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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have only 3.2 acres at the moment, one acre has a decent grass/clover mix that can be mowed and baled now, the rest is horse pasture that I will be opening up. Most of it is decent grass, a few areas are overgrown with weeds and thistle and will get a dose of 2-4,D. A few areas are compacted horse paths. I plan to run over those with a tiller and smooth with a harrow. Now, the question is, if I mow down low, can I drill in new seed over the 2 new acres, and when would be the time to do it. I think it is too late this year by the time I find a farmer with a drill and has the time to do it, plus get the seed.

I did find that Tar River makes a drill, either a 55" or a 78", SAYA-505 or 507, and not that expensive, plus it fertilizes at the same time. Would something like that be a good idea for next spring in order to revitalize the pasture? I don't see a need at the moment to fully till and start over since 80% is good established weed free grass, but I would like to get some alfalfa mixed in by 23 if possible. I'm also thinking of using it to overseed as needed, as weeds are killed off. I read some reviews and it can drill in pretty good on hard solid and even better on moist soil, and the reviews are positive.

Alternately, a broadcast spreader could be used, but that wont put the seed down into the soil, just lays it on top, and would only be good where a drag harrow can help bury it on tilled soil. It also requires more seed. I am going to need one regardless for spreading fertilizer and lime.

First of course will be making sure the soil is good and has a high PH level around 7.0 before even considering getting prices on seed.

Would it be a good or bad idea to drill in seed after each cutting until I get the right blend I like for the first two years? Right now as long as I can get something to bale, I am good, it's the third year where I would like to have some quality stuff to actually sell. I don't expect to get much the first couple years. It's not to be a money maker, will be happy just to break even, the main reasoning is to put the land to good use since I no longer plan to have horses, and I don't want corn growing in my back yard

Summary, 80% of the pastures are decent grass/clover mix, 20% hard pack and some weed spots the horses avoid. End goal is a good mix of grass/alfalfa in 3 years.
 

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The update to forum has hidden your location ( if you had it open to see) . Which is very important for helping you with when to plant. Being on the left coast with a different climate most other time shut up, and hopefully get you some help.
 

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I have nothing being in California. Do seed and fertilizer sales places rent seeds drills? Or the local Soil Conservation district to promote no till. For your acres hard to justify spending much on equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wife and I were talking about this and she thinks tht if we plant a few rows of sweet corn, some tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers in the back between the tree line and hay field then we can set up a small farm stand. I have a strip about 25' by 260' that would be a pain to get through with the mower since I would have to make tight turns to make a complete row. I think it would make for a good small section to try it out. We live on a corner lot with plenty of traffic flowing by, so it might work. Right now I have a few tons of tree trunks piled up cutting it in half and once those are burned off, I would have to till it all under and replant anyway, so might as well give it a try. As long as I keep it clean and in good condition, if it doesn't work out can always list it and mark it off as a loss.
 

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The thing you have to consider about tree lines is things don't grow or dry well there. You need full sun for a lot of your garden vegetables, including sweet corn, and a tree line is the one place in your field where the hay will never really ever dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Using that term loosely since majority of the trees were removed last month. There were a line of trees separating the "house" from the "field" that no longer exist, but we use the term so that we know what we are saying to each other. The field runs N/S so is in full sun for most of the day on the house end, full sun all day on the barn side. We still have 3 maples giving some shade in the morning, but by 10 AM most of it is in sun where we are thinking of planting. We used to have a garden in that area that was in partial morning shade, but those trees are gone, and back then everything grew well.
 

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I forget you're in Illinois where it's a house in the middle of a field. We have forests everywhere in Michigan, and the tree line of my property is a literal forest.
 
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