Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We have a small garden, not interested in sub soiling that, I just run the middle buster through it and then till it up.
What I have is about 2 open acres in the back of my property, that's just normal grass that I mow. Within that 2 acres, is a good size low spot that collects alot of the run off water from my property, and the tillable field surrounding me. At times, it has looked like a small pond back there, and after heavy rains, remains. At one point in time, before me, it was part of the tillable acreage surrounding my property as it is now, so i'me sure there is a hard pan layer under the top soil. I don't currently have any live stock. In the future we plan to put in alot of trees back there, one for property value and two, to liven the place up some (it's bare, we only have trees on the front half of the property. Plus side, then I won't have to mow as much square footage.
Is it worth subsoiling the area to get the water to drain better? Will that help trees get a better bite into the soil? We get some extreme wind around here and new trees can struggle get a foot hold before the wind takes them out.
Opine please. I've never been down this road before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Check before subsoiling

We have a small garden, not interested in sub soiling that, I just run the middle buster through it and then till it up.
What I have is about 2 open acres in the back of my property, that's just normal grass that I mow. Within that 2 acres, is a good size low spot that collects alot of the run off water from my property, and the tillable field surrounding me. At times, it has looked like a small pond back there, and after heavy rains, remains. At one point in time, before me, it was part of the tillable acreage surrounding my property as it is now, so i'me sure there is a hard pan layer under the top soil. I don't currently have any live stock. In the future we plan to put in alot of trees back there, one for property value and two, to liven the place up some (it's bare, we only have trees on the front half of the property. Plus side, then I won't have to mow as much square footage.
Is it worth subsoiling the area to get the water to drain better? Will that help trees get a better bite into the soil? We get some extreme wind around here and new trees can struggle get a foot hold before the wind takes them out.
Opine please. I've never been down this road before.
Beside the obvious need to check Miss Utility before doing deep tillage, I would try to figure out what you are dealing with. If you just have a hardpan/plow layer subsoiling may actually help you. If there's a thick layer of clay under there, you are just getting tractor time.

Some of our fields have a blue marl under them. It's actually several feet thick and almost impervious to water. I've seen that stuff stop a 150 + hp tractor with a chisel plow dead if it went too deep. There's no point in subsoiling that stuff unless you like watching black smoke roll out of the stack and fuel disappearing out of the tank.

You can check the national web soil survey. Web Soil Survey - Home
It's a great resource but may not cover a small area accurately. A soil scientist would tell you to dig a trench and look at the soil layers or use a hand auger to see what's down there. For your purposes, pushing a 1/2" rod into the ground might tell you all you need to know. If you push easily down to a hard pan and can break through the hard pan and push relatively easily again, it's just a plow pan. If you go down 8-10" and have to fight to get deeper, you might have some good old clay.

Of course, you could always just try it with your middle buster and see what happens. How hard it pulls and what's in the broken up ground will tell you at least part of the puzzle.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
You might also nose around your county's land office web site. I found some accurate info for my land from my county.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,530 Posts
Beside the obvious need to check Miss Utility before doing deep tillage, I would try to figure out what you are dealing with. If you just have a hardpan/plow layer subsoiling may actually help you. If there's a thick layer of clay under there, you are just getting tractor time.

Some of our fields have a blue marl under them. It's actually several feet thick and almost impervious to water. I've seen that stuff stop a 150 + hp tractor with a chisel plow dead if it went too deep. There's no point in subsoiling that stuff unless you like watching black smoke roll out of the stack and fuel disappearing out of the tank.

You can check the national web soil survey. Web Soil Survey - Home
It's a great resource but may not cover a small area accurately. A soil scientist would tell you to dig a trench and look at the soil layers or use a hand auger to see what's down there. For your purposes, pushing a 1/2" rod into the ground might tell you all you need to know. If you push easily down to a hard pan and can break through the hard pan and push relatively easily again, it's just a plow pan. If you go down 8-10" and have to fight to get deeper, you might have some good old clay.

Of course, you could always just try it with your middle buster and see what happens. How hard it pulls and what's in the broken up ground will tell you at least part of the puzzle.

