Anyone build their own small no till seed drill?

   #1  

Greenvalleymatt

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I've got an old disc harrow, a welder, and scrap steel, plus enough southern ingenuity to try to scrap together a small drill for cover crops at my place. Seems most used drills are expensive or very old, and I'm wondering if anyone has built one that worked pretty well? Pic for attention.
 

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   #2  

Bearsixty7

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I had been watching for a small 60"-72" no till drill as well and you aren't kidding about expensive!
You should post a video of yours in action.
 
  
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Greenvalleymatt

Greenvalleymatt

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I had been watching for a small 60"-72" no till drill as well and you aren't kidding about expensive!
You should post a video of yours in action.
This isn't actually mine, I just screenshoted it of the internet. I'm hoping others might have converted some for theirs. I'm considering using a small cultivator for mine, setting up the box on top and add wheels and a pully and belt for the seeder, but I'm not sure what would work best for The actual mechanism that picks up and drops the seed.
 
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5030

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.....be a heck of a lot cheaper and less time consuming to broadcast the seed with a hand spreader and set it with a drag mat. You won't get the consistency of germination but you will get a much cheaper date.. How I've always over seeded my established hayfields. Mechanized planters are way too expensive for my uses, even used and abused ones aren't cheap.
 
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DJ54

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Are you planting into ground that you took a crop off of..?? And what are you wanting to sow..?? I sowed Oats on my small potato patch last year in Sept., intending to get 8"-10" tall cover crop, then get a winter kill. I disked it up with a pretty aggressive cut on the disk, Sowed the Oats with a pull larger pull type broadcast spreader, then set the disk to a light cut, to cover it up. Worked very well. We had a warm late Fall, and Oats got to the boot stage, before it finally got cold enough to kill it. I had to mow it this Spring to chop it up, before plowing down. Love the fact you don't get a heavy root mass like with cereal rye to deal with when cultivating, at least in a garden.

For over seeding/inter-seeding in established pastures, I use 2 methods. I bought a small 4' slit seeder that was used by a local high school to over seed their football field When they went to Astro-Turf, they had no use for it. Got it at a surplus sale for $100, it's not pretty, but works great for sowing grasses, clover, timothy, etc. Although it's only 4' wide, suggested planting speed is around 6 mph. It has a PTO driven cutter that makes approx. 1/4" slits through sod, a ground driven seed box with drop tubes, and curved disks to cover it up. I usually do a Fall planting with it here in Ohio, to get crops started before winter.

I have a 3rd option I can use here, but probably not suitable in southern states. Frost seeding works well here in late winter/very early Spring. Simply broadcast seed, especially clovers when in the early Spring the ground honeycombs during freeze/thaw cycles. You're basically mimicking Mother Nature, dropping seeds on the surface, and the honeycombing of the dirt lets the seed in holes, then covers when it thaws. Works great if you have the weather to do it.

If you're determined to go the drill method, and are planting finer seeds, then a slit seeder would work well for you. But, I don't believe the slots in the seeder will let larger seeds like oats or cereal rye, and definitely any larger seeds through. Mine is a Toro, and used mainly for golf courses, and athletic fields, or doing lawns. And, you don't have to wait until the wind lays to sow, like with broadcast seeding.

Below is prepping to sow oats, and the stand I got. Using the EZ Spreader for frost seeding, and the Toro slit seeder I used, to inter-seed into my hayfield last Sept.
 

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   #6  

Bearsixty7

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.....be a heck of a lot cheaper and less time consuming to broadcast the seed with a hand spreader and set it with a drag mat. You won't get the consistency of germination but you will get a much cheaper date.. How I've always over seeded my established hayfields. Mechanized planters are way too expensive for my uses, even used and abused ones aren't cheap.
Exactly what I just did a few weeks ago for the deer food plot but I used a 50" cattle panel cut in half drug behind the disk.
Worked great until it found that one buried stump and snagged one end and bent the snot out of the bottom cattle panel! :(
 
  
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Greenvalleymatt

Greenvalleymatt

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I had been watching for a small 60"-72" no till drill as well and you aren't kidding about expensive!
You should post a video of yours in action.

Are you planting into ground that you took a crop off of..?? And what are you wanting to sow..?? I sowed Oats on my small potato patch last year in Sept., intending to get 8"-10" tall cover crop, then get a winter kill. I disked it up with a pretty aggressive cut on the disk, Sowed the Oats with a pull larger pull type broadcast spreader, then set the disk to a light cut, to cover it up. Worked very well. We had a warm late Fall, and Oats got to the boot stage, before it finally got cold enough to kill it. I had to mow it this Spring to chop it up, before plowing down. Love the fact you don't get a heavy root mass like with cereal rye to deal with when cultivating, at least in a garden.

For over seeding/inter-seeding in established pastures, I use 2 methods. I bought a small 4' slit seeder that was used by a local high school to over seed their football field When they went to Astro-Turf, they had no use for it. Got it at a surplus sale for $100, it's not pretty, but works great for sowing grasses, clover, timothy, etc. Although it's only 4' wide, suggested planting speed is around 6 mph. It has a PTO driven cutter that makes approx. 1/4" slits through sod, a ground driven seed box with drop tubes, and curved disks to cover it up. I usually do a Fall planting with it here in Ohio, to get crops started before winter.

