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Well, we've finally bought a house and land (18000m2). House refurb. project is in the hand of the architect, and my thoughts now turn to the land. We plan to turn part of it into an orchard and fruit/veg patch, and so I'm gathering thoughts over how to go about things – it's basically a blank canvas, and I'd like to lay things out correctly from the start.
I had a smallholding and garden in the UK, so it's the PT-specific bits I want to get my head round, and any advice and experiences would be very welcome.
Irrigation is my first question.
For fruit trees and soft-fruit bushes – is it worth setting up a permanent irrigation system – and if so, what sort. Or, as I have done in the UK, would incorporating a length of 2-3-inch flexible perforated drainage pipe into and around the planting hole so that water (from a hosepipe or watering can) can be directed deeper down into the soil be OK?
For the veg patch – can you get drip-feed pipes that can be moved around to be laid along the rows once the plants are in each season. I've noticed in gardens around here that people produce trenches, which they then soak, and then plant out beans, brassicas, aliums etc into the trenches. Would this work also for root-crops grown from seed?
We have two wells (properly registered) so water availability is not a problem – but would un-filtered well water clog-up any irrigation pipes?
Clearing the ground: at the moment where I'm planning the veg patch is rough grass. What is the best way to clear this initially – just rotavate and let the sun/drought kill off the grass, or is it acceptable to weed-kill the plot first. Also, this area has some bamboo growing in it – is this easy to get rid of, or will I be plagued with bamboo continually sprouting up in the middle of the veg patch.
On the question of weed-kill – I used to be able to buy full-strength Glyphosate/Round-up from the agri-merchants in the UK, but in the year or so before we left they were tightening up on sales. What is the situation in PT? Will Agri-loja sell it?
I know that solving problems as the seasons go on is all part of the joy of gardening, but if there are major things I can put in place right from the start then hopefully I can avoid some headaches in the future.
Ignoring the main question and bulk of that post and addressing only the availability of Roundup, apparently it can still be freely purchased in various formats although I'm not sure whether any of those equates to your "full-strength"
Herbicides, pesticides and fungicides classified for professional use can now only be purchased and applied if you've attended a training course and hold a certificate or card but there is a list of substances approved for non-professional use (see this link for the latest list : http://www.dgv.min-agricultura.pt/xeov2 ... download=y).
I've not used any weedkillers on my plot - only ever used it occasionally on paths and the cobbled lane but I've stopped even that now. There's a lot of concern about chronic glyphosate contamination and changes in the law here now prohibit its use by local authorities in public spaces.
Full strength Roundup is available if you have the necessary certificate. Otherwise you can get the domestic version at many DIY and gardening shops. There is pressure for it to be banned due to safety concerns.
Thanks for the replies (by the way, X-C, the link doesn't work - might be a temporary server problem, I'll try again later).
If it still doesn't open, try it from this page : https://www.dgadr.gov.pt/15-formacao-pr ... maceuticos
Thank you - the original link is now working.
Commercial agriculture and most rural gardens rely on groundwater. A simple borehole brings up water to a storage tank - it gets used for surface irrigation and then permeates back through the ground to an aquifer from where it gets pumped back again.
If we dose the ground with poison then we must expect at some point to be drinking poison ourselves. Roundup and it's family are known carcinogens and, after detailed studies, have been banned elsewhere.
Of course the manufacturers have a vested interest in playing this down but no responsible gardener should be using the product on their own land which is a pity really as the product does work very well - it kills everything !