7 acres of red volcanic soil - what to do with it?

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Susannamc's picture
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7 acres of red volcanic soil - what to do with it?

We've purchased 35 acres 3 months ago near ballarat. We have no farming experience but ooze tonnes of enthusiasm.  So i'm asking for a little help to get us started. 

 

Our plan is to have cows, goats, horses (have two minis already) and sowing "Red Hill" with something. 

 

Red Hill is approximately 7 acres in size and is a large gentle slope of lucious red, volcanic soil. It has previously been used for potatos and more recently with clover and rye. We do not own a tractor nor know anyone with a tractor (too new to know neighbours). We have just bought a decent quad bike. There is quite alot of clover and rye as it stands about knee length without any human intervention. What would be your suggestion to do with the hill? I note there is no access to irrigation at this stage. 

 - Leave it for cows? 

 - Get a contractor in to plow and resow? 

 - Give it a crack with some attachments on the back of the quad bike? 

 - Leave it till autumn?

 

 

The rest of the acreage is loam growing onion weed, capeweed, a little rye, little clover, tussick, blackberries etc. Its a little tired from being grazed by cattle. In due course we will most likely add lime, as advised by a free agronomist who came out but thats not a big priority at this point in time i don't think. Correct me if you think we should do other wise. 

barb's picture
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Joined: 23/11/2011 - 9:38am

Hi,

welcome to the forum. Terra Rosa (red soil) is pretty good for grape growing. Might be able to try blue berries or raspberries too, as they are high value crops that produce fairly quickly. Just a couple of thoughts. If you have a dam you might be able to use a solar pump to pump water to a tank on top of the hill and gravity feed the water to the crop via drippers.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Cheers,

Barb

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