I have a 3rd option I can use here, but probably not suitable in southern states. Frost seeding works well here in late winter/very early Spring. Simply broadcast seed, especially clovers when in the early Spring the ground honeycombs during freeze/thaw cycles. You're basically mimicking Mother Nature, dropping seeds on the surface, and the honeycombing of the dirt lets the seed in holes, then covers when it thaws. Works great if you have the weather to do it.

If you're determined to go the drill method, and are planting finer seeds, then a slit seeder would work well for you. But, I don't believe the slots in the seeder will let larger seeds like oats or cereal rye, and definitely any larger seeds through. Mine is a Toro, and used mainly for golf courses, and athletic fields, or doing lawns. And, you don't have to wait until the wind lays to sow, like with broadcast seeding.

Below is prepping to sow oats, and the stand I got. Using the EZ Spreader for frost seeding, and the Toro slit seeder I used, to inter-seed into my hayfield last Sept.
That's awesome! Good job man, that's exactly what I'm looking to do. I already tilled and broadcast cowpeas a week or so ago, they are coming up nicely. I would like a seeder that I can plant in a mowed down crop, so as to not have bare soil ever. I'm trying to choke out the grasses with cover and shade as much as possible. My typical cover is nitrogen legumes, I've had great luck with cowpeas and Austrian winter peas. What I'm hoping with the cowpeas is that I can till them in mid summer and plant sunflowers after and hope they get a good enough jump before the grass bounces back.
 
  
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Greenvalleymatt

Greenvalleymatt

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.....be a heck of a lot cheaper and less time consuming to broadcast the seed with a hand spreader and set it with a drag mat. You won't get the consistency of germination but you will get a much cheaper date.. How I've always over seeded my established hayfields. Mechanized planters are way too expensive for my uses, even used and abused ones aren't cheap.
I've got a chain harrow that I was planning to use for that purpose, I'm wondering if the cheaper ATV seeders are worth much, either the ones with the trough that you drag, or the one you mount and it electronically spin seeds, there are quite a few options for under 200$
 
   #9  

DJ54

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You may want to consider something like Renovation Clover. It's a white clover that get's 16"-18" tall. I sowed some in a mix in my hay field to provide Nitrogen, instead of applying Urea. Too many times they've called for 70-80% chance of rain, so I applied the Urea, only to get sunshine for 2-3days, and lost the Urea to the atmosphere.

At least with the clover you can let it mature, then, mow, and it will re-seed itself, and always have a cover. I sowed an area maybe 100' X 100' with the Renovation Clover to choke out Foxtail and Larkspur I got in some junk hay, then spread the manure on the field. So far this Spring, it is thick enough, the only thing else in that area is a little Fescue I sowed in with it. The only reason it is growing I figure, is because it got up before the clover could get any height to it. It's not cheap, but only requires about 2 lbs. to the acre. The seed dealer warned me that planting at the 2 lb. rate, it could become invasive, and choke everything else out. But in that one particular spot, that's exactly what I wanted.

Keep an eye on those Peas. A buddy of mine sowed some last Fall for a cover crop, but never came up, at least until this Spring. Right now, he said they are chest high. As usual, he waits too long to do anything. Now, he will have to mow them with a rotary cutter, and plow down, or till them in.
 
  
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Greenvalleymatt

Greenvalleymatt

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You may want to consider something like Renovation Clover. It's a white clover that get's 16"-18" tall. I sowed some in a mix in my hay field to provide Nitrogen, instead of applying Urea. Too many times they've called for 70-80% chance of rain, so I applied the Urea, only to get sunshine for 2-3days, and lost the Urea to the atmosphere.

At least with the clover you can let it mature, then, mow, and it will re-seed itself, and always have a cover. I sowed an area maybe 100' X 100' with the Renovation Clover to choke out Foxtail and Larkspur I got in some junk hay, then spread the manure on the field. So far this Spring, it is thick enough, the only thing else in that area is a little Fescue I sowed in with it. The only reason it is growing I figure, is because it got up before the clover could get any height to it. It's not cheap, but only requires about 2 lbs. to the acre. The seed dealer warned me that planting at the 2 lb. rate, it could become invasive, and choke everything else out. But in that one particular spot, that's exactly what I wanted.

Keep an eye on those Peas. A buddy of mine sowed some last Fall for a cover crop, but never came up, at least until this Spring. Right now, he said they are chest high. As usual, he waits too long to do anything. Now, he will have to mow them with a rotary cutter, and plow down, or till them in.
I'm wondering at what height/thickness I would need to mow then till the cover crop in? I tried tilling grass in not to long ago and ended up with a mess in the tiller, had to grab the mower, then till. And thanks for the recommendation on the clover. And also wow, I have had the Austrian peas take a while to come up as we'll, but never seen them that tall, 3 1/2 feet maybe but not 5 ft.
 
 
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