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Grow lavender along animal pathways?

 
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Hi!

Our http://granja.caimito.net is coming along step by step and we are busy creating more and more permanent small paddocks of 5000m2 in size and pathways for the animals in between them. We rotate the cows daily and the soil is responding well to that.

Now - and that's the reason for this question - we have the idea to plant lavender along the animal pathways. I've seen that in France sheep are put onto lavender fields to do maintenance in between the rows of lavender. Apparently sheep won't touch lavender.

I'm wondering now how that is with all the other animals. We have cows, sheep, horses and pigs. Eventually they will be allowed to roam the whole place, find an open door, graze a paddock, we come and close the door and open another and so on.

We do use a lot of electric fencing in combination of physical fencing. We could protect the lavender with a wire to keep the cows out (they seem to go for it given nothing better is available). The pigs are also controlled by two wires at their height.

Eventually we do want to harvest the lavender and make products.

I'm putting this in "forest garden" as our whole farm is basically a forest (spanish Dehesa) and we try to put more and more plants back to where they're supposed to be.

Thanks in advance for ideas and thoughts about lavender and grazing animals.
 
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Location: Richwood, West Virginia
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As a young lad in the middle of the last century I noticed hazel nut hedges around sheep fields in Wales. I guess they were trimmed topside and outsides and the sheep trimmed the rest, but they were so dense and "thorny-ish"that the sheep wouldn't go through them. Perhaps we could set aside one pathway between two of your paddocks for a ten-year study on the effectiveness of hazelnut hedges for the channeling of pigs and cows.
 
Stephan Schwab
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Burl Smith wrote:Perhaps we could set aside one pathway between two of your paddocks for a ten-year study on the effectiveness of hazelnut hedges for the channeling of pigs and cows.



With hazelnut I have experience now. The sheep got into the enclosure and ate as high was they can. But I understand that you weave a fence with hazelnut and so I guess the leaves on the top will keep the plant alive.

I like the idea of hazelnut hedges. The main problem is - we did think about similar things with other plants for a living fence - that our soil is heavily degraded and the lack of rain during summer does not make it easier. We need to build up a lot of soil before we can actually use plants for a fence. For the moment we need non-living material.
hazelnut.png
[Thumbnail for hazelnut.png]
 
pollinator
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Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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hugelkultur forest garden cooking
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Hugelkultur for hedges in arid climates can work to create some new tilth and compost for hedges to naturalize. I plant on the north side of berm (Oregon is dry also in summer) to shade root area, helping drought proof. I'd do that in November-December so winter rains help root stock develop before summer dry out..
 
Stephan Schwab
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Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein wrote:Hugelkultur for hedges in arid climates can work to create some new tilth and compost for hedges to naturalize. I plant on the north side of berm (Oregon is dry also in summer) to shade root area, helping drought proof. I'd do that in November-December so winter rains help root stock develop before summer dry out..



That's a pretty interesting idea. I also came across "mulch pits".
 
pollinator
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I proper stock proof hedge needs regular maintenance. This process is called hedge laying, where stems are partially cut through and bent down to make a low, dense, living hedge. Hazel plants simply planted in a hedge line will not be stockproof.
 
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