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for those that use tractors for seeding

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by muddstopper, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Lately, I have been getting seeding jobs that are way to hard to hydroseed simply because of the distance You must drag hoses. large tracts (20-30-40 acres) of cleared land to ruff to drive trucks on and to wide to drag hose over. Developers are basicly selectively removeing trees and grubbing for views and leaving the ground ruff with broken limbs, stumps and whatever. To ruff for seed drills or seed ovators, leaving me with the only option of broadcasting the seed, fertilizer, and lime with tractors. I dont like this method of seeding simply because the seed often lays on the ground exposed for to long and you dont get much germination. For those of you that use tractors to seed with, what implements do you prefer to use and why. Mind you, I aint going to be doing any smoothing or removing of sticks and such and most of the areas will get regraded by new owners when their homes are built. I just need something that will give me better seed survivability. I am thinking about trying one of those large spike type drum areators and have noticed that you can even get them with a seed box for applying seed. Has anybody used one? I will try to find a link to show what I am referring to.
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Here is a pic of one similar to what i am looking for. I would be getting a 72 or 84 in 3pt hitch model

  3. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923


    I dont know what the price difference would be between the picture that you posted and one of the Rotodarion attachments but I think that this would sure help your seed germination rates and also do a little bit of leveling at the same time. Then again this might be priced WAY over your budget, trust me I know that they are expensive because I bought one for my Dingo but I do love this attachment.

  4. LawnScenes

    LawnScenes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    mudd... are you the same muddstopper from the hydroseeding.org forums? If so... I've really enjoyed your posts concerning the fert questions lately.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Gilla, i am familar with the roto darion. Trust me, I wouldnt dream of using one on the areas I am describing. There wouldnt be anything left of the machine after just a few passes. The goal here is to just establish vegetation since it will all be torn up again anyways. I Have equipment to smooth and level the ground, but again, the developers just want something to keep the EPA off their butts until they can complete construction. I am looking for something i can run over stumps and big sticks and rocks without destroying the machine, yet still be able to provide some coverage to the seed being applied. We are not mulching with straw or any other material. Simply broadcasting seed fertilizer and lime and letting mother nature take over.

    I believe the price on the machine in the picture is around $2 grand. A lot cheaper than the rotodarion or similar machines. I am sure it wont produce the quality results of the rotodarion, but quality isnt what we are after on these type of jobs. I would like to talk to someone that has used the spiker areators with seed box for seeding just to see how well, or not so well, one will work.

    LawnScenes, yep, thats me.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    We done that seeding for new highways and developments, call it erosion control. The county sets the code but we usually just broadcast 90% annual rye and 10% fescue and blow on a small amount of straw. It really a joke, but if you get any rain the annual will germinate in the low spots and thats all the developers and inspectors require. Its gonna be tore up again shortly when they start building.
    BTW-- were required to use silt fencing along streams, creeks and storm sewer grates etc, because they know that what we seed really won't stop a lot of erosion.
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Mac, its a little late for rye in my neck of the woods. We use millet now and rye in the fall and late winter. the problem is the developers I have to deal with. they try to skirt the law and uncover way more ground that they have permits for. This last job is a pretty good example of that. The guy uncoverd almost 40 acres, no silt fence, no retention ponds, nothing. EPA gives him so many days to get it covered up or big fines. To make matters worse, the developer wants permanate grass, fescue so he wont have to pay to have it seeded again. If I use 90% rye and 10% fescue, I can guarantee come June there wont be anything growing, the rye will be dead and the fescue choked out. I just need something better to put out the seed with. Broadcasters are fast but they dont give the best results. And I aint dragging 450 ft of hydroseeding hose, and sometimes that isnt enough, on every one of these jobs. Heres a pic of what i am talking about. If you look real close in the middle of the pic between the trees you will see a blue object. Thats my guy at the end of the hydroseeding hose. the picture was taken from the truck

    294 crowe road.jpg
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Mudd, I use 2 seeders and have good results with both. The first is the 3 point that holds 500# of seed works pretty good coverage is fairly even for rough terrain. The other is a pull type broadcast seeder that holds 100# and I pull it with the quad, same results except I could work around those trees a little closer and still make good time using the quad.
    Neither will give a lawn look but they will cover for erosion control and if the developers want to pay we blow on some straw, mostly for looks but it does help hold a tine bit of moisture, AND helps with erosion.

    BTW -- the quad seeder won't last on to many jobs but there cheap to replace

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,134

    mudd your best bet will to build what u want i know what u r dealing with and i have not found anything that will hold up to the bad conditions
    my thought is a drum with triangles welded to it and water for ballest if needed
    if u dont have hard down on your tractor
    its hard to deal with the cheep contractors and bad site conditions a vicon spreader is nice for a wide spread pattern the 1 with the wagging tail
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Mac, we have been using the 3pt broadcasters, I can get away with it right now because of the wet weather. It due to turn hot and dry soon and then broadcasting seed is just going to be a waste of money. As you can judge from the pic, blowing straw isnt a real option. I dont know of any straw blower that would reach the distances from the roads that would be necessary to get even partial coverage on the entire areas.

    Dusty, I have considered building one, but the one in the pic would be pretty close to what I would want to build, and to what you described. Its available in 3pt hitch as well as a tow behind. In fact, I would probably modifie the design to add a tow bar to the 3pt hitch design. That way I could pull it with a pickup truck on areas that would allow it. Using a pickup truck should work pretty well, In the right situations. You can place all the seed in the bed of the truck and let someone just keep filling the machine as it get empty. I have also though about adding spring tines similar to a dethather, behind the roller, anything to help cover the seed and increase productivity.

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