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Has anyone ever plowed up an empty lot and worked it down to broadcast wildflower or other similar seed? How did you do it? I have a couple people that want me to work up a couple acres that were fallow and have grown up to weeds and seed them some wildflowers. I figured I'd plow it, disk then level further if need be with a tiller or field cultivator. Then broadcast the seed and go over it with the packer to press it into the soil better. I'm not sure if the plowing is needed or not.
 

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I worked part of mine with a homemade ripper: Farm 2017 237.JPG Farm 2017 238.JPG Mostly to break up the sod. I then disked it a couple times & ran over it with a cultipacker both before & after seeding. This patch was mainly a native grass mix.

My other strip that is more wildflower was treated with glyphosate multiple times for two seasons, lightly disked, seeded, then cultipacked: Farm 2017 248.JPG
 

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I worked part of mine with a homemade ripper: View attachment 682590 View attachment 682592 Mostly to break up the sod. I then disked it a couple times & ran over it with a cultipacker both before & after seeding. This patch was mainly a native grass mix.

My other strip that is more wildflower was treated with glyphosate multiple times for two seasons, lightly disked, seeded, then cultipacked: View attachment 682594
That ripper is sweet. I saw frontier has a similar version of that, which I promptly put on my hit list. Not sure what it costs.

The one plot has alot of grass, which I thought would be good to hit with the brush hog before doing anything else. I have a two and a three bottom plow, the two will disappear as long as I can pull the three, I thought that'd be a good way to get rid of the trash. The next part of the battle becomes making sure the seed they bought covers the whole area with the broadcaster. No one bought any extra.....
 

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I've looked into this. The folks at the turf store recommended that I hit the area with RoundUp, then till it, then seed it.

I definitely don't think that you just want to till it and then plant it. I think you'd be wuickly overrun with weeds.

Sent by Tapatalk using the tiny keyboard on my phone. That explains the typos!
 

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I've looked into this. The folks at the turf store recommended that I hit the area with RoundUp, then till it, then seed it.

I definitely don't think that you just want to till it and then plant it. I think you'd be wuickly overrun with weeds.

Sent by Tapatalk using the tiny keyboard on my phone. That explains the typos!
Right. What I usually do on my own stuff when I open up ground that hasn't been used in awhile is work it, then let it sit and then burn it down. Then work it and plant it right after. Seems to work well. I suppose it will all depend on how my clients want it done.
 

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I am in the process of planting wildflowers on my new constructed septic mound. I have disc the soil and then ran a harrow over it, then flattened the soil with a lawn roller.

I will be spreading the seeds and then rolling again to press the seeds in the soil. Everything I have read has made it pretty clear to not cover the seeds with dirt but rather to press the seeds into the soil. Either way, good luck!
 

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I am in the process of planting wildflowers on my new constructed septic mound. I have disc the soil and then ran a harrow over it, then flattened the soil with a lawn roller.

I will be spreading the seeds and then rolling again to press the seeds in the soil. Everything I have read has made it pretty clear to not cover the seeds with dirt but rather to press the seeds into the soil. Either way, good luck!
Sounds like everyone is on the same page. Now it just needs to dry up here....
 

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I have done 4 different hunks of land into native grasses/forbs.

Some points to consider.

Tilling will bring up seeds from seed bank. You might have sprayed with glyphosate and killed everything but when you tilled it you exposed new batch of weeds.

Spraying with glyphosate will only kill whats exposed at the time you sprayed, again, seed bed will kick in and your land will be covered in weeds before summer is over. So you have to kill several times in one season.

My best results came from killing multiple times over 2 seasons, going over area with drag, seeding and going over with drag again.

I did not have access to cultipacker or other specialized equipment.

Some thoughts on seeding.

Get biggest diversity of flowers/grasses that you can afford. A bigger variety will have all the niches filled in the soil and will make invasion of undesirables harder.

Plant in spring for best grass success, plant in late fall for best flower success. Some flowers will not show them selves for years (3-5). Most flowers need stratification for germination. Stratification is the freezing cycle that the seeds need to before they germinate. Many seed mixes have lots of non-native annuals or biennials so that you get lots of flowers quickly but longevity will suffer. Most plantings take several years (3-5) before you get a sense of what it will be like.

Get species that fit your moisture/sunlight/soil type and region. They evolved there and will survive best.

