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Button Buck Aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get into the food plot game, but haven't had success using a disc to prepare a seed bed...Would a roto-tiller be an effective way to start doing this or would I be wasting money and time?
 

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Are you talking about a 3-point tiller for a tractor, or a walk-behind model?
 

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Button Buck Aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm thinking about a 3-point...that walk behind might be a little difficult..haha....but the disc I have doesn't really do the damage to really have any success and the crabgrass and weeds take over too quickly...and I don't have a drill so i'm thinking of a 3-pt tiller and broadcasting and working it over
 

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No matter how deep you till or how much breakage you get in the soil, you'll never completely get rid of problem grasses and weeds. In fact, in a lot of cases, simply disturbing the soil (with anything) promotes weed growth. The only thing that works well is a pre-emergent or a herbicide that is applied once the weeds/grasses start to actively grow.

As far as "working it over", keep in mind that a lot of seeds require a very shallow planting depth (less than 1/8th inch) for good germination. Seeds like clover, alfalfa, chicory, turnips, and most brassicas come to mind. Some grains, like milo and corn, can benefit from a deeper planting depth, but you still have to be careful not to get them too deep.

I've had the best luck using a heavy disc with notched blades, front and rear. For virgin soil, or ground that hasn't been worked in several years, I'll turn the ground over with a 3-bottom moldboard plow before discing.

3-point tillers are nice and can certainly do a good job under the right soil conditions, but they are more expensive to buy and maintain than a good disc is.
 

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[rquote=1584503&tid=109992&author=cshoff]No matter how deep you till or how much breakage you get in the soil, you'll never completely get rid of problem grasses and weeds. In fact, in a lot of cases, simply disturbing the soil (with anything) promotes weed growth. The only thing that works well is a pre-emergent or a herbicide that is applied once the weeds/grasses start to actively grow.

As far as "working it over", keep in mind that a lot of seeds require a very shallow planting depth (less than 1/8th inch) for good germination. Seeds like clover, alfalfa, chicory, turnips, and most brassicas come to mind. Some grains, like milo and corn, can benefit from a deeper planting depth, but you still have to be careful not to get them too deep.

I've had the best luck using a heavy disc with notched blades, front and rear. For virgin soil, or ground that hasn't been worked in several years, I'll turn the ground over with a 3-bottom moldboard plow before discing.

3-point tillers are nice and can certainly do a good job under the right soil conditions, but they are more expensive to buy and maintain than a good disc is. [/rquote]

all very true!!!:cheers::cheers:
 

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[rquote=1584536&tid=109992&author=Drenalinjunky]The disc I use(d) wasn't notched...do the notches make a lot of difference?[/rquote]Notched blades tend to cut deeper all things being equal. The key to any disc is weight, the more the better. Most 3 pt disc's simply aren't heavy enough to cut well in anything but loose soil. The ATV implements are even lighter. You may still get good results by making multiple passes but plan on spending a lot of time doing it. 3 pt discs are handy and have their place but not as soil breakers in most instances. 3 pt and ATV implements are certainly better than nothing and for many folks the only option. Just don't expect more than they are capable of.
 

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The tilth-o-lator or whatever they are called do a bang up job. It's a one or two pass job and ready for seed. I have quite a few still in my plot and they don't present a problem.
 

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i wish i had a 3pt roto tiller. time is money. hook up the plow, drive to plot, plow it up. drive back to barn, unhook plow, hook up disc, drive back to ploot and disc everything you JUST got done plowing up. it would be nice to just break ground and till it all in one swoop for sure.
 

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it will work for sure as long as you take your time...true story...I have one main plot and I originally started it with a walk behind tiller. It took about two weeks after work and was ALOT of work but its all I had and I enjoyed being outside. :cheers:
 

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[rquote=1584573&tid=109992&author=JrNation88]it will work for sure as long as you take your time...true story...I have one main plot and I originally started it with a walk behind tiller. It took about two weeks after work and was ALOT of work but its all I had and I enjoyed being outside. :cheers:[/rquote]

I love being outside as well...not sure i could handle 2 weeks behind a walk behind tiller though:eek:
 

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[rquote=1584546&tid=109992&author=nastyjack63][rquote=1584536&tid=109992&author=Drenalinjunky]The disc I use(d) wasn't notched...do the notches make a lot of difference?[/rquote]Notched blades tend to cut deeper all things being equal. The key to any disc is weight, the more the better. Most 3 pt disc's simply aren't heavy enough to cut well in anything but loose soil. The ATV implements are even lighter. You may still get good results by making multiple passes but plan on spending a lot of time doing it. 3 pt discs are handy and have their place but not as soil breakers in most instances. 3 pt and ATV implements are certainly better than nothing and for many folks the only option. Just don't expect more than they are capable of.[/rquote]

Yep. Weight is the key to successfully tilling up the soil with a disc, and notched blades cut more aggressively than standard, smooth blades do. We bought a new heavy-duty 8ft, 3-point disc a few years ago and when I ordered it, I specified sealed ball bearings and heavy-duty notched blades. We also bought the heaviest 8 footer we could find at the time and it weighs in at 975 pounds. You won't find one like that at Orscheln most likely.
 

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we use the 6ft king kutter tiller around here, does a bang up job, last yr i seeded within minutes of tilling, and that was to date my best foodplots yet
 

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I got em all. I prefer my notched disc/plow over the rotor tiller. On plots less than a 1/4 acre timewise they are about the same. The rotor tiller is best for small confined areas. Plowing not required unless the field has set idle for a couple of years or more. Killing /cutting grass is a key time saver for both methods!
 

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Nuthin wrong with the garden tiller!

Oh and the reason the picture is blurry is my hands and arms are still vibrating from running the tiller for 3 solid hours :D

[file]94913[/file]
 
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