Creating a Windbreak for Your Farm

09:26PM Nov 06, 2014
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AgDay’s Betsy Jibben talks with Certified Nursery Professionals on how to get started on your farm.

If you’re looking to adjust heating costs, preserve wildlife or create shelter for livestock, a windbreak might be a good investment, but starting to create a 40-foot break isn’t an easy task.

Creating a windbreak takes time, money and a little TLC, but Peck’s Green Thumb Nursery and Garden Shop professionals share some tips to get started.

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“You can plant into grass. You can plant into tilled soil. It really doesn’t matter,” said Brett Peckosh with Peck’s Green Thumb Nursery and Garden Shop.

To decide what trees you want to plant, you have to know your area and soil type.

“Some varieties will do better in lighter soil. Some will do better in heavier soil,” said Peckosh.

Here are some varieties that are ideal in eastern Iowa. One row can help against wind and snow, but three is ideal.

“I chose largest growing plant to be in the middle. The outside row should be a taller growing shrub like a serviceberry or hazelnut, which will give you a wildlife benefit. The inside row could be a smaller growing plant like a lilac,” said Peckosh.

Once you decide the variety you want, the spacing for each row differs.

“Your rows are probably between fifteen to twenty feet apart. Your outside row with shrubs will be five to seven feet apart. Your rows are probably between 20-15 feet apart. Your outside row with shrubs will be five to seven feet apart. Your last row closer to house, tighten up more," said Peckosh.

Once planted, upkeep is important, because weeds can grow faster than trees, but the right amount of water is crucial.

“Depending on your soil type, you’re looking at once a week, once every two weeks. It depends on the soil,” said Peckosh.

“This area has a nice amount of mulch. The mulch is your weed barrier. That’s also going to help keep moisture in,” said Peckosh.

A Black Hills Spruce and Crimson Spire Oak.

“This tree grows narrow, so it’s not going to grow into the fence line as much. It will be easy to maintain,” said Peckosh.

It’s a solid wall to protect livestock.

“They are spaced about 15 to 20 feet apart. That’s about the right spacing you want to do with your spruce,” said Peckosh.