soil preperation for food plot
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Thread: soil preperation for food plot

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    soil preperation for food plot

    As some of you may recall, my son purchased a golf course(for the property) and home last spring. This coming spring, we would like to plant some food plots on the upper 2 fairways and greens closest to the bush line. This property was originally a farm that was turned into a gulf course about 20 years ago, and so I would imagine that the soil has not been disturbed since then.

    question #1: Once all the grasses have been cut and killed off, how deep should the soil be ripped?
    #2: What would be the best implement to do the job, if I were using my 2320? A soil pulverizer, A box blade with rippers, or some type of plow?

    I was thinking a soil pulveriser. It can disturb the soil and prep it for seed at the same time, just not sure if the teeth can go deep enough to do the job.
    A box blade could probably cut deep enough, but then I would need another tool to prep and flatten the soil ready for seed.
    Or do I need to plow it, and then prep the surface ready for seed with something like a disk?

    Now I realize that a 2320 is a little on the small side for this kind of work, but I have all the time I need and can do several passes if necessary.
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    Cutty72's Avatar
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    Best, IMO, would be plow to break/turn over the sod, then disk to break up chunks, then cultivate or till to prep seed bed.
    You could potentially seed right into the disked field as well, depending on how nice you want it.

    That was our process for taking land out of grass/alfalfa and back into production.
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    disk or tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffrey brisson View Post
    As some of you may recall, my son purchased a golf course(for the property) and home last spring. This coming spring, we would like to plant some food plots on the upper 2 fairways and greens closest to the bush line. This property was originally a farm that was turned into a gulf course about 20 years ago, and so I would imagine that the soil has not been disturbed since then.

    question #1: Once all the grasses have been cut and killed off, how deep should the soil be ripped?
    #2: What would be the best implement to do the job, if I were using my 2320? A soil pulverizer, A box blade with rippers, or some type of plow?

    I was thinking a soil pulveriser. It can disturb the soil and prep it for seed at the same time, just not sure if the teeth can go deep enough to do the job.
    A box blade could probably cut deep enough, but then I would need another tool to prep and flatten the soil ready for seed.
    Or do I need to plow it, and then prep the surface ready for seed with something like a disk?

    Now I realize that a 2320 is a little on the small side for this kind of work, but I have all the time I need and can do several passes if necessary.
    Personally, I would just disk it and plant it for a food plot. Be sure and take a soil sample as soon as you can get a probe in the ground so you know what the soil might need.

    If you have access to a no till drill, I wouldn't even disk it. I'll use a burn down herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup) and the no-till drill. Soil that hasn't been disturbed for 20 years has developed a structure and biologic activity that plowing only disturbs. If you can keep the structure intact and the dead organic material on top you have a pretty good shot at a good "crop".

    That doesn't apply if you are talking about a cart path or area where there's been 20 years of compaction. Those won't have a good structure and may very well need to be broken up.

    Treefarmer
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    I planted a bunch of oats into some pasture last summer. I scattered the seed and then ran a disk over it. I got a nice crop.

    For your situation, I would plow it, broadcast the seed and then disk it.
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    You can "throw and grow" oats after killing the grass with glyphosate (it's cheap at 41% concentration). No need to disk or till if you don't want to.
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    So, I don't have access to a no-till drill, and if the best thing to do is leave the soil intact as much as possible as you say Treefarmer, then would a soil pulverizer not be the next best thing? That to me would be the least intrusive tool for the job, as it would only disturb 3" or 4" of soil and the roller would aerate and smooth out the ground at the same time? I hope I can get my hands on one of those, If not then a disking tool is for sure something that can be had in my area. If I go the disking way, how deep will the blades run? and will it keep the soil structure intact enough that it won't affect its biologic activity?

    Thanks guys
    Geoff
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    What's happened To the golf course?
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    The course was shut down the year before, after a few years of it being for sale. The owners at the time were looking to retire, and when it didn't have any buyers, they auctioned all the equipment off and shut her down. That's when my son stepped in and bought what was left(home, several buildings, a mega dome, and 171 acres of land, 15 of which is lake front) This was a country gulf club about a 25 minute drive from the closest city, exactly what my son was looking for.

    Last year we kept the first 3 holes open so that when friends and family came by for Sunday BBQ's, we could hit a few balls and have fun. Now he has come up with a 10 year plan for the property, and this summer he would like a few food plots. Eventually he would like a apple orchard and Christmas tree farm on his place. He wants to at some point stop working and live off the revenue that can be generated from the property, kind of like a small hobby farm.
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    You may want to go out there and dig a hole or two in the area and see what is actually there. Back in the 70s when I was in high school I worked for a company that built golf courses. We'd go in and scrape out everything and lay in a 2' deep bed of sand and then cover that with 2" of loam. The sod got laid directly on top of that. The sand prevented water from sitting on the fairways/greens. That's why many golf courses have to water and fertilize so often.

    You may find that there isn't nearly as much topsoil as you think there is. It'd be worth checking on before you make to many decisions.
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    Disk

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffrey brisson View Post
    So, I don't have access to a no-till drill, and if the best thing to do is leave the soil intact as much as possible as you say Treefarmer, then would a soil pulverizer not be the next best thing? That to me would be the least intrusive tool for the job, as it would only disturb 3" or 4" of soil and the roller would aerate and smooth out the ground at the same time? I hope I can get my hands on one of those, If not then a disking tool is for sure something that can be had in my area. If I go the disking way, how deep will the blades run? and will it keep the soil structure intact enough that it won't affect its biologic activity?

    Thanks guys
    Geoff
    That would certainly work but as another poster noted, golf courses are different than normal soil. You probably do want to know what you are dealing with. You might not have more than sod over sand in which case you really don't want to disturb things much. You might also have water lines running underneath which is another reason to go gently.

    If you use a disk I would go only as deep as the seed needs to be covered or as deep as needed to get to mineral soil so you can get good seed cover. The cutting action of a disk changes quite a bit depending on the angle of the blades. More angle equals more of a scraping action but less penetration. The depth is normally set by gauge wheels or the 3ph setting. Actual max cutting depth is usually 3-4 inches unless you have a large disk. There's a lot of difference between a small disk and a large field disk. AgriSupply sells blades from 16" to 32" diameters so obviously there's a huge difference in cutting depth when you double the diameter. The weight per blade also impacts how well they cut. A small disk might only have 20-30 lbs per blade. A large offset disk might have as much as 500 lbs/blade.

    I'd stick a probe our soil auger in the ground in a few places to see what's underneath. It might take a while before it thaws enough so you can do that.

    Treefarmer
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