cardboard cut out policemen, though they might be suspicious, police being pretty rare in Lincolnshire. A moat might work well, though I'm only using the land as a hobby really. Thought if I got some seeds cheaply could scatter them as a future barrier, maybe could cut down some hawthorn trees use them as a dead-hedge barrier.  
3 years ago
Does anybody know what would be the quickest to establish plant around the perimeter of a 3 acre field bordered by shallow drainage dykes? There are a few hawthorn trees already present on the land and some brambles plus wild rose. The land is virtually pure clay, having been farmed previously with only wheat grown. Essentially looking for the fastest to establish plant to act as a barrier, perhaps that's bramble seeds or something easier to maintain.
3 years ago
The soil soil might be just soft enough for a wheel hoe though its pretty heavy and covered with frescue grass. Not seen wheel hoes in the UK the only ones I have seen on the Internet seem to be Victorian, might just have to persevere with a mattock and sow by hand into the drill.
4 years ago
Yeah there doesn't seem to be much for small scale seed drilling, the stuff that does exist seems to be expensive plastic or aluminium. The Lawn edging tool sounds like it might be a good idea, I don't want to plant too deep however,( maybe there' some seed or root that does well at depth exc bindweed)   the area I would eventually like to cover is too large to mow. The only small scale drills for the area I would be looking at seem to have stopped selling in the 50's IMO, maybe there's some small scale manufacturers out there somewhere, perhaps in countries with smaller farm sizes like Germany or Portugal, with a less obvious Internet presence like on Ebay or Amazon, could try the translate option for German Ebay.

I'm guessing you might need a drill heavier than 10 lb for rocky soil, mines clay so it kind of absorbs impacts, light grey in places with tinges of blue. Edge of the field (3 acres) is uncut grass in some places with about 2 inches of black soil in a few places though matted with nettles and long grass, plus more clay underneath.

I have some Daikon radish that I bought as a sprouting mix and a small packet of a a few thousand seed don't know if they are the same variety as "tillage" radishes didn't see any suppliers of the big tillage radish seen on Youtube videos in the USA. I'd like the radishes to bolt so I can get more seed, but I think I have to plant in the spring before the summer solstice from what I read on a UK allotment forum (Increasing hours of light aiding in bolting). Ground doesn't always freeze where I live but sometimes get winters about -5c, -10c would be cold, though one year fairly recently had a really freakish temperature of -20c. Usually though its a light frost just below freezing in December. Have a bit of a slug problem eating the foliage of the daikon, where I have grown some in the garden.
4 years ago
Was wondering if anyone had some ideas on building a primitive Seed Drill? Perhaps using an old plough disc or 10lb weight lifting disc, maybe there are some good basic mechanical Youtube videos out there somewhere.



Something like this.



Or this, but a bit more meatier.

In addition is there anything that broadcasts well on to compact soil, or perhaps another solution to clear, existing grasses and "weeds". I guess burdock and thistle would be good contenders, for compacted soil.
4 years ago
Thinking of if there is a way of easily spreading the seedlings further apart rather than have 3 or 4 seeds in a pod germinate virtually next to one another, perhaps would have more biomass per plant as a cover crop. I might just scatter as is, just separate from the stalks. Tried separating a few using water not particularly effective, perhaps I should thrash them first with a rolling pin or a rock, maybe a meat grinder might work or a liquidiser, perhaps that might be a bad idea. No need to be clean and orderly, just effective. Chaff seems relatively heavy compared to the seed.
4 years ago
Anyone have some effective methods of separating seed from the chaff? Specifically I'm interested in separating Phacelia seed from the chaff.
4 years ago
Thank you for the replies. The land is 3 acres, the slug pressure is a bit of a pain "coming outta the walls" kind of bad. Though they don't seem to eat tansy phacelia or beetroot, they go crazy for lupins.  Chickens seem like a good potential option, if I can get enough greens growing, that I could scythe for them to eat, that might work out well.

I considered the broadfork option as well. Problem is the ground is so much clay I think it would just get compacted down again in time. I came across an Irish shovel, might be a better option then using a regular spade, at least for breaking the surface, maybe could mound up some raised beds with the sod. I know a retired farmer tried ploughing the field once and his tractor couldn't manage it, so even though I've seen a plough advertised for a small ride of tractor (which I have access to) I'm reluctant to try, though maybe it might be fine at a lower depth. For this reason I'm more reluctant to try a rototiller. Another option might be to get a farmer to plough the land with a full sized tractor then seed it with something that would breakup the soil or at less provide some useful organic matter, cost efficiency wise I guess that would be an option.

In terms of chopping into hard ground does anybody know where I could get a "mattock" but with a handle longer then 36" ideally 48" or longer no pick/axe or just a longer handle that would fit a mattock head ( I could saw off the pick end)? It seems that all of the hoe heads on the Internet just don't have the thickness of steel/punching power that I would require, seems a bit crazy how often a mattock is cheaper than a grub/azada hoe head.
4 years ago
Was wondering if anyone has some ideas on turning over compacted clay and turf, essentially ploughing. I found 2 solutions on the Internet.

1) Was to use something called a "loy spade" used by Irish potato farmers, however I don't see any retailers that sell them.

2) Is to use a long handle pointed spade, but pivot it on a wire-frame fulcrum. Like this.


Any other ideas? I've considered using a rototiller or a plough. But have tried using a trenching hoe/azada 6.5inch though the ground is too compact to break through the sod and lift easily, a mattock works better, but the handle is a little short for my liking, if it had no pick, but added weight on the adze that would probably be more ideal.

Although something like the Back to Eden method or HugelKulture appeals to me, wood is pretty scarce in the UK for the area I am aiming at. Straw though is probably quite prevalent. Had some success growing tansy phacelia which puts out thousands of seed, I'm not sure if Daikon/Chinese Raddish puts out seed as a given. Aiming for putting out as much organic matter as possible in as short or long growth cycles as optimum to improve the soil, to get it easier to work without machinery.  
4 years ago
"Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed." Francis Bacon.

Bit too intense?
4 years ago