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I am lazy and I’d like advice

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BonnyH starts with ...
Hi everyone. I hope someone can advise. We recently bought 6000sqm in beautiful Dayboro, part of Moreton Bay but inland. We are overwhelmed with mowing slopes, sometimes every 5 days. There is also lots of weeding and pruning, old sheds, play areas, broken paths etc. Basically I want to make life easier. We want to stay in this house around 5 years and I’m wondering if planting some of the worst slopes with manageable size/dwarf fruit trees will reduce work? I’m thinking an area which no longer needs to be mowed, but produces something would be awesome. We do get wind, scorching heat, tropical rain... I’m willing to mulch and net trees. Fast-growing and nothing too weird. We’re an Apple/Avo/orange/peach eating family, nothing too unusual as it will be wasted. I’m thinking 20+ trees could reduce the mowing significantly if we do it right, but I have no idea where to start. There is also the option to sell surplus at market stalls. Have been reading up but...whew! And ideas welcome. Ps. Again...we are lazy. The less maintenance, the better. Thanks in advance!
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Bonny
Dayboro
18th March 2018 1:49pm
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Trikus says...
Just plant lots of what you like to eat .
Try for early/mid/late season of everything . I am lazy as well , that is all you are getting from me ;)
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Trikus
Tully
19th March 2018 10:43am
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Bangkokii says...
Just buy some goats or cows/bulls. Or make the land flat with a bulldozer and buy a siton lawnmower.
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Bangkokii
nonthaburi
19th March 2018 3:12pm
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Carl76 says...
Just 5 years, doubt you'll reach peak fruit production of most varieties cheaply available.
Goats will do alot of the work.
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Carl76
Wilston 4051
20th March 2018 10:37am
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brad16 says...
I agree with Bangkokii. If you are only planning on being there 5 years, then you will be doing all the work setting up an orchard for the next owners/tennants (who would probably just tear it all down again because people have a habit of 'painting their own canvas'). In that time, unkept grass will swamp the small trees. You'll be maintaining the trees AND the grass.

I was going to suggest goats to start with, but then thought that 6000sqm is just under 1.5 acres. There'd room for a few goats, but if you have children, then it'd be less room for the family. Goats and children shouldn't be left alone together while you're inside doing laundry or drinking piña coladas, and if they are segregated into their own areas, then your big family yard just became smaller again.
Chickens may be a good alternative on a section you most dislike maintaining. Chickens wouldn't be a major problem if children strayed into their area, and left a gate open (other than dessimated veggie patches). They should have a sheltered area, so a little construction would be required, although it would be less work than an orchard for those first 5 years. Sounds like you may already have some potential infrastructure there already for an inventive and industrious mind.

Anyway, mostly I just wanted to say that an orchard is a good idea, but it is a longer investment than your 5 year plan, and until the orchard forms a canopy and an established network of roots, your mowing problem will just be made harder. Combining the orchard with chickens would be my solution, but still, the fruit trees would need a certain amount of protection from chicken foraging. Again, you'd be looking at a pay off in the long term while the trees become established.

I'm super reluctant to dissuade anyone from planting trees because trees are an investment in the future, and not everyone cares about, or even considers, the future. Especially if it isn't going to be 'their' future. Keeping that in mind, you could have some cheap labour (animals) in a matter of days, whereas trees won't do what you want them to do for years.
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
20th March 2018 12:38pm
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brad16 says...
Oh, had to come back with another idea, but it may be a little more work.

If you are going to have a veggie patch anyway, maybe consider upgrading the veggie patch a little and plant it out on the worst part of slope (the part you don't want to mow). Any veggie patch will need maintenance, like weeding and fending off predators, and you mentioned the possibility of selling produce at market stalls. Veggies will harvest quicker compared to fruit trees, where the first harvest may only be a few fruit.

These things sound great in the idea stage, but even if harvests aren't as productive as expected, or quality is not market shelf amazing, personal use still counts for something. A watermelon grown is a watermelon not purchased :)

Plus even though there was weeding and rabbit shoo-ing, there wasn't any mowing right?!

