Need advice on farmland

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fortunateson, May 16, 2010.

  1. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    We're looking at 2 parcels each is 35 acres. Both are/were pine tree plantations.

    The first has young pines on it and I'd have to clear a few acres for gardening.

    The second was cleared and stumps removed so should be ready to go.

    Are these ok for planting, or does the land have to remain fallow for any length of time?
    The soil seems to be good since the tree grow like weeds.
  2. gomer

    gomer Hooligan

    What an opportunity you have!! Ready to go no-till garden beds!!

    By all means clear the land and yank the stumps. Hold onto the wood for fall- you'll see why in a minute.

    The duff on the ground is ready made mulch: just pull back the top few inches down to where it turns black and earthy and plant your seedlings in the holes as per the directions. You shouldn't even have to water much after you plant unless it's a really dry year. The mulch will hold a lot of the moisture. If you see weeds poking up, toss some mulch on top of them.

    In the fall I usually prep the beds for winter right about end of October, first week of November. You'll want to do this when the ground is just about frozen. Rent a chipper and chip the pine as fine as possible right onto the garden and cover with a tarp- should only be for this first year you'll have to do this. Through the year you can toss what you would normally compost right into the garden (scraps- no meat or dairy- grass clippings, et al). You'll want to plant any garlic for next year and any winter vegetables then too. If you feel the need to buy hay, buy straw instead. Hay will have seeds in it.

    Between now and then, read up on Ruth Stout and learn what she had to say about mulching.

    EDIT: Wait. Okay, now I'm awake. Simple answer, plant and use as much pine duff as you can for mulch. Hope the above helps you formulate a usable plan.
  3. Tommy Jefferson

    Tommy Jefferson Monkey+

    Get at timber broker to tell you the market value of the timber.

    That amount is very important in determining the appropriate purchase price.
  4. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Thanks all.

    The cleared parcel already has grass growing. They left about 10 trees/acre for looks and I have to say it looks really pretty ;)
    I think there's enough light coming through to plant without having to take down the remaining trees. There's no real timber value there since there are only a few trees. It has a very strong stream along one side of the property.

    The planted parcel has a very young, very dense stand. Maybe 5-7 y.o. You cannot walk through it.
    I really like the investment potential and this piece has a lot of privacy. AND an old well that may or may not be serviceable.
    I would have to clear some to make room for a garden.

    My main concern is whether the tar/turpentine would spoil the land or maybe the trees would have soaked up all the nutrients....dunno.
    I'm not much of a gardener except for popping a few tomato and corn plants in the ground.

    Both are about 2 hrs away, so it would be mostly for hunting/recreation while we slowly made it retreat-worthy. In the meantime our plans are to bug-in. When the kids are grown, or if we end up in a slow decline scenario, we'd move there permanently.

    As such, I'd only be planting deer corn, maybe millet and Amaranth which don't require much looking after.

    Well a bit long-winded here, but I'm putting this out there so that I can get some constructive criticism. If I've missed a major gotcha, let me know!!

  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Pine trees grow best in acidic soil. If whatever you're planning to plant has the same acidic-soil-lovin' properties, then you shouldn't have any problems.
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