I am planning on sowing flax, millet, buckwheat, lucerne and sunflower, over a cover white clover, but I 'd like to do it without the sead ball system, because I don't have clay around my field, and because it seems to be a lot of work (for a beginner) with small seeds on 4 acres.
I am wondering whether any of you has tried to it simply by broadcoasting the cereals, and if yes, are there any tricks?
Thanks a lot for all your discussions on these forums,
I have successfully broadcast seeded millet, rye, sunflowers, soybeans and milo...a similar-ish seed mix. I seeded over a pretty sparse stand of grass so there wasn't much in the way of competition. If you broadcast I would suggest using some sort of drag after the seed is down. When I over seed rye into pasture I will drag around a bushy cedar tree or even a cattle panel with some cinder blocks on it (for extra weight). The key is to get the seeds down to dirt and not stuck on the plants. If you are doing it all by hand I would think along the lines of a long 2x4 with some rope tied to each end that you could drag behind you as you walked. I've never tried it, but I would imagine you could get a decent success rate. Keep in mind that the general rule of thumb is that you need to broadcast 50-100% more lbs/acre of seed than you need if you are drilling or direct seeding on prepared ground.
I would add that mixing the seed with dry, well aged, and fine crumbled manure makes it easier to get even coverage by hand. More volume to sow gives less chances to skip places. And the new seedlings will like the boost they get.
I will definitely use the compost ( I have made out of nicely composted poultry manure), but yet, I am not sure to understand the "long 2x4 with some rope tied to each end that you could drag behind you as you walked", is that a stick or some wood structure? or something else?
The thought with the 2x4 was this. When you broadcast seed onto an existing stand of vegetation, much of seed will likely land on vegetation or dead stems, or something that is not bare soil. On a larger scale than a few acres it is common to drag either a harrow or a chain drag (essentially a really big rake) over the field after seeding to help shake the seeds down onto the soil. I was thinking that a 2x4 (or a heavy stick) might be something you would drag behind you by hand that would let you be more efficient than trying to actually rake 4 acres by hand. An old gate or piece of panel or sheet of plywood or something would work fine also. Sorry for the confusion. Maybe it still doesn't make sense?
Jordan , here in the US a 2x4 is a piece of lumber that measures about 2 inches by 4 inches and is usually about 8 feet long. But can be longer. They are used in construction of homes etc. So Jay was saying to take the 2x4 and attach a piece of rope at each end and then drag it over the area that you have seeded, to help work the seed into the soil.
You can easily overseed--hand tossed, little hand crank spreader, or lawn fertilizer spreader. Harrowing by hand is a drag (pun intended).
I seeded 30 acres with a lawnmower and tow-behind spreader and an old bedspring as a drag. I have also pulled a cattlepanel drag with a motorcycle.
Chainlink fence works. Plain logchain loops work. A 2x4 isn't very heavy, not sure it would get enough pressure to be useful.
Yes, you need 50%-100% more seed compared to drilling, but you also need half the seed to overseed vs. bare ground so it isn't so bad.
It is too late for most now, but the best way around here to overseed is to do it right before a big spring snow. The snow will push it down into dirt contact without dragging at all.
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