Treefarmer

I think what you have written is spot on. I have a good idea of where he is at and I bet it is red clay down pretty deep. There are some sandy areas in spots and if he happens to be lucky enough to be in one of those it just might help. The other thing SRG could try it see if he knows where the field tiles are if it has them, is to tile that area to them to get it to drain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'll do some digging around. I know the guys that have been working this land since they were kids. I really just want the water to enter the water table faster. What I really need to do is raise, and grade my land back there, so the runoff stays in the fields. I'm sure part of the reason for the depressions/low spots size, is because pf the weight of the water that keeps compacting it year after year.
I don't have any worry of utilities or transmission pipelines back there, It's been farmland forever, and there are no pipeline markers at the nearest road(s). Plus I just had the local one call out, for locates, when I installed the garden. We can't even get cable TV out here, and Ma'Bell is out in the ditch/road ROW, power is overhead.

Here's the area I'm talking about. You can see how it's partially in the field and partially on my land. When it's really bad, I get alot of the debris from the field, left on my lawn. Pic is from last year going into spring...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
I pulled a real JD sub-soiler back in 1975,, the HP demand was unbelievable.

The sub-soiler went in 36",, and we had a 4" "torpedo" connected to the back of the tip with a 6" chain..

We knew it was wrong, but my BIL said do it,,
I pulled that sub-soiler with a 200+HP (PTO horsepower) JD tractor,,, in first gear,,

That tractor was not to be used in third gear or below for high HP pulling,,
I think there was even a warning decal somewhere,,,

SO, when I wanted to do my garden,, I knew I had nothing like that,, instead, I trenched with a backhoe.

I dumped composted wood chips in the 3-4 foot deep trenches,, then back filled with a compost/dirt mix

It really only took a day,, I figure that it is a once in a lifetime task.
the garden has never been soggy since, that was over a decade ago,,,:good2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
How about a non mechanical alternative. Plant some tillage radishes :



(1) "Tillage radish" = forage radish are varieties of Japanese radish = daikon specifically selected for having very large tap roots that can penetrate 10 to 24 inches into the soil. The root system of tillage radishes normally extends 6 to 7 feet down into the subsoil. MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU BUY ONLY NAMED VARIETIES OF TILLAGE RADISH SELECTED FOR BIG TAP ROOTS. Do not buy VNS = "variety not stated" seed. Do not buy "oil seed radish" as these varieties do not have big tap roots. Many farmers buy the wrong kind of seed and then complain that tillage radishes do not work. Don't make this mistake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Lots of water

I'll do some digging around. I know the guys that have been working this land since they were kids. I really just want the water to enter the water table faster. What I really need to do is raise, and grade my land back there, so the runoff stays in the fields. I'm sure part of the reason for the depressions/low spots size, is because pf the weight of the water that keeps compacting it year after year.
I don't have any worry of utilities or transmission pipelines back there, It's been farmland forever, and there are no pipeline markers at the nearest road(s). Plus I just had the local one call out, for locates, when I installed the garden. We can't even get cable TV out here, and Ma'Bell is out in the ditch/road ROW, power is overhead.

Here's the area I'm talking about. You can see how it's partially in the field and partially on my land. When it's really bad, I get alot of the debris from the field, left on my lawn. Pic is from last year going into spring...
That's a lot of water. Once you find out how thick an impermeable is you can figure out the best approach. If you've got several feet of clay under there an excavator to build a pond might be your best option, lol. The tillage radish idea might work if the clay isn't too thick. My understanding is they are a little picky about staying wet while growing so you might have to plant them earlier than you would if mixed in a cover crop.

Let us know what you find under the top soil layer.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That's a lot of water. Once you find out how thick an impermeable is you can figure out the best approach. If you've got several feet of clay under there an excavator to build a pond might be your best option, lol. The tillage radish idea might work if the clay isn't too thick. My understanding is they are a little picky about staying wet while growing so you might have to plant them earlier than you would if mixed in a cover crop.

Let us know what you find under the top soil layer.

Treefarmer
Yeah, and that had subsided some, at the time of the pic. I have tossed the pond idea around lol. I'd rather have the trees. As many chemicals as they put in the soil, and spray over head with dusters, the water would be damn near useless. I've got the room for one tho.

