Another question re plowing/disking

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mountaineer, May 20, 2006.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I plowed a small section of field a couple weeks back, was a bit wet and hard to plow, it didn't flip over perfectly.
    I have now disked it about 6 times. I could keep going and going, but there are clumps of grass that just won't dissapear. I can do it by hand, but there MUST be a better way, right?
    I'm using a 50-60 pound weight on the disker (small tractor, 9N). I'm trying to think of a heavier weight, I just have nothing around except that rock, rocks are difficult to attach.
    Hope to hear any ideas!
     
  2. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    Why do you want the grass to disappear?

    What are you trying to grow?
     

  3. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If youve disced it that much, it should be in tolorable condition to replow. So do that, and make sure its dry enough to plow with as good a speed as you can muster, and youll bury it. Also, if youve got tractor enough, set the plow a couple a notches deeper than normal
     
  4. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    Be careful you don't do any damage to your soil..as going over it too many times with your tractor might compact the soil too much.
     
  5. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the help. Yes I'm going for a veggie garden- not a hayfield- so grass is bad in here. I'll take a look in the morning, but I will likely try plowing it again. Afraid grass will come up from underneith but it's worth an experimintal pass, and decide from there.
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Are you approaching the area from a different direction each time? Such makes quite a differance.
     
  7. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    You're compacting your soil. You want those tractor wheels to cross the soil as few times as possible. Your disc breaks up the surface, but you're packing the soil below where it cuts.

    If the grass is such a problem, either do it by hand or use an herbicide. Check out those used in no-till.
     
  8. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I was concerned about compaction. I guess I'm looking for an alternate from herbicides. I don't use herbicides around here, though they would solve all the problems.
    I'm just going out- I'll try the old hand pick method, if it's realistic, I'll get the veggies in there too.
    I'm used to hoeing by hand weekly all summer for the first 1-2 years of a new veggie garden to get it under control, but this garden is pretty big. And this little tractor is just so fun.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A disk is good to get the lumps broken up. But 6 times across & you make a pavement out of the ground....

    What all 10-acre folks want to do is plow on Monday, disk on Wednesday, & plant on Friday.

    Doesn't work well that way.

    Plow in fall, let the frost mellow the soil, disk once, maybe 2x in spring, harrow if you need more leveling, and you have a wonderful seedbed.

    At least let the ground get rained on a few times if you plow in spring. And don't plow in spring if the ground is too wet - makes bricks, and you won't get those lumps worked down.

    If you have to plow, disk, plant all in the same week:

    Plow it.

    Disk or harrow it when the lumps are dry on the surface, bust still wet inside. The would be within 24 hours or so. Timing is _critical_ on getting those lumps broken up nicely. Dry outside, moist inside, & a disk will do a lot for you.

    Wait a day or 2, then work it again. Would be perfect if you could get a light rain on it before working again.

    If you need to disk it more than 2x, you will have issues. (And, I've had issues, happens some years!)

    After plowing, there shouldn't be much for grass patches.....

    Many times a worn out or too light disk is used, it doesn't cut well enough.

    In real farming, disks have pretty much been parked in the grove. Field culivators do a better job of soil prep. They lift the lumps & stuff to the surface, leaving a nice seedbed of fine soil a couple inches down, where the seed will be. Also the lifting action helps airate the soil, while a disk packs it down.

    Plowing a second time is a drastic action, it doesn't work well in sod, and again you will have fresh lumpy soil to work up all over again..... Yea I've been there too. ;)

    Random thoughts as the learning process continues. :)

    --->Paul
     
  10. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

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    After you plow wait half a day or so for the tops to dry and then knock the slabs apart with a harrow.
     
  11. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    Aha! Therein, son, lies the road to perdition. Soon you'll find yourself deciding to expand the garden just to that ditchline. Then you'll be deciding that the patch behind the barn would perfect to grow some extra produce. You'll start volunteering to do the neighbor's plowing...even when the neighbor doesn't want a garden. The time to worry is when you decide to mow the highway right-of-way because you haven't been on the tractor for a week. Been there. :buds:

    That's one of the arguments for using mules. They have a set limit of how much plowing should be done on any farm and they stick to it. :baby04:
     
  12. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    LOL! All the neighbors have brand new tractors,sadly they'll never ask for help from the 9N...
     
  13. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    That 9N is great for a garden plot. I have a 240 Farmall and in good soil I have to go to low gear. I try to disc at least three times @ a week apart. That way the weed/grass seeds have time to germinate and I can KILL them(I wish). The last time I drag a harrow behind the disc set about half deep. That levels the bed a bit and really softens it. I sold my hydraulic disc and got a much heavier four section set. Occasionally I get rowdy and deep plow it just to get below the hardpan. I set the soiler plows with my wheel pattern and lay off the rows. That way when the middles need "bustin" the tractor can be used-saves lots of tiller time. Have been rotating our garden spots to let it lay fallow occasionally. Seems to "richen" the land a bit. Will occasionally broadcast Vetch(legume) to turn under after seeding. Gideon/06
     
  14. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea whaere you are or what kind of soil you are working with. What plow did you pull with your 9N, I would think you either have soft soil or a single plow for clay. If you have clay soil and plowed wet this time of year you've definetly made bricks. For clay it's best to plow over winter wet or dry and let the frost break up the soil. If you're going to plow now be sure it's dry. As for the grass just mulch the rows with old hay and the grass will disappear.