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moebucks
08-09-2005, 10:27 AM
I need a little help. I have posted several questions as to the proper way to prepare a seedbed for a clover plot and have received verification from you guys that I was on track. Just as a reminder, here is my proposed method. Roto-till, spread oats and fetilizer, drag, roll/pack. spread clover and chicory, roll/pack, pray for rain.

Now, here is the problem. My buddy has planted some bermuda seed around his pool area. In the past seed has grown very well here. He roto-tilled, packed the soil, spread the seed and packed again. In another area he packed, spread the seed and that was it. He did fertilize with weed and feed fertilizer (he usually uses 13-13-13). This was 3-4 weeks ago and he has Zero growth in either area. Now, he is questioning if packing the soil caused the failure, and does not want to risk the failure on our plots.

Now, the packer he used was not your run of the mill packer. It is basically 3 55 gallon drums placed end to end that were filled with concrete with a 3 inch steel rod through the center for an axle. It is used to smooth out a runway/landing strip. I suggested that this could have been a little extreme. The packer that we will use is a 4ft lawn roller that will be filled with water.

Is there something wrong with my proposed method? Is the roller necessary/beneficial? Could he have packed the soil too well? Could his seed be have been bad? He has just thrown these concerns on me in the fourth quarter and I need some advice!

Thanks,

Moe

Catcher
08-09-2005, 10:38 AM
Moebucks,

Packing the soil can be a play on words at times. In my days of running a golf course on thing we would always fret about is compaction. Compaction can destroy a yard, or green, or food plot, faster than any bug or deer can. When the soil is compacted water can't percolate properly through the soil. By packing too hard you basically encase the seed in concrete. This does not allow the water, sunlight or the natural nutrients in the soil to interact with the seed. The entire cycle is thrown off and growth is either stunted and limited, or non-existant.

I have never used a cultipacker or roller for my plots, we typically raise or disk and run over the plot again, or gather a few blowdowns and tie them together and drag them behind the 4-wheeler. You just need enough soil over your seed to give it protection. Unless you are planting bigger seeds, which i have still never had a problem getting to grow when i used this method.

ROS VEGAS
08-09-2005, 10:39 AM
Moe,

I have had good success with just tilling, broadcasting the seed and letting it go. If it were me, I'd till, spread the oats and fertilizer, drag or roll if you wish (do not pack), then broadcast the clover/chickory over the top as the last step.

aerospacefarmer
08-09-2005, 10:56 AM
Always disc then cultipack then spread seed and fertilizer then cultipack again. Oh yes then pray for rain and to date I have not been disappointed. I think the cultipacking is good if your prayers are answered and it does rain fairly heavy your seed wont float away and collect at a low spot. I just did this method with my brassicas and am hoping a very hard rain did not wash the seed away. Will know this weekend when I go to my property.

Good Luck

Paul

sandbur
08-09-2005, 09:41 PM
Light, dry soils need rolling for good seed-soil contact. Clay based soils may get too hard if packed or rolled when they are wet. You have to look at your soil conditions and they can even vary from the top of a field to the bottom of the field. The 4 foot lawn roller will be fine unless you are on damp clay based soils.

moebucks
08-09-2005, 09:48 PM
Thanks guys, your advise is always appreciated.

bishs
08-11-2005, 09:52 PM
Its best to roll, broadcast then roll again. If you roll the ground when its moist, it will compact the soil too much.

Your friends may have done it when the soil was wet, or there has not been enough rain, or bad seed.

P4JC
08-11-2005, 10:07 PM
I've rolled both before and after spreading seed with good success, but I have also rolled only after seeding and had good results as well. What is the argument for rolling before seeding? Do you run the chance of preparing too firm a seed bed by rolling before?

thedong
08-11-2005, 10:34 PM
I've rolled both before and after spreading seed with good success, but I have also rolled only after seeding and had good results as well. What is the argument for rolling before seeding? Do you run the chance of preparing too firm a seed bed by rolling before?

i think the idea is that after discing there are large gaps in the soil, so if you broadcast seed after discing and then pack, you run the risk of getting some of the seed to deep.

P4JC
08-11-2005, 11:10 PM
i think the idea is that after discing there are large gaps in the soil, so if you broadcast seed after discing and then pack, you run the risk of getting some of the seed to deep.

Yes, but what if you drag it real good after discing, then seed, then roll? or do you still feel that rolling before seeding has significant added value?

moebucks
08-12-2005, 09:38 AM
Everything that I have read has said to plant clover in a "firm, well prepared seed bed". That's why I think rolling first is appropriate. However, I tend to make things more difficult. It's not rocket science, it's just farmin', right?

bishs
08-13-2005, 04:16 PM
Ideally you want the clover seed pressed down into a firm seed bed. Like was stated above, the first rollong not only firms the bed, but it also fills the pockets in the soil.
Planting clover, Late summer is best, much less weed growth.

My best clover planting success.

Disc then fertilize, spread oats, wheat or rye) 50 lbs/acre
Drag to smooth soil and cover seed and fertilizer
roll to firm seed bed, use cultipacker or lawn roller
broadcast clover seed
roll to press seed into firm bed.

smileys/smiley1.gif

Thayer.qdma
08-14-2005, 09:41 AM
Your rolller was a bit much for a prepared seed bed....if there was moisture in the soil...you probably started a good runway!smileys/smiley5.gifI like to drag in the clover, I use some weight on the drag to firm up the soil...say some black iron pipe, railroad ties, or something like that...

Good luck, you will get it figured out!

leegleegle
08-15-2005, 03:44 AM
Out of curiousity, for those of you who do not have a cultipacker, what do you use instead? Have any of you made your own that has proven to be a good idea?