NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain  (Read 3292 times)

sophie

  • Joined May 2013
Hi
We are looking for a push mower that will keep the grass down in the orchards which are very hill and have trees at regular intervals, all still quite young. We also are trying to claim back bracken which has a high level of old bracken mulch underneath. We have just tried out a Grillo CL75 which was very good, and did the job perfectly apart from when you came to turn a corner it was just a bit heavy. Is there anything that is a bit lighter for frequent direction change, but with the strength to pull up the hills without being pushed and cope with the thick bracken.

Many thanks
Sophie
Voss Electric Fence

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 05:50:28 pm »
Can't advise on the mower but (and it's a BIG 'but' as you might not like using sprays or the area may be too big). This is the last year you will (legally) be able to spray the bracken yourself with a knapsack sprayer without passing a sprayer test. The spray for bracken (Asulox) is also available on temporary licence.

It is a very, very effective spray having cleared out nearly all my bracken on steep hills. If you're not adverse to spraying I'd consider doing it once this year (should be applied end of July/beginning of August); then keep it in check by mowing in future years.

sophie

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 05:57:00 pm »
Hi
Thanks for the advice. We sprayed a section last year with Asulox. Some on flatter ground off the quad and some less accessible off the backpack. The quad stuff seems to have worked better, but we did it weaker on the backpack, and maybe it wasn't strong enough. It has worked great from the quad. Our neighbours (owned by Peak District National Park) have heli sprayed some sections the last few years and these seem to work. Trying to remove the old bracken is another challenge though! But would like the grass to have a fighting chance. The area we killed last year is full of thistles. I wish you could spray it when it was smaller, it was about 6 foot last year.
Thanks

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 12:23:10 am »
There used to be a Husquvana  machine on two 18 inch sized hard rubber wheels that had a 150 or so cc Honda engine on it that was pedestrian controlled  I think it had a 600 mm cutting swathe .
Being pedestrian controlled instead of being power driven at the wheels gave me the advantage of being able to rock it to & fro when taking out massive clumps of thick grass etc. & for scarifying the ground back to bare soil.
It was also good for getting right up the the boles of trees  without running into the tree and taking off bark . 

 It had a 5 mm thick nylon grass whip that could also be fitted with a steel wire whip or various brush cutter blades.

When I had mine I used to to clear 1 & 1/2 acres of high scrub , Rose-bay willow herb ,brambles , small self seeded cherry saplings, sycamores & sally willow saplings etc..

 I have a spinal injury and also a wrecked left shoulder joint yet it was so easy to use .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 07:07:37 am »
I had/have soemthing similar.. a 6HP rotary cutter with pram wheels at the back and a single front wheel which one keeps angled back off the ground.. cuts through almost anything from brambles to thick tussocks but the cut width isn't more than 50sm and it's tedious to do a large area. the engine is giving gried at the moment and local agri engineers says to scrap it or replace the engine.

It did cope with huge abuse and no nylon cord would have lasted secodns with the work i gave it when it ran. I did use it to clear all the neglected grounds and quite literally chop them flat - took a while.

It is unbranded as in a DIY frankenstein build replacing a rotary mower with a sheet steel body, larger wheels and a bigger engine that my predecessor left here.

sophie

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 09:34:27 am »
Many thanks for your replies.
I am still unsure what to do!!!
Kind regards

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2015, 12:19:00 am »
Bash the bracken - dont cut it.

Bashing it weakens the plant as it tries to repair itself.

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 12:19:46 am »
Will take about 4 years but it dies back.

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 12:21:45 am »
I drag a old sprung bedbase around with a few weights on it with the quad. :) - Bit late now mind.


IretonsFarm

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 11:11:37 am »
Sounds like an ideal job for some pigs  :)

moomaa

  • Joined Feb 2015
    • VARI Machines
Re: Mowing orchard on a hill, and bracken on very rough terrain
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 08:50:05 am »
Not sureif you have found the answer to this problem yet, but you can bet the orchard will want mowing again next year.
Have a look at the VARI Hurricane F550B. Smaller than the Grillo, easier to turn, copes with the rough and much cheaper too.
http://www.vari.cz/en/product-catalogue/mulchers/single-purpose/f-550b-brush-cutter-with-mulching-blade/cp:21051/

 

Mowing

Started by Linn

Replies: 1
Views: 321
Last post June 03, 2019, 02:21:45 pm
by arobwk
Flails for the rough stuff

Started by arobwk

Replies: 9
Views: 2207
Last post July 18, 2017, 03:48:40 pm
by arobwk
mower tyres for rough and hilly areas.

Started by ukwoody

Replies: 3
Views: 967
Last post January 01, 2017, 12:17:55 pm
by ukwoody

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS