Hedging your bets
Thursday, 26 April 2012
There’s a lot to think about when you own land, and new small block owners soon discover it takes time to understand and deal with all the chores associated with owning even a small acreage.
| Graham at work on a rural property. |
And one chore that often flies under the radar is hedge maintenance – you know those big stretches of barberry bushes that surround paddocks and line road frontages.
Keeping them trimmed and manageable is not a job for the hedge clippers or even an electric hedge trimmer. Not at all!
Rather, it’s the kind of job that Graham Hyland has been doing for more than 30 years in the Franklin District and you can’t miss him when he’s manoeuvring a nine-ton Fendt tractor with a massive side arm cutter along a rural berm.
No, pruning farm hedges is a job for an expert and Graham is certainly that. He’s well known and well liked throughout the district having grown up on a local farm and turned small block owner himself.
“Three acres is enough for me but newbies to the country shouldn’t think this size plot is plain sailing.”
Graham says by keeping hedges properly trimmed they thicken up and provide excellent shelter for livestock or crops. They also help reduce noise pollution from roads.
“I get a lot of calls from lifestylers asking advice and they soon realise keeping hedges manageable is not a job for amateurs. For example, horses in a paddock can be problematic when you have big moving machinery around and you don’t want to be faced with removing masses of thorny cuttings afterwards. I use commercial grade mulching equipment so no mess is left behind.”
In addition to hedge trimming Graham also carries out soil aeration to overcome pugging and keep pastures viable.
“I also work with Murdoch Agricultural Contracting to do hay conditioning and raking. It’s late in the season now but we just did a silage job the other day. The weather this summer has been so fickle that these jobs, which are usually done with by now, are still going on. That’s another reason for small block owners to seek advice if they think there’s still a chance of baling silage.
“Hedging, hay and pasture management are part of farm life regardless of property size but it’s important that newcomers understand the role they play and the need for ongoing care and maintenance.” To book, call Hyland Hedgecutting, Pukekohe - Ph (09) 2386405, mobile 027 2850045, email email@example.com