That's it. I'm out for now. Got my own stuff to do.
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
20th March 2018 1:53pm
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Bonny says...
Thanks Bangkokii but we’re on a hill and I doubt milking cows at 5am is for lazy people like me!

We do have a ride on lawnmower and that’s what we use every 5 days:)
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Bonny
Dayboro
20th March 2018 4:55pm
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Original Post was last edited: 20th March 2018 4:56pm
Bonny says...
@Trikus early, mid or late season?? ;)
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Bonny
Dayboro
20th March 2018 4:58pm
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Markmelb says...
dont buy goats as they will eat all the fruit trees
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
20th March 2018 5:07pm
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Bonny

Before attempting to create your productive orchard there are a few thing to consider. First you mentioned sloping. First create a mini swale with a berm at the edge to capture run off water from the upper slope and to retain the mulch for each individual tree, sort of like a half circle cut from the slope. If you don't, water will just pass through your trees and never soak the ground near and around your trees. You save on irrigation especially during the rainy season by creating these design. If you don't want to do it yourself hire a bobcat guy to do a double level mini terrace for you for your plants to have a least a flat surface to thrive and for easier harvesting and maintenance as well. Install a jute sack fiber cloth to retain the soil or just plant some fast growing grass to hold the soil from the slope.

Next you mention wind. I would not recommend trees as windbreaker for you because they involve maintenance like weeding, feeding, watering, fertilizing, trimming etc until they are established but even then, trimming will be a long term maintenance or else they will run over the fruit trees. I recommend a well built artificial windbreak for you made of tough artificial fiber. The best ones will last you up to ten years. Why artificial? Because they are maintenance free, can be installed straight away. You don't have to wait for five to ten years like live tree windbreak to become effective and they wont compete with nutrition, water,light, fertilizer etc. Don't forget to install a drip irrigation system to save your back from lugging water during drought periods. The irrigation should be laid across the slope to be effective.

Once you've considered these options because of your site, preferences and lifestyle then you can start planting your favorite fruit trees. Avocados will surely revel in your area because of the good drainage (sloping) and the almost tropical weather. Citruses will not be far behind. It all depends on what varieties you want. Apples and peaches will be the marginal ones but, they are a few low chill varieties like dwarf apple dorset golden, tropical ana and tropic sweet; low chill peaches like tropic beauty, florida prince, tropic snow and white opal.

If ever you can't be bothered to do my recommendations there's always the option to hire a contractor to do the dirty job for you.

I have also uploaded some samples of artificial windbreakers for your perusal.

happy Gardening :-)
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1

Picture: 2
 
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Fruitylicious1
TAMWORTH,2340,NSW
20th March 2018 7:14pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd March 2018 8:18pm
Trikus says...
damn you are lazy ! many fruits have hundreds of different types /// some fruit very early in the season ...some very late
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Trikus
Tully
21st March 2018 8:49pm
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Bangkokii says...
Cows need to be milked, bulls not iirc and they also eat grass.

Or some camels, kangaroo's...you name it.

Myself i built a robot lawnmower which is the ultimate. It also vacuums leaves/grass clippings.
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Bangkokii
nonthaburi
22nd March 2018 5:49pm
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Bonny says...
Wow thank you all for your input. I realise 5 years isn’t really long enough to enjoy the benefits of fruiting trees. I’ve planted veggies, lemons, oranges and olives before and unfortunately moved house before eating anything (although I do recall one successful salad back in 1998) 😂 I even invested $70 in an avo tree once and did some sneaky planting in an overgrown section of oval next to my house...council poisoned it! 😳 The wheelie bin truck also rode over my side path orange tree. This house is my one shot and we may stay longer. Also, I don’t mind ‘giving back to the universe’ so to speak. I seem to have extraordinarily bad luck (bad planning actually).