How about a non mechanical alternative. Plant some tillage radishes :



(1) "Tillage radish" = forage radish are varieties of Japanese radish = daikon specifically selected for having very large tap roots that can penetrate 10 to 24 inches into the soil. The root system of tillage radishes normally extends 6 to 7 feet down into the subsoil. MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU BUY ONLY NAMED VARIETIES OF TILLAGE RADISH SELECTED FOR BIG TAP ROOTS. Do not buy VNS = "variety not stated" seed. Do not buy "oil seed radish" as these varieties do not have big tap roots. Many farmers buy the wrong kind of seed and then complain that tillage radishes do not work. Don't make this mistake.
I'd have to do more research on that idea. It's something I'd never thought about.

I pulled a real JD sub-soiler back in 1975,, the HP demand was unbelievable.

The sub-soiler went in 36",, and we had a 4" "torpedo" connected to the back of the tip with a 6" chain..

We knew it was wrong, but my BIL said do it,,
I pulled that sub-soiler with a 200+HP (PTO horsepower) JD tractor,,, in first gear,,

That tractor was not to be used in third gear or below for high HP pulling,,
I think there was even a warning decal somewhere,,,

SO, when I wanted to do my garden,, I knew I had nothing like that,, instead, I trenched with a backhoe.

I dumped composted wood chips in the 3-4 foot deep trenches,, then back filled with a compost/dirt mix

It really only took a day,, I figure that it is a once in a lifetime task.
the garden has never been soggy since, that was over a decade ago,,,:good2:
Was that just a single subsoiler? Did it have wings too?
They say subsoiling works very well, if the soil will allow the drainage. I'm only looking at a single, with a 20"-24" depth, if I go this route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
Was that just a single subsoiler? Did it have wings too?
They say subsoiling works very well, if the soil will allow the drainage. I'm only looking at a single, with a 20"-24" depth, if I go this route.
It was a single shank, with steel wheels,, it was old,,

The "torpedo" was a piece of 4" schedule 80 pipe my BIL found somewhere,,

I cut off a piece 18" long, torched, and beat the last 6 inches into a kind of a point, hence the name, torpedo.

The torpedo made it pull twice as hard,, the sub-soiler left a mound of earth close to a foot high.

We planted corn after sub-soiling with that single shank attachment.

I had pulled it about every 30-40 feet,,
you could see the corn was dramatically taller near where I had gone.

Sometimes, two rows were taller,,

Prior to me doing that field, many years before, my BIL had done some of that field,, but,,
they had to pull it with three of the smaller tractors they had 25 years earlier,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It was a single shank, with steel wheels,, it was old,,

The "torpedo" was a piece of 4" schedule 80 pipe my BIL found somewhere,,

I cut off a piece 18" long, torched, and beat the last 6 inches into a kind of a point, hence the name, torpedo.

The torpedo made it pull twice as hard,, the sub-soiler left a mound of earth close to a foot high.

We planted corn after sub-soiling with that single shank attachment.

I had pulled it about every 30-40 feet,,
you could see the corn was dramatically taller near where I had gone.

Sometimes, two rows were taller,,

Prior to me doing that field, many years before, my BIL had done some of that field,, but,,
they had to pull it with three of the smaller tractors they had 25 years earlier,,,
Interesting. Do you recall how wide the shank leading edge was? Were you using a 2wd tractor?


Just thought I'd put these videos in here.
This one is just awesome because of the raw power being demonstrated...(sounds great)
John Deere 4640 subsoiling | Real American Muscle | Pure Sound! - YouTube

And this one, because this is exactly the tool I'd like to have, to do what I'm thinking...
WG Engineering single leg subsoiler / mole drainer - YouTube
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Cool video

Interesting. Do you recall how wide the shank leading edge was? Were you using a 2wd tractor?


