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Tilling and Spreading Equipment for Renovation


SpreadingAlthough the best time to seed cool season grasses is late summer or fall, the next best time is late winter (January 15 – March 15). Drought often creates an opportunity to renovate for spring. Plants that develop from spring seedings (compared to fall seeding) are more critically affected by seed depth and a firm seed bed because of weed competition for moisture in late spring. These plants need to get off to a good start, and tillage warms the cool soil, yet firms soil around the seed to supply moisture.

Larger farmers have no till drills that do an excellent job in placing seed at the proper depth and rate, but they are expensive and require maintenance, calibration, training and larger tractors. TillingWhat are some types of equipment and methods available for establishing and renovating small pastures? Fertilization and seeding can be accomplished with a broadcast spreader. Drag harrows,discs and cultipackers can be used to insure good seed-to-soil contact. These can also be used to break up compacted spots and to distribute manure.

Broadcast Spreaders

A shoulder strap broadcast spreader is an easy way to seed small areas, especially with small seeded legumes. Be sure to overlap the swath by about one-third. The larger pull type or three point hitch spreaders will cover larger areas. Most models include a setting for grass or clover seeds. However you can check the rate per acre by doing a small area with a small amount of seed since the flow rate varies with seed shape and bulkiness. To calibrate a 25 lb/acre rate of Horse Pasture or Horse Paddock Mix, put in an estimated five pounds of seed and spread on a 20 foot swath. You should run out of seed in about 500 linear feet. For a 10 foot swath, put in 2 ½ lbs of seed instead. If there is still a lot left or you run out too quickly then adjust accordingly.

Drags, Discs and Rollers

If seed is merely broadcast on undisturbed, packed ground, the chance of establishment is poor. Seeds need consistent moisture to imbibe water to a critical point, and without some seeding depth many aren’t likely to survive. Developing roots need some depth to anchor to the ground. Unless a no till drill is available, another method is minimum tillage where the ground is disturbed but not tilled under. Existing sod is suppressed to allow little seedlings to compete and soil disturbance creates some seed depth. One handy piece of equipment is a heavy chain drag that can be reversed to either cut into the soil or drag seed below the existing sod cover with a small tractor or ATV. Following dragging or discing, broadcast the seed; then drag again and cultipack (to firm the soil around the seed). You can use a disc/ cultipacker combo or a cultipacker.

Frost seeding without soil disturbance will work if there is very little plant residue to interfere with soil-to-seed contact, especially with small seeded legumes. The honey comb effect is just enough to pull seed to a quarter to half inch depth. It’s always a good idea to keep horses off the new seedlings until they can’t be pulled from the ground.

One advantage to having equipment on hand is that it’s available at critical times year round to keep your pasture producing for forage, exercise, aesthetics and animal health. Often the weather presents a one or two day window of activity that can pay handsomely in the latter part of the season.


Grass Seed

GridList

Southern States Crown Vetch 1lb
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$29.99
Southern States Crown Vetch 1lb
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EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Turf Type 28lb
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$29.99
EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Turf Type 28lb
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EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Sun/Shade Blend 11lb
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$19.99
EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Sun/Shade Blend 11lb
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Monty’s Rackvantage Food Plot Enhancer 2.5 gal
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$109.99
Monty’s Rackvantage Food Plot Enhancer 2.5 gal
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Southern States Southern Belle Red Clover 50lb
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$189.95
Southern States Southern Belle Red Clover 50lb
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Southern States Crown Vetch 3lb
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$72.99
Southern States Crown Vetch 3lb
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EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Turf Type 11lb
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$21.99
EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Turf Type 11lb
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Imperial Whitetail Double-Cross 18 lb
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$139.99
Imperial Whitetail Double-Cross 18 lb
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Imperial Alfa-Rack Plus 16.5 lb
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$139.99
Imperial Alfa-Rack Plus 16.5 lb
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EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Sun/Shade Blend 28lb
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$29.99
EZ-Straw Lawn Repair Mix Sun/Shade Blend 28lb
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Imperial Whitetail Extreme Food Plot Blend 23lb
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$139.99
Imperial Whitetail Extreme Food Plot Blend 23lb
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Imperial Whitetail Edge Perennial Food Plot Mix 26lb
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$139.99
Imperial Whitetail Edge Perennial Food Plot Mix 26lb
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