If you want to keep it relatively weed free you'll need to help it along for the first couple of years. Mowing the first year 2-4 times. Burning as soon as fuel load will support it, weeding out particularly bad invasive weeds.

Enjoy, one of my wife and I great joy in the evening in the summer months is taking "prairie tours" in our small 4 acres of planting.
 

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Success will be determined by how fertile the ground is and quality of the seeds you purchase. I did a Zenia garden on our drain field one year and it did great. Tried the same thing in the front yard and it didn't do squat. Part of the front yard problem was the seeds I bought from Home Depot not actually being Zenias as pictured on the pack. I did follow up with the same brand I used on the drain field and the yellow daisies I got from HD seemed to proliferate and choke them out.
 

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Beautiful! Thanks for posting!!

I'm going to try to do some small patches like that in my yard.

Sent by Tapatalk using the tiny keyboard on my phone. That explains the typos!
 

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I have done 4 different hunks of land into native grasses/forbs.

Some points to consider.

Tilling will bring up seeds from seed bank. You might have sprayed with glyphosate and killed everything but when you tilled it you exposed new batch of weeds.

Spraying with glyphosate will only kill whats exposed at the time you sprayed, again, seed bed will kick in and your land will be covered in weeds before summer is over. So you have to kill several times in one season.

My best results came from killing multiple times over 2 seasons, going over area with drag, seeding and going over with drag again.

I did not have access to cultipacker or other specialized equipment.

Some thoughts on seeding.

Get biggest diversity of flowers/grasses that you can afford. A bigger variety will have all the niches filled in the soil and will make invasion of undesirables harder.

Plant in spring for best grass success, plant in late fall for best flower success. Some flowers will not show them selves for years (3-5). Most flowers need stratification for germination. Stratification is the freezing cycle that the seeds need to before they germinate. Many seed mixes have lots of non-native annuals or biennials so that you get lots of flowers quickly but longevity will suffer. Most plantings take several years (3-5) before you get a sense of what it will be like.

Get species that fit your moisture/sunlight/soil type and region. They evolved there and will survive best.

If you want to keep it relatively weed free you'll need to help it along for the first couple of years. Mowing the first year 2-4 times. Burning as soon as fuel load will support it, weeding out particularly bad invasive weeds.

Enjoy, one of my wife and I great joy in the evening in the summer months is taking "prairie tours" in our small 4 acres of planting.

Excellent advice.:good2:


Tilling is going to make quite an opportunity for weeds to thrive. I like the wildflower idea a lot, but they are hard to get established. Burning subsequent springs help some of the varieties too.
 

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Success will be determined by how fertile the ground is and quality of the seeds you purchase. I did a Zenia garden on our drain field one year and it did great. Tried the same thing in the front yard and it didn't do squat. Part of the front yard problem was the seeds I bought from Home Depot not actually being Zenias as pictured on the pack. I did follow up with the same brand I used on the drain field and the yellow daisies I got from HD seemed to proliferate and choke them out.
Actually lots of native wildflowers thrive on "poor" ground. Fertilizing is never required or desired.
This another reason one should always plant as big a variety of grasses/forbs as possible, certain ones will thrive in some conditions others will not survive in.

The more variety the more chances of several thriving.

Also some may survive but not thrive because for example the site is on the dry side. But in a wet year the ones that like wetter conditions will do better and the ones that like a drier site will do poorer. So every year you will have certain species do better than others. Its constantly changing.

Another issue is that some species are more of a pioneer variety and they will do better in disturbed sites. Disturbed such as recently tilled. Others can't tolerate disturbances. So in the beginning, first 1-5 years, you'll have certain varieties do well and as the site matures they will fade and others will appear.

My comments are primarily about Native varieties but most of it also applies to non-native stuff too.
 

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Excellent advice.:good2:


Tilling is going to make quite an opportunity for weeds to thrive. I like the wildflower idea a lot, but they are hard to get established. Burning subsequent springs help some of the varieties too.
I really don't think they are hard to get established as much as they take patience. It takes several years to see it really take off. Most species will not flower for 2-3 years. Some varieties may take a decade or more.

Once established burning yearly is a bad idea. Backing off to 3-5 years is a better plan. If you have any size to your plantings don't burn all of it. Leave some areas unburnt every time you burn, rotate your burns. Timing of burns makes a difference too, early spring, late spring, summer and fall burns effect plantings but only on the short term.
 
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