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.