Planting the Sand Hill

Planting Day!    We planted the sand hill with our dry land mix.   The whole process took the good portion of the day, but the seeds are officially in the ground.   Here is the process (thanks Julia Brokaw for the pictures): 

1. Cultipack - we drove over once with the cultipacker to make sure that the ground was firm.  One of the biggest risks to prairie seeds is that they are too deep, so we first packed the soil to make sure that they don't get driven in too deeply in the soft, sandy soil. 

View of the cultipacker through the tractor rear window. 

View of the cultipacker through the tractor rear window. 

$6000 of prairie seeds doesn't look that impressive....

$6000 of prairie seeds doesn't look that impressive....

Loading up the oats.  We just used bin oats, and calculated about a bushel / acre.   The oats are to hold the soil and act as cover while the prairie seeds put down roots. 

Loading up the oats.  We just used bin oats, and calculated about a bushel / acre.   The oats are to hold the soil and act as cover while the prairie seeds put down roots. 

Our dry site is just over 8 acres, but the farmer accidentally put a bit (about 2 acres) of it into corn (just kept driving out of habit).  It isn't a problem, because you can plant prairie seeds in the fall.  We held some back until the corn comes off.   It will probably be better to have some diverse planting plans anyway, because different plants will respond differently. 

Planting the oats using the spreader.   You can see just how sandy the soil is in this parcel.  The dogs, though enthusiastic, were not helpful during this process at all.  The wetland (not yet planted) is visible in the background. 

Planting the oats using the spreader.   You can see just how sandy the soil is in this parcel.  The dogs, though enthusiastic, were not helpful during this process at all.  The wetland (not yet planted) is visible in the background. 

Seed oats planted.   

Seed oats planted.   

We made one pass over everything with the oats, spreading them pretty thick.  We then added all the prairie seeds to the hopper, and re-calibrated it to account for the smaller seeds. 

Many different types and sizes of seeds. 

Many different types and sizes of seeds. 

We planted half of the seeds going north-south, mixed them in the hopper, and then spread them again going east west.   We wanted to make sure that all the heavy ones didn't end up in part of the field, and that the plants would be evenly spread.  

We planted half of the seeds going north-south, mixed them in the hopper, and then spread them again going east west.   We wanted to make sure that all the heavy ones didn't end up in part of the field, and that the plants would be evenly spread.  

Hooking up the cultipacker.  We ran it over the field again after we spread all the seeds.   We did it just to drive them just a bit into the ground so that they didn't blow away. 

Hooking up the cultipacker.  We ran it over the field again after we spread all the seeds.   We did it just to drive them just a bit into the ground so that they didn't blow away. 

Planting is done.  Time to play ball!

Planting is done.  Time to play ball!