For some time now we have been thinking about planting some form of wood plantation for heat, at our Trostrie garden. Our own biomass project. Having looked at several sites offering willows for fire wood, we hummed and hawed and were finally persuaded by some friends who have also started a willow plantation this spring.
We did think we had left it too late for this season, but as it has been so cold this was ok so we ordered a wood fuel kit from Water Willows
Kit - Weed Suppressing Fabric and Pegs
The kit came 100 willow plants, weed suppressing landscape fabric, pegs and an instruction guide.
Willow Plants soaking before planting
We put the willows in a bucket to soak for 24 hours before planting
Area for planting
The area where we are putting them is in a scrubby part of the garden on a slight slope, with plenty of room to expand to the east next year. Eventually we will try and put in 6 x 12.5m double rows. I was putting in the first two now, the remaining four will go in next year.
Pegging out fabric
I rolled out the weed suppressing fabric, and pegged it down, one peg per metre, each side of the material, together with one in the centre at one per metre, but offset by half a metre.
Planting out the willow shoots
Then started to plant the willows. Each plant had to go into a hole 9 inches deep. I used an old large screwdriver to make the holes, having marked off 9 inches with some red tape. Hitting the screwdriver with the hammer to drive a hole through the fabric and into the ground. Fortunately I only hit stones on about 10% of the time.
The first 50 shoots took just over an hour to plant, the second 50 took twice as long. Maybe it was because I was getting tired or maybe it was because, they were a bit thicker and so making the hole took much more effort.
Nice even rows
Anyway eventually they were all planted. I then watered them in. Now I just have to wait for them to grow, and they will get their first pruning later on in the year.
This is my ad hoc update and diary describing how I am developing our garden at Trostrie Cottage in Galloway. You can see the garden for yourself if you book a self catering dog friendly holiday @The Shieling which is attached to Trostrie Cottage http://www.trostriecottage.co.uk/
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.