Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

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Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby farmergiffIV » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:53 pm

I am wondering what people use with their Cub to till in their cover crop/green manure and then to prepare seed beds.

I have a 1948 cub and I am trying to figure what which implement I should use/acquire to get the job done. Soil is mostly a sandy loam, primarily decomposed granite. ( I got a couple small shanks that I attached to my cultivator, so far they didn't really get the job done, just made a mess, but it was my first time trying to till in some narly 3 foot hairy vetch) Been watching lots of youtube videos...
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Don McCombs » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:37 am

Mow first, then till.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Barnyard » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:12 am

Use a 193 plow or a disc plow after mowing.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Bigschuss » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:15 am

I flail mow the residue from whatever was growing, then disk the bed several times over the course of a week. Then I use the roller wheel on the flail mower as a kind of poor man's cultipacker to prepare the seed bed. I used winter rye this year...worked great. Then in the spring I turn everything under with my Ford tiller.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:17 pm

Depends on the cover crop. A disk harrow will chop up tender growth, buckwheat, young oats or rye. Stringy stuff, like red clover,needs to be mowed, preferably with a flail mower, to chop it. Mature oats and rye, are best, plowed under. Just started using a disk plow. Turns under lots more residue than a moldboard plow.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby PVF1799 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:11 pm

We've done this many different ways. Now that we don't have a grain drill anymore. We plow, then disk to level. We broadcast spread winter wheat or rye. We open the disk wide(as straight as possible), then disk the field to cover the seed. In the spring we plow it under. For spring planting.

Sometimes depending on the soil test results we top dress with a broadcast spreader with the seed. And fertilizer and or lime.

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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Eugene » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:39 pm

Lot of information provided. Basically if you are planning on turning over the soil you need some sort of plow. Followed by a disk harrow, then a harrow.

My largest garden plot. I leave the cover crop in until spring. Might mow depending on height of the cover crop. If considerable trash on the ground, I plow, then disk, then harrow. Rotor till just prior to planting seeds.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Kirk-NJ » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:12 am

This year after havesting my potatoes I plowed,disc, broadcasted some oats then went over with the york rake.

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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Tubby Creek Farm » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:34 am

Hi there,

Here are some things we have done. With a summer cover (Sorghum sudan, cow peas mixes), where the soil was well disked before seeding we mow it, let it dry some (if there is time) and then disk it a bunch. We don't like plowing it under because it works better as a green manure if its not to deep. We have a double gang disk

Our first try 2 years ago
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby v w » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:12 am

Hairy vetch will winter over some even if tilled. I would start with roundup. Have used several ground covers. Wheat, rye or anything handy. My favorite is oats because winter kills it. With rye some spring growth is possible depending on how early you want to plant things like peas, potatoes, cabbage, radishes, etc. Since I use mulch over the entire garden I no longer use a cover crop. Vern

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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Tubby Creek Farm » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:37 pm

Back to cover cropping and using a cub. Because of the cubs size it can create some difficulties.

We have been using our cub on our CSA and market farm for 2 years now and we are growing on about 5 acres now. So I don't have a lot of experience but can give you insight into what has worked for us and what has not

Are you organic/naturally grown? It also depends on what you are doing next in that spot. Do you need the nitrogen in the very next crop? Are you working it in to get ready to plant another cover crop? And what is the cover crop?

From there I can give you better examples how/what we have done.

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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby farmergiffIV » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:30 pm

Tubby Creek Farm wrote:Back to cover cropping and using a cub.....

Are you organic/naturally grown? It also depends on what you are doing next in that spot. Do you need the nitrogen in the very next crop? Are you working it in to get ready to plant another cover crop? And what is the cover crop?

From there I can give you better examples how/what we have done.



We are organic, more natural but not certified. Got peas/oats in the ground right now, they are about 8"-1 foot tall, got to put some cabbages, lettuce, carrots, beets and peas in soon. I got a rototiller on a kubota that my neighbor rents me, i'm trying to do the rest of the prep work with something else, I think either a disc, or s-tine, we have sandy loam so I think the s-tine would cut through the ground and incorporate the organic matter, but a disk might be more on the safe side since i'm looking at only getting 1 implement right now for the cub. As far as mowing is concerned we are building fencing tomorrow to graze the alpaca over the field, we'll them eat it down for a week.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby twotone » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:02 am

I use soy beans because I can just pull them out of the bin. I broadcast them, set my tiller for 2 inches, and go over the whole garden with the tiller. I like to turn them under green, but mother nature doesn't always let me. I don't like to spring plow, but sometimes I have to.
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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby DickB » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:54 am

Hi ya there in Oregon.

Also organic here. We used to sow buckwheat as a quick nitrogen fixing crop, let it come up, then cut it down with a sicklebar, then plow and harrow, smooth it out. That's more than one implement, and it is lots of work Cut and rototill is another, much more pleasant, option although the rototilling (we use a walk-behind sort) would not be with the Cub--depending on your crop, this could be done quickly and several times a year. Today, I don't think I'd plow because of the differences in upper and lower soils, but would cut and then try various cultivators on the Cub to work the cut stuff into the soil. Then follow that up with a smoothing operation of some sort--even dragging a log works--as needed. So, that's two implements: a cutting device and a set of cultivators.

Depending on your plans, I'd think I'd not want to run any kind of larger garden without a set of cultivators as basic to the Cub. So some sort of cutting device on the Cub would be my choice "from afar." I have no experience with a flail mower, but that's something I'd look into, seeing what advantages it might, or might not have, over a basic sicklebar.

But what am I talking about? I've got a foot of snow here! Oh! Wait! Look at all those shiny new seed packets on the table, surrounded by an aura of hope and expectation....

Good luck! Happy Figuring Out and Finding.

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Re: Till-in Cover Crop: What do you use?

Postby Wood » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:02 am

Plant wheat and sheep will graze it in March, and turn it under in late april.


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