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Thread: Field Maintenance Advice

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Field Maintenance Advice

    Hi All,

    I have recently taken over looking after a 2 acres field, it has been neglected for the last couple of years, so there are lots of nettles and thistles covering it, and the grass is getting pretty long.

    Getting it up to a decent standard, I assume I will need to get it topped and have it sprayed to get rid of the weeds. Would this be correct, and is this an annual process?

    Is there anything else over the year at particular times?

    For future ongoing maintenance, what should I be doing to keep the grass in good condition? What should I be budgeting each year to look after it including hedge cutting, topping, spraying etc?

    We have previously had a few sheep grazing the field, is this good for the land, does it matter if it is cows or horses and not sheep?

    Sorry to bombard with questions, as you can probably tell, I have never looked after any land before, and need a bit of help starting!

    Thanks for replies in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Quattromike's Avatar
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    Re: Field Maintenance Advice

    Why do you look after the field, what is your plans with the land? Can you plant small scale useable crop like potatoes. is it more like a garden you want to keep trim. What's the back story?
    "At the end of the day, I think it's going to get very dark."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: Field Maintenance Advice

    What end result do you want from your field? Would you prefer it to look like a lawn or a wild flower meadow?

    Yes it needs cutting. As the grass is already long would anyone local take a crop of hay off it to tidy it up and give you a start to keep it under contol.

    If you have your own topper then regular topping will wear the thistles out and reduce their numbers, as long as you never let them flower, so that you do not have to go down the spray route. Applying sprays needs certificates which are costly or you have to get someone else in to do it. Depending on the quantity of nettles then you may have to bite the bullet and get them sprayed off but if they are too mature then sprays are less effective.

    Cattle and horses have big feet and do more damage to the land than sheep. 2 acres will not support many animals especially if being grazed all year round as you need at least 1 acre per adult cow or horse.

    Grazing animals need maintanence and checking every day as a minimum. Again larger animals who rub against fences cause more damage than smaller ones like sheep who only seem to find holes or jump out.

    A speciallist smallholding forum may be more appropriate for getting answers in your situation as the people on such forum tend to be in a similar situation to yourself, manageing small plots of land without having lots of agricultural machinery to jump on and use.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Field Maintenance Advice

    I think Barney has covered this well. I would add that you need to keep your boundaries in good order. Neighbours should look after their boundaries and everyone will be happy bunnies. Road hedges must be trimmed annually. I'm only telling you this because we have some people in our area who have bought fields and have no regard for neighbours or road users.
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Field Maintenance Advice

    A bit of background, my parents bought a house which also came with a field. For a while, they had sheep in the field from a local farmer, but he has since moved on. Since then it has gone a bit unloved and is looking tatty so I offered to take over looking after it.

    I have no real plans for it, it is about a mile away from the house, so it doesn't need to look like a lawn, I just don't want it becoming a wasteland.

    I was thinking of offering it to the local farmers, I thought it would save me cutting it so much, and they get free use of land?

    As for the boundaries, they are not a problem, a local farmer does the hedges whenever he does his own which are next door in return for a small beer fund, and the field backs onto a wood which is encroaching on our boundary more than we are on theirs!

    As Barney said, it is probably a better question for a small holding forum rather than a farming one, but thanks for your time anyway!

  6. #6
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    ammanford
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    Re: Field Maintenance Advice

    Try the Accidental Smallholder Forum.

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