Love the trench idea with a bobcat. We will have a bobcat here soon for some drainage work on the house and I shall try and organise a ‘shelf’ in the hill. I’m not too worried about the wind as this grove should be a bit off to the side. No kids here as mine have just all flown the nest ;)

I think my question is - does anyone know where I can get more advanced fruit trees from? Especially avo. I will pay, because my numerous failures are far more costly.
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Bonny
Dayboro
24th March 2018 9:01am
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Original Post was last edited: 24th March 2018 9:09am
Bonny says...
@Trikus sorry I see what you mean now.
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Bonny
Dayboro
24th March 2018 9:06am
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Bonny

If you really want a tough as boots avo tree, plant one grown from seed as opposed to grafted. Their main taproot is intact providing them with better and stronger root system and firmer anchorage because of the deeper reach. The downside, you have to wait longer for the fruits to come. I had a few of these volunteer avos in my previous property in Melbourne, Vic, never watered or fertilize them, never sheltered them from frost but they managed to survive year after year with blatant neglect until i sold the property.

Advance trees will cause you an arm plus a leg and oftentimes you have to pick up the goods because they cant send it to you via the usual channel due to size and weight issues.

Happy Gardening :-)
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Fruitylicious1
TAMWORTH,2340,NSW
24th March 2018 6:56pm
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Original Post was last edited: 24th March 2018 7:12pm
brad16 says...
For more established trees, you could check out Gumtree. Keep in mind though, most of those will be seedlings (planted from a stone). Contrary to a lot of paranoia though, not all seedling avocados are rubbish. Grafting allows you to 'select' what you want, whereas 'grown from seed' is a roll of the dice, but that doesn't necessarily mean you always roll a 1.
I just searched Gumtree for 'avocado' and narrowed it down to 'QLD'. This was one of the adds, and it isn't that far from Moreton Island.

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/little-mountain/plants/avocado-tree/1177798689

It's still getting established and I'd find it difficult to justify the price tag unless it had actually fruited to prove its worth, but has a few years headstart and is just an indication of what is around if you go looking.

Knowing full well this is probably just going to spark the whole grafted vs seedling and 'you'd be mad if you do' debate, I've included a picture of the orginal Hass avocado tree. I've also had a Hass and a Shepard avocado tree grown from seed that produced amazing fruit, and there are many other backyarders who wouldn't want to give up their seed grown avo tree.

People are always pulling up trees for some reason or other. Keep your ear to the ground and your eye on anyone who looks like they are going to put in a new driveway, deck, pool or whatever.
Nursery grafted varieties don't normally get that big. They are usually sold off quite young, it's just economics. That's not written in stone though, so some time in a web browser may yield some very interesting finds.

Even your bobcat contractor may know of a tree that's going to get knocked down.
Put up a sign saying 'Removing an unwanted fruit tree?'.

Yay!
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
24th March 2018 9:10pm
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Original Post was last edited: 24th March 2018 9:54pm
Bonny says...
Thank you everyone. I have started to make a few enquiries on Gumtree. I definitely don’t mind having a go at a seed planted avo but would hate to wait many years to find out it can’t fruit! Maybe will do that in addition. I wonder if Hass seeds from Coles will eventually grow fruit? Someone must have tried it.
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Bonny
Dayboro
2nd April 2018 8:36pm
#UserID: 18144
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Bonny says...
I just wanted to give you an update in case anyone is still reading this :) Yesterday we had a bobcat here for other work and I got the guy to dig me a long shelf under the existing tree liine and make it level. I’ve added a photo. He says to go any less steep, we’ll have to do a proper retaining wall, which of course, is getting into some bigger $$. So for now, daunting but done. I guess I’ll have to plant something soon. Time to order bare root stock trees for winter?
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Bonny
Dayboro
19th April 2018 7:36am
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Bonny

Excellent! Keep up the good work. Yep time to order the bare roots. I have done mine already. Smart looking dog in the background.

Happy gardening :-)
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Fruitylicious1
TAMWORTH,2340,NSW
19th April 2018 12:53pm
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Original Post was last edited: 19th April 2018 6:44pm

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