Active Member
Met with a guy today about expanding my food plots, and creating a couple new small plots.
He suggested best way to do the work is muching. He said he can take out all brush and trees up to 8" diameter.
Does anyone have experience with mulching? Is it the way to go (vs push up in piles and burning).
What kind of mess will be left what do I do with the ground litter? Will it need to be scraped out or can I plow into the plots and just plant. Any advice appreciated.
At first it is a little more difficult, working the varied sizes of "mulch" into the soil so it can breakdown. I planted crimson clover and rye is the areas of my farm that were cleared with a forestry mulch and that combined with lots of rain I feel helped break down the mulch. With the mulcher you dont have to worry about losing any soil and it does help the soil hold moisture. Downside it seeding is patchy, but I am limited to broadcast seeding.
Personally i wouldnt mulch. I just cleared 2 plots last summer. One was 2.5 acres in the timber. Trees cleared were pole stage trees to slightly bigger. I rented a cat D3. Time consuming to grub stumps on trees I couldn't push over, but overall came out great after smoothing it out with a drag harrow. Just push trees off not top soil!
For brush and smaller trees I'd opt for a skid steer with grapple or excavator with a thumb and blade.
The 2nd plot I used a mini excavator with thumb to clear 1/2 acre in the timber. The blade worked great to clear leaf litter. I didnt even drag this plot. Cleared and planted (rye/oats) in 1 day start to finish no lime. Turned out great.
I feel that mulch/wood chips would of impeded seed to soil contact.
I agree with Weezy. Your guy wants to mulch it because that is what's best for him. You are going to be up and going with a productive plot much quicker and cost effectively by not messing with the mulch. A skilled operator on a medium size crawler can make quick work of brush and trees up to 8" in diameter and once he is done you will be ready to amend the soil and plant. Think about this, that mulcher is going to take the brush and small trees down to the ground, what about what it leaves under the ground that you are also going to have to deal with for a while?
Don't burn your windrows, plan out how you want them and you can use them to funnel deer into the plot.
Thanks for the advice. I ended up getting a guy with a skid steer to brush cut and then push up all the stumps. So now it will be ready to plant in a couple months. It really looks much better. The food plots are at least two or three times the size they were and I've got two new small 1/10th acre bow plots. I'm going to lime and plant trees this month and then plant my spring mixes in a couple months.