Just thought I'd put these videos in here.
This one is just awesome because of the raw power being demonstrated...(sounds great)
John Deere 4640 subsoiling | Real American Muscle | Pure Sound! - YouTube

And this one, because this is exactly the tool I'd like to have, to do what I'm thinking...
WG Engineering single leg subsoiler / mole drainer - YouTube
Interesting video. I liked the single shank design as it had the roller to limit depth rather than depending on the tractor hydraulics. We have a single shank one that will go about 30" deep if you have the hp to pull it. It's mostly a 3/4" thick chunk of steel about 15" front to back with a tooth on the bottom. The last time I remember using it was with a 70 hp 2 wd tractor and it would not pull it to full depth. We didn't use it much for subsoiling but it worked great to lay water line. Run that sucker twice about 6" apart, clean out the broken up dirt and lay the line. Obviously a trencher works better but this was before trenchers were available in our area. We still have it, I've often thought about adding a place for a spool of wire and a tube on the back but haven't done it. . . yet.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
Interesting. Do you recall how wide the shank leading edge was? Were you using a 2wd tractor?
This is basically the subsoiler I pulled, except the frame was touching the ground as I went along,,


It was amazing we did not pull it in half.

I was using a dual wheel 2WD 4630 with the injection pump turned up a LOT!!

We pegged a 200HP PTO dynamometer with that tractor.

The JD mechanic was amazed at what that tractor produced for HP,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
I have this old subsoiler behind my 2038r. It can easily stop the tractor if you hit super hard areas. But then just make another pass or two and it works great. I have in the second pass gotten it sunk all the way down to the horizontal member starting to touch. I just realized I don’t have a picture of it that is current. I refurbished it and now it’s nice and shiny JD green.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2017 2038r 72” MMM Command Cut 220r loader
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
This is basically the subsoiler I pulled, except the frame was touching the ground as I went along,,


It was amazing we did not pull it in half.

I was using a dual wheel 2WD 4630 with the injection pump turned up a LOT!!

We pegged a 200HP PTO dynamometer with that tractor.

The JD mechanic was amazed at what that tractor produced for HP,,,
Vintage for sure. Nothing like I had pictured in my mind. Pretty awesome, that crawler is just chugging along not even breaking a sweat.

I have this old subsoiler behind my 2038r. It can easily stop the tractor if you hit super hard areas. But then just make another pass or two and it works great. I have in the second pass gotten it sunk all the way down to the horizontal member starting to touch. I just realized I don’t have a picture of it that is current. I refurbished it and now it’s nice and shiny JD green.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190428/171e02af2b0d2a0a413490a3292cd480.jpg[IMG]

[/QUOTE]

If you get an updated pic of yours, please post up.

That's pretty much the same that EA offers.
[url="https://www.everythingattachments.com/3-Point-Hitch-Subsoiler-p/eta-subsoiler.htm"]3 Point Hitch Subsoiler[/url]

I'm leaning towards that one because it offers the most depth capability, and the most steel at the best price, to my door. Plus I like the idea of shearbolt protection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Here in our bush, I have used a single shank sub soil tool very similar to what Heavy Hitch offers. Using a box blade type scarifier shank.

The ground of our pastures are reclaimed heavy forest. The single point has helped to get more snow melt into the ground quicker than un tilled ground.

However.. I have been working on plans to build a "mole plow" type shank to fit my tractor size and horse power considering this ground. I'm thinking a length of 2x2x1/4 square tube for the mole end on a 3/4 x 3" shank running about 12 - 14" deep. The key thing here being the mole head leaving an opening of better use for holding water than just a strait fracture top to bottom of the cut.

My 5 cents of opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
I use the Frontier subsoiler on the same tractor Jamone has, 2038R. Bought it to make a garden site. Needed to rip roots and rocks up to preserve my tiller. Worked great. It will bring your tractor to a halt, no big deal though, just go slow and work your way through the soil. My garden was excellent last year, and I do believe a lot of it due to the subsoiling. Water soaked in very deep and my crops rooted deeply. Even by the end of summer, I could easily dig around two foot down in the soil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
The requested photos.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2017 2038r 72” MMM Command Cut 220r loader
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
I was using a dual wheel 2WD 4630 with the injection pump turned up a LOT!!

We pegged a 200HP PTO dynamometer with that tractor.

The JD mechanic was amazed at what that tractor produced for HP,,,
4630's were great tractors! They were rated ~150 hp from the factory.
Ours came out pushing about 210 every time we dyno'd it, and we USED all of that HP!
Throw triples on it with chemical tanks mounted on the front to do heavy tillage and planting.
Hour meter rolled over twice on that one, and we never touched the engine. Most reliable tractor we ever owned.
Sadly, it wasn't "worth" much when we sold it, as there was no 3 point and only 2 hydraulics.
:greentractorride:
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top