Property under long slow improvement

Discussion in 'Member's Gallery' started by Papaw-John, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Papaw-John

    Papaw-John New Seed

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    Southeast Texas Located in the Big Thicket Zone 9a
    Here is a picture from 2010. This is the state of the property when we bough it. Trees had been bulldozed into two 700' long trash line. In the trash lines were huge trees and stumps. The soil was also pushed up in the trash lines were 7 and 8 feet tall in areas. The majority of the center of the property was very low and was a bog.
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    In 2011 we dug a 30' deep pond. We used the soil to build up the property and regraded the property to drain. We put a long 700' ditch along the bottom of the picture and connected it to the pond. All water drained to the ditch and into the pond. The main problem was the loss of topsoil. Topsoil is very hard to make, but it is working.
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    2013: I did not really do much to the property because for two years because I was so busy with work. I id broadcast by hand two small bags of grass seeds I purchased from Dollar General. I did mow the grass and weeds with my tractor. The pond filled up with the first 5 inches of rain. I guess It was graded well to direct all rain runoff to the pond. You can see that I dug the 700' ditch and the ditch that connects it to the pond flat. I did not want it to drain. The ditch stays full of water and serves as a breeding ground for fish, frogs and crawfish. It is always full of aquatic life.
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    2014 - I started mowing around random trees that came up naturally. I mowed down most, but let some come up as pioneer trees. They were not really desirable trees but they are serving a purpose (break the wind, add cooling moisture, habitat for wildlife, etc). The types of trees were pine trees, tallow trees, sassafras trees, iron wood and pin oaks. If I would not have kept it mowed it would have turned into a thicket. As I continued to cut the grass the clippings remained on the surface and started to compost. I did not add any fertilizer, but with I would have in the beginning. As the clipping start to build up and decay and the plants put roots into the soil the hard clay is becoming soil.
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    The beginning of 2017. Trees are starting to get bigger and the grass is spreading slowly, but struggling. I have done no improvements to the soil other than mowing. Now I have the time to start to improve the property. Where do i start?
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    I have done a lot since the above picture. Large flower bed for my wife. Large raised vegetable garden and started a barn. Slow and steady. I may add a picture to this post with plans for the future. These were taken from Google Earth.
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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  3. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Well,, I can see you have sure been busy with whats been done already.. First you and your wife need to decide what you want on the land. Are you going to have livestock ? Preparing a pasture is different from
    a golf course. It all depends on what you want to use the land for. How many acres is it ? Where is the dam for your pond ?
     
  4. Papaw-John

    Papaw-John New Seed

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    Five acres and we want livestock primarily and a section for fruit trees. The end of the ditch at the lower left tapers up and overflows into the drainage Ditch that runs along the road. I want to install an overflow pipe so fish don't flow out. We also would like to have berries and a few muscadine vines. I have wild one I cultivate some.
     
  5. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Thats what I wondered about. With some of the rains we have had,,you do not want to lose fish if you stock the pond. It may take a few years to get the grass good enough for cows. You could have a few calves but you will have to feed them a while. Best thing is just to have two or three calves to feed out for your own use ! We have coastal and common bermuda with perennial rye mixed in. It makes a good pasture for grazing or hay !
     
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