OK fellow plotters I really need some help as I would like to avoid another year of failures.


Active Member
Life has had me pretty busy and have not been to the old farm in months. I am sure there might be some clover hiding in the endless sea of weeds and old rye. I picked up Big-N-Beasty brassica as the seed that I have been purchasing from the local seed place has never really grown and in many cases not even germinated, but there were to many variables to know exactly why I got the results that I did. My first year plotting at the farm I did Big-N-Beasty and had decent growth despite terrible soil and late planting, even got little turnips and radishes that year.

In the past I have never had luck with throw and grow. Heck, I have had poor results with kill and till and pack and spread and pack again as well. The window I have does not leave me with the time to kill and till etc. So after watching some Youtube vids of guys spreading seed into the tall weeds and grasses, immediately spraying, and then following that up by driving over the fields with a packer to move as much seed to the ground to hopefully get some soil contact.I am thinking this is my best route. The other benefit I saw was the packer helped lay the weeds and rye down to create a thatch. .I know this method requires a heavier seeding rate, but how much more?

Anyone know of a better alternative given me limited window, and planting via a drill is not an option as I do not have one :)

PS Just in case anyone has been wondering the Evil Orange Tractor is still kicking. It should be as I have been getting better with home maintenance, in fact I maintain it better then my own body. :(
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Ive been in that exact scenario before myself. I would definitely up the seed rate, broadcast into the weeds and grasses, spray and roll it. I didnt cut the vegetation afterwards, I felt the rolling would be sufficient and as it dies down it wouldnt be too thick to smother the seeds I planted. Doing it the way you describe I would probably up the seed rate by 50 percent.
CTM, glad you’re still with us! I was afraid the evil tractor finally got you:). On my place, I feel like I need to double the normal seed rate to see any positive results. Packing really helps, as does a really good burn down of weeds. In a perfect world, you’d do it in advance of a big rain. I wouldn’t wait another day to get brassicas in. Even if germination is successful, throw and mow takes extra time to germinate...which you don’t have. I’m doing throw and mow grain/clover next week which is a couple weeks earlier than I’d typically plant.
Thanks Elkaddict. The tractor has been kind but a tree got me back in May. Was up in a tree cutting off limbs when one of them decided it did not want me in the tree and sent me for a ride. Sprained ankle, water on the knee, but the real kicker was a torn tendon in my leg. While several weeks in a soft cast sucked, it could have been much worse, it could have damaged the thing that resides inside my brain bucket, and that thing only has so many functioning cells left and cannot take any more damage. ;)

As far as plotting my walking boots and Solo spreader are ready to go. So the next time they call for a good rain I will get over there and get the seed spread and fields sprayed. Fingers crossed.

FYI CTM has been lurking, reading,and enjoying all of the efforts of my fellow plotters and land owners. It is good to see many new people taking the plunge and sharing the the good, the bad, and the ugly..

Thanks guys. I still cannot believe that the season is just around the corner.
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Glad to hear you survived the evil tree. Getting old, less limber and with less grace when balancing sucks. FYI, I’m showing 1/2” Sunday/Monday. Get that seed in the ground!
Yesterday I was able to spread seed into two fields and got one sprayed before the quad quit, some type of over heating issue that the shop cannot figure out. :mad:. Evil orange is at the house. I returned today to spray the other seeded field and pack them. I thought I had enough of a window to get this field and another weed filled field (say that three times fast) sprayed off in prep for rye in a couple of weeks before the rain hit. My optimism got the best of me and about twenty minutes after getting the seeded field sprayed the skies opened up. I'm thinking that will be fail.
I sought refuge in the elevated blind and it was a nice place to sit out the rain, but it was infested with dead flies and other dead insects. Still have no idea how they are still getting in as I have caulked and spray foamed every nook and cranny.

Well after the rain passed I hooked the double roller packer to the quad to crush the old rye and weeds but I only made it about four passes in my big field before the quad went on strike and said this is not happening. I'm speculating here, but I guess asking a 1988 Yamaha Big Bear 350 to pull an 8 foot metal double roller around a field that has slope to it was just to much to ask of her. My niece told me that I have to stop assuming gender or assigning gender. Kids today :confused:

Well we just had another rain tonight so I think I will do something stupid tomorrow and drive the tractor the seventeen miles over to the old farm and pull the packer around. I only did this once before and that was my first year at the property and I swore I would never drive it that far on the roads again. The last time my friend/neighbor followed me over that day so I did not get creamed from behind by a semi or anything else. He served as the sacrificial lamb. If I recall correctly it took the better part of two hours to get there and I was going flat out in hi and in 4th gear. The truck is in the shop with transmission cooling line issues so no option to trailer it over. Ford=POS. 2020 is the year of mechanical and body failures for me.

Now the last time I did this I left the tractor there until early fall so 17 miles in one day was not to bad. This time however I have to make the round trip in one day because there is no one around to pick me up and take me home. My buddy from downstate who is downstate right now suggested that I walk home as it would help get me in shape for hunting season. I replied there is no way this body is walking home 17 miles as I would burn way to many calories and calories cost money, and I hate wasting money.

Driving 34 miles round trip in one day plus all of the other seat time that will go on while there should make for a fun day. I predict a pain in my butt, literally.
Failed plots are usually not the fault of bad seed, but often are the result of one failed component out of the many different parts that go into seeding a successful plot, so paying special attention to each component can help avoid failures. A heavy seeding into thick growth, with a heavy spraying, and a good rolling, almost has to grow if there is a timely rain. The spray component is often the failure, killing 4' high weeds is difficult with a 3' high sprayer. One trick that I've used with great success is to "Throw & Disc" rather than "throw & Mow", in "Throw & Disc" first spin the seed into high weeds or grain first, then second; pull a disc through one time to knock the tall growth down, third; spray and, fourth, roll after that (I actually skip the rolling sometimes). Since the weeds are mostly knocked over but not cut off from the one time pass the spray is still very effective, and the disc scrapes just enough dirt to help germination. Seeds need contact with loose dirt to germinate well, and that's really the achilles heel of T&M.
I think I'd consider planting fall plots a week or two earlier for NY state. Did you ever check into options like hiring a neighboring farmer to put our the fall plots? Sometimes that can be a great option.