wayne fajkus wrote:I agree 100% that disturbances create undesirable weeds to flourish.
Seeds can be broadcast with no disturbance . I do it yearly on a small scale. On a big scale they do it with airplanes. All that is needed is moisture.
Clay balls is another method but ive never seen a need for it.
Travis Johnson wrote:I would do both. If you cannot do that due to cost, then just chisel. /
Cost is not an issue. This can be done by a neighbour for next to nothing.
Travis Johnson wrote:Discing alone will not get the job done as it will just create hardpan below the plow depth. It will not be as bad as rototilling which absolutely destroys soil, but it will not break up the hard pan either. Chiseling will.
Roto-till is what is being suggested!!!
Travis Johnson wrote: Just be ready to pick some rocks! Chisel plows have a way of finding rocks!
Man this area is so full of rocks. When the earthmover was here digging pits we found bowling ball sized rocks and sometimes mini granite slabs enough to build small benches.
Travis Johnson wrote:if you have more questions on saving money by getting the job done without expensive equipment, I can get some pictures for you with results.
I would love to see more. I will msg you or you can post on here as convenient.
Phil Stevens wrote:Wayne - That's a great series of examples. I think this puts more muscle into the argument that renovation can be done without tilling.
Andy - You've already got a pasture community, albeit a somewhat diminished one. That carpet of grasses has a massive network underground, with all the roots, fungal mycelia, worm and animal burrows, worms and animals themselves, and all the bacteria digesting everything that dies. That's a huge web of fertility, a great big carbon reservoir, and you've got two basic pathways for how you can use it.
One is to grind it all up and get a massive one-off release of available nutrients as most components of the web are broken and rapidly consumed by opportunistic bacteria. The microbial flush will oxidise a large percentage of your carbon (which has most likely taken years to accumulate) and then it's gone. Whatever you plant will do great the first season, but after that it will suffer as you've spent the soil's capital and there's nothing left to earn dividends.
The other is to use one or more of the no-till methods to leverage all that capital and turn the above-ground manifestation of the soil's fertility into what you're aiming for. Try different things. If you've got cardboard, use that where you want the fastest suppression of the pasture. Wood chips will do the same and are great around trees. Oversowing and undersowing in conjunction with mowing/slashing or any form of mulch will do wonders and can scale up. Once your cover crop is up you can chop and drop it with yet another undersowing of some orchard companions.
I wouldn't rule out chisel plowing if you have real compaction problems, but unless you know that is the issue I'd avoid the disturbance.
What is the soil type and climate you're dealing with?