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  1. #1

    Default Learning How / field preparation

    I'd like to ask the membership for a brief(or not) "in-order" rundown of the steps/attachments needed to prepare a field/garden for planting.
    I know this is born-in basic to you farm-family guys, but to a newly-retired w/20 acres, it is need-to-know stuff.

    So far the only ref. of this type I have found is an old JD book...I'd like a more current slant(any book reccommendations?)

    I have in mind a KISS outline...something like this (my example is just for form...PROBABLY NOT correct order!?):

    1st - Mow? or Plow ( what it does, tips etc.)
    2nd - Harrow (what it does, tips etc.)
    3rd - pulverize or cultivate or whatever, (what it does, tips etc,)
    4th - (and so-forth)

    Thanks guys ( or gals:-),
    Larry


  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    712
    Location
    Central Mississippi, USA
    Tractor
    Case-International 385, Kubota L5450 w/LA1150A loader

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    Larry, I'm sure you will get many opinions on this subject [seems as if we have lots of opinions :-)], but I think the type of equipment you have will help in determining the process. There are varying types of self powered and tractor drawn implements available. What do you own?

    For starters, I would prefer to apply a herbicide such as Roundup before plowing if you are starting a garden in a grassy area. It will kill the roots and save a lot of cultivating later on.

    Your County Agricultural Agent might have a booklet geared to the home gardner. It will give you many tips on seed bed preparation and planting/harvesting information.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    Gene,

    The tractor will be a JD4700 HST (40 hp/pto).
    The field implements will depend on what I learn here!

    Thanks,
    Larry


  4. #4

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    Maybe I should add that my 8(+/-) acres of cleared land (so-far) has been in pasture/mowed and "hayed" but the soil not "worked" for 10 years or more.

    Larry


  5. #5
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,277
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    ... hardly an expert in this field (pun intended), but it seems the amount of area to work will play a factor. If you intend to continually work the whole 8 acres you'll probably want farm type equipment (plows, discs etc.) but if you only intend to garden a portion of it a tiller may be the ticket.

    Rob

  6. #6
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,277
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    ... more thoughts...

    Soil type and establishment of existing cover will be factors too. This past summer I disced about 8 of our 10 acres. It was mostly to smooth out the furrows left from previous farming. Worked really well but our soil is sandy and the weeds were only about a year old. With more established roots and/or clay soil the disc probably wouldn't have cut much. Moisture content matters too I found. Sorry no answers, just more questions...

    Rob

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    1,344
    Location
    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
    Tractor
    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    Larry:

    I can't say what the "right" way is but here's what I've tried.

    We moved to our 3.5 Acres two years ago. The land is like yours - used to be pasture. The first spring we wanted to put in a small vegetable garden and some flower gardens so I rented a walk-behind rototiller (didn't have the tractor yet) and went to work tilling up garden plots.

    Well... The grass/hay/weeds just LOVED it! And we have had to spend a MAJOR amount of effort weeding those gardens because the grass/hay/weeks came back stronger than ever!

    I got the tractor in September so I have prepared a few new planting beds by first scraping up 2-3 inches of "sod" with the FEL and THEN rototilling. We'll see in the spring if 2-3 inches was enough to get "below" the weeds.

    I have not had the chance to go the "Roundup" route. I'm usually working on the "Honey, I got these bulbs and I want to plant them this weekend" schedule so don't have the lead time roundup requires.

    WVBill


  8. #8
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    13,163
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046 & Craftman T2200 lawn mower.

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    LHSmith,
    First how many arces are you planing to prep?
    After the area been cut and clear it maybe cheaper to hire someone who already has a tiller on there tractor.
    If your planing to do all the work yourself also add more on in the future you may consider purchasing a tiller.

    The yesterday's years of field equipment still work fine,but take longer and the tiller the way to go. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Farming has change alot and if you can contact your local state AG department, I'm sure they can show the new and improve ways.


    Thomas..NH [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    38,371
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    Larry, darn it, register, tell us what equipment you have, etc. and then we can help you better. But for starters . . ., when I bought my 10 acres (6 years ago), I wanted to make about a 9,000 square foot garden plot in what had been cow pasture (coastal bermuda with an assortment of weeds, etc.) Now the "real" farmers start with Roundup, but I'm hardheaded and decided I just wanted to see what I could do with no chemicals. So I just started tilling (40" Bush Hog RTS40 tiller on a B7100) and I made multiple passes. And since we were doing a lot of clearing at my brother's place and the neighbor next door, I ran many, many small limbs and lots of brush through a 5hp Craftsman chipper/shredder and tilled that in (my land is a black clay/loam). Then I went to the county agent and got the forms and containers and took soil samples and sent them for analysis (I think it cost me 10 bucks) and they said it was good, but would need nitrogen later. Then I started raising rabbits (I'm convinced that's the best fertilizer in the world). I also cleaned out a neighbor's "calf barn" that his big tractor wouldn't get into and hadn't been cleaned out in 4 years (two dump truck loads) and tilled that in. And if anyone has a more productive garden plot than mine, I haven't seen it yet.

    Now I would recommend using the Roundup (unless you just want to be stubborn like me), then turn the soil with a moldboard or double buster first, followed by a tiller, to get it loosened up good and deep. Then get a soil analysis done to see what chemicals you need if you don't have access to plenty of "organic" fertilizer. This Fall I did use the turning plow, and then the tiller to cultivate a little deeper. The other thing I do is till the garden every time it rains, then gets dry enough to till (gives me a chance to play on the tractor, keeps the soil loosened up so all the moisture soaks in instead of running off, and keeps down weeds and grass - I hate those long handled tools like a hoe).[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Good luck with your garden.

    Bird

  10. #10

    Default Re: Learning How / field preparation

    LOL!

    Be patient with me Bird...and all you "old hands".
    I'll register ( shortly!) when I HAVE some equipment to tell you about ( although I did tell someone, if you read the whole thread, what I plan to get - JD4700, ordering this week) and about my fields.

    Hey, it's all you guy's fault I'm asking these [censored] questions anyway... that's what you get for being such helpful experts. Now quicherbitchin', I want to go think up some more!

    Bird, your answer is just the type I was looking for... and yes, I'm stubborn, too. I'd like to try it without the poison (and maybe learn the hard-way). I've got time now, in retirement, to till those weeds to death, if thats what it takes. If I don't put a lot of hours on this tractor, I've wasted my money.

    Merry Christmas, and THANKS Everybody!

    Larry


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