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Need input from the farmers...


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Hey fellas. Need your input! I'm not very knowledgable in the agricultural section and need some advice. My FIL has done some work like this before but it has faded from his memory more than he likes. I'm probably late on doing this, but I think it should still work out.


We've got about 10 acres of pasture here and for the past couple years have let our horses, cows graze off of what is presently growing. We did not want to do much to the field as its a rental and we also did not want to sit out a year for turning the field.


My FIL recommended doing a harrow and I was able to find a drag for an ATV. I planned on picking it up today along with a spreader. My intentions are to drag the field and then put down some seed that the local co-op has.


We are putting down 75lbs of seed for the 10 acres. Which is way below recommendation from the store, but money does not grow on trees and we already get some good flowering plants from the field. Were mainly doing this to help the field along more because I'm getting my bees soon.


Although, as this progresses, we hope to get a dairy with a calf and get our milk and raise the calf for slaughter.


Now that you know my inentions, I guess the whole reason I posted this up is to ask when its appropriate to drag and seed the field? I assume best time would have been in the fall, but I did not get back home in time to do any work on the place. We have been getting some warmer weather here and some grasses are starting to grow. Things are a little wet still but not too bad. My FIL thinks it still too wet but hes not really sure.



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what's  the  seed?


geez,  April   SHOULD  be  a  good  month to   seed just about  any grass.   


I  JUST  got started  yesterday  planting oats.   Shoot,   usually,  by now they  are  3-4 inches  tall!


dragging,  spreading,   then  dragging again is  a  good  way  to plant.    You  want  very fine  (very very small  soil  clumps....almost  powder)  to get the  best  soil to seed  contact.   And  firmness  of the ground.   Don't  be  afraid to  drag  several times,  in   different directions.

This is  where  YOUR  observations  on  how wet  the  soil  is,  and  how it  works.     


Too wet,  and  the   clumps  just  get  bigger and  bigger. your wheel tracks  get worse, .  (and  when they do  dry out,  they are like  cement...  little seeds  can't  punch though)   STAY  OUT OF THE FIELD!


Too  dry,  and   the  soil  doesn't  crumble very easily to  make  your  fine  seed bed...  and   more  dragging  is  needed.    drag, drag drag..


Theory is,   the  'finer' the seed bed,   the  less   entrapped  air  is  in the soil..  seed  will  sprout,  and  if you miss  a  timely rain,  that  new root will   find an air pocket and  croak.   (maybe in your  neck of the woods,  it  rains a lot>  and  not  so much  a problem)  Rain  will   'melt' the tiny  clods  around  the  seed,  making for  good  soil/seed contact.  ( It's  not  wise to  'count' on a rain around 'here')


I've  got  very sandy soil,  and  I can  plant  in the  rain!  LOL,  I also  pay dearly when  it  doesn't rain...   This year,   the  snow and frozen ground has  kept me  whipped.

Edited by rancherman
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Dang it,  I  re read  your  post,  and  see you didn't    turn  the  soil?     Your wanting to plant  into the   remaining  grass that is  still there?  (to thicken up the stand)?


You better  get it  done  asap,   cause  the   plants  already there  will  very soon  start  growing,   they'll   shade  the new plants,  and  'steal'  the moisture  from the  little  seedlings...  Plus,   dragging   the new seed in   doesn't  work as  well  when the   drag is  bouncing  up over the  old plants..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, fellas, last weekend I went and rented a 4' drag and and a spreader. It was an interesting learning experience using that drag. I believe my ATV is only 250cc, an the 4' was almost too much for it! I had the oil temp. light come on a few times. Pulled it around in second gear. Took quit a while using a 4' but was fortunate to get the wife on the sit-down lawn mower and pull the spreader around with it as I drug.


We put down 175lb. of seed. We tried our best to dial the spreader down to keep the seed from spreading so hard but did not have a huge amount of luck doing it. I think we maybe gained an acre.


The ground was still plenty wet. No standing water or anything, but, because of the amount of clay in our area, we have a very shallow water table. Although, this field has not been worked in who knows how long. I would estimate around a decade! The ground was real hard.


The wife gave me the bright idea of putting some sandbags on the harrow to give it more bite and break it up. Took 6 60lb bags out to the atv in the field with the truck and made nothing but a mess!


Once I got out into the softer area the truck just sank into the ground and got stuck good! Even in 4lo! Stuck all the wood I could into the deep ruts to get it out and still needed another truck to yank it out! I was very close to becoming permanently stuck, as I was up to the front differential!


This week, we've had plenty of rain to get the seeds to germinate. Tim will tell if it works well, or not! I'm excited to see it go from what it is now, to a field of good clover and covered in bees! :hyper:

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