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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    116
    Location
    southern states
    Tractor
    Hinomoto e2004 aka 5020

    Default looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    my heavy clay/slate soil isn't doing very well seems like there are alot of 1-3" dirt clods i can't seem to get rid of.. my soil won't dry out completely below 3" even though it's on a 4-5% slope.. I was wondering what causes these rock hard clods and how do i get rid of them without spending thousands on new equip..

    when i tilled it's been with 6-7 days of dry weather and surface layers have been dry..

    I have a grader blade.. tiller.. subsoiler and a (small disc to pull behind lawn mower) any suggestions?
    I'll post some pics sometime..

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,534
    Location
    Blair, Ne.
    Tractor
    L3130

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    Did you just go over it once or after it dried a bit?

    Sounds like you need to go back over it with the tiller again to break up the clods. They should break up after drying a bit. By working up the dirt it will let it dry out faster.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    155
    Location
    Sugar Land,Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    keep tilling it and eventually it will break the clods. I also heared somewhere there is additive like lime you spread over it and it will help break the clay. Someone here probably knows what it is.
    Mike

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    3,044
    Location
    Windham County, Conn
    Tractor
    Ford 2120 , New Holland TN75D, Hitachi UH083LC Excavator

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    I think your refering to Gypsum power. My Dad (a long time Nursery man used it to break up clay).

    Andy

  5. #5

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    I have clay soil and I found that initially I was not running my tiller at high enough RPMs to do a good job (problem with hard clay balls). Now I run my tiller at close to 540 PTO RPMs and it does a good job of breaking up the clay balls.

    This year I added 15 yards of compost to the soil and it helped immensely. However, that is a pretty pricey solution.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    1,055
    Location
    WVa
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710, Ford 5600, Case MB4/94, Kubota B6200

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    That's normal for clay. To loosen it up and make it more friable over time you might consider planting winter rye in the fall and mowing it in the spring long enough before tilling for it to start to rot.

    During the summer, when temps warm up, you can put in buckwheat, and do the same thing. Buckwheat grows fast. Mow it when you first see flowers so it doesn't go to seed and start volunteering.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    116
    Location
    southern states
    Tractor
    Hinomoto e2004 aka 5020

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    I tilled it about 8 times now...I've slowed my ground speed down to creeper + low range and 3rd gear which is pretty much too slow but seems to help break up the clods a little better and i hate to spend any more days on it....

    I've thought i might have to let it freeze this winter.. i did have some type of rye grass material on it before i plowed it under.. subsoiled and then tilled it..

    thanks for the ideas..

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    218
    Location
    Fort Wayne,IN (NE)
    Tractor
    New Holland TC33D

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    The not dry enough part is your problem. Now you are tearing apart the soil structure and creating paste. Stay off it until its dry. ALWAYS [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    597
    Location
    Edgewood, New Mexico
    Tractor
    JD4100

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    Add sand -lots and lots of sand, along with organic material as suggested by others. This is the only long-term solution.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    Tractor
    JD 4100

    Default Re: looks like my tiller has made a clod garden?

    MLB has it right. Wait until the ground is dry enough that a handful crumbles in your hand when you squeeze it. Bone dry is too hard [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img], and muddy is too wet [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]. If it can't crumble, it's either too dry & hard, or too wet and muddy. A potato plow can help break up clay if it's too dry but not too hard, then till it slowly. It doesn't take long because only one pass is needed. And compost. Add as much organic material as possible and every year the ground gets easier and richer.

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