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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    184
    Location
    Moore, OK
    Tractor
    NH TC45DA

    Default What to do before tilling?

    I'm planning to put in some watermellons and pumpkins this year. I'm a greenhorn at farming and I would like some advice on what I should do before I till the area.

    The property we purchased has not been worked in 20+ years. The area I want to plant in is covered with native grasses and we have clay soil. I have a subsoiler, disk, 2 row plow and of course a tiller at my disposal. Do I just go out and till the area or should I first run the plow, subsoiler or disk first?

    Thanks for the advice, I need it
    Greg
    Everyday Above Ground is a Good Day
    NH TC45DA, 758C BH, Ottawa brush grapple, County Line 6' tiller, KK PHD with Power Down kit, 6' BrushHog, 6' MF finnish mower, Bionic Blade road grader, KK landscape rake, Kubota ZD326S ZT

  2. #2
    Gold Member gordyy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    348
    Location
    North Dakota
    Tractor
    cub cadet yanmar sc2400 Kubota F2560

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    well not really knowing your soil Id try it first if it throws the tiller around stop, and try something else either the plow or the disc even the subsoiler.
    what ever works easiest
    then get back to tilling
    SC2400 Yanmar CubCadet 60" mmm Fel box blade
    front mount snowblower 42"tiller Cab with heat lights etc. what a TOY!! New SB52 blower
    F2560 Kubota 72" mower cab snowblower

  3. #3
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    1,057
    Location
    South Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota M 6800; Kubota B 2710; Gator; Bushhog ZTR; Volvo Mini Excavator EC45

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    From someone who has never run a tiller on a tractor.

    First I would walk the property and check for debris that need to be removed. Second, how tall is your grass? Is it thick enough it could clog or stall the tiller? If you were not using the tiller looking at your equipment, I would disk it and then run the subsoiler and then disk it again for this year's planting. If it were fall I would subsoil it and let it sit. If you don't need to subsoil it (best way I know to find out is to test it either with shovel or subsoiler) then save time and money and don't.
    Jeremiah 2:11a "Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods?

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    184
    Location
    Moore, OK
    Tractor
    NH TC45DA

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    This Okie soil is pretty tough stuff. The grass is about 1.5ft tall but not very dense as it's native grass. We've had a lot of rain this past week so once it dries out for a few days it will make the ground eaiser to work. I've already walked the area checking for debrie. I tried the subsoiler when I got it in that area and could get it to run pretty deep without a problem and that's why I picked that spot to plant and it seems the soil isn't as hard as some of the other places on the farm.

    I was just wondering if most people that use tillers just go at it with the tiller right off the bat on new ground or use other implements first to loosen it up.

    Thanks for the advice fella's.
    Greg
    Everyday Above Ground is a Good Day
    NH TC45DA, 758C BH, Ottawa brush grapple, County Line 6' tiller, KK PHD with Power Down kit, 6' BrushHog, 6' MF finnish mower, Bionic Blade road grader, KK landscape rake, Kubota ZD326S ZT

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    1,602
    Location
    Southwest VA

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    I plow then disk then till. I find that if I try to just till I end up going over the same place a few times trying to get a nice seed bed. Plowing and disking is much faster than tilling and then I only need to till once or twice at the most. Its easier on the equipment too.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    835
    Location
    Northern Alabama
    Tractor
    2012 Kioti DK45SE, 1994 JD LX176

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    I've read a number of posts in the past few weeks that suggest cutting over it with a brush hog before tilling. This seems to reduce the propensity of the grass wrapping around the tiller shaft and clogging things up.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    My 5 ftkk tiller will just chew 2 ft winter rye up,it doesn't seem to be any problem as far as wrapping around anything.

    If you got a turning plow,you should plow it first,than either disk and till or just till.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member savageayape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    66
    Location
    Poland IN
    Tractor
    JD3520

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    Since your fields are native warm season grasses, I'd try just using the tiller first. If it were fescue, I'd definitely, want to plow it and maybe use a disc before using the tiller. Good luck. It'll all work out for you eventually however you go at it.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    1,132
    Location
    Vancouver Wa.
    Tractor
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    Lots of suggestions and no absolute right or wrong answers. Since the land hasn't been worked in several decades I think I'd run the sub soiler over the area first to loosen up the soil deep. Since you have a plow, I'd use it next to turn under the grass and their roots. Next you could either use the disk or possibly go directly to the tiller. Want to work the soil a good 6-8 inches deep before planting.

    Greg, see you're in Moore. Have family E of town on 149th out past Draper. Cousin is deputy chief for the OKC PD.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    646
    Location
    The real central PA everything else is philly or pittsburgh
    Tractor
    DK45 SE HST

    Default Re: What to do before tilling?

    I would grab something cold, climb on the tractor and plan for a relaxing day. I would run my tiller over it several times, lowering it each time. After a pass or two I would walk it to get the big rocks off to the side. Then I would ride over it with the tiller until it got to the deepest passes, lowering each time I passed, stopping occasionally to get the bigger rocks out.

    I would plan on getting more cold drinks throughout the day.

    Cutting the grass first won't hurt a thing, and would make it finer for tilling in anyway.

    Enjoy. Nothing like some freshly turned earth to remind us of what matters in this world.
    DK45 SE HST, RFM, BB, FEL, PHD, toothbar,rear blade, canopy, pallet forks, 6' tiller, and now I need an addition on my pole building

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