The first steps I will be completing have changed at least 20 times over the fall/winter. Taking ownership of the property in October is a bad time for somebody itching to get out and work! It seems my mind changes every time I set foot on the property.
Fall ownership although painful will be a good thing. Jumping in right away can lead to costly errors. Learning about the way different processes (wild animal movement, water drainage, wind flow, etc) work on a property are key to a successful design.
The first year I am going to create a clover field for the deer in an isolated area of the property along with a few Swales for eventual fruit tree guilds. I will be planting pine trees sourced from a family cabin property and mob planting maple trees and oak trees from seed from trees in my subdivision.
I am also planning on creating a few gathering areas for cooking/ bonfire sites. I started one this weekend that turned out pretty good. These sites will be in areas that are away from the wildlife areas and close to my paths that will be around the gardens.
Other projects will be to improve the only access point in to the property which was previously only used by quads. To do this, I am going to clear the ground to widen it. I am then going to get some scrap paper making felts from my work and cover them with wood chips from my neighbor who owns a tree trimming service.
The felts have drain holes in them to drain water so they should work well to hold the wood chips in place but allow water to drain. More on this to come later.
After the driveway is done, I will be creating a simple bridge from trees on the property to cross over a ditch that runs across the property. The bridge will connect the parking area to the Swales and annual planting areas.
The annual planting areas will be normal garden crops but with an emphasis on deer tolerant crops like squash, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. I will also be planting a bunch of sunflower seeds for screens between the deer bedding areas and the recreation/gathering areas.
I am really looking forward to getting started on these projects. This is the time of year that drags on the longest for me. Pretty soon I will be out there though. Here are some pics of what we have done so far.