Seeding Implements for Small Properties

Sow and grow on your land for less by avoiding expensive equipment to get the job done right.

| May/June 2020

My wife and I have owned rural property for more than 25 years. Our land consists of rolling hardwood hills interspersed with a mix of small fields. We enjoy improving the habitat for wildlife by providing food plots and clearing trails and openings in the woods. We’ve been rewarded for our efforts with a variety of wildlife visiting our property, such as deer, wild turkeys, ducks, geese, coyotes, foxes, and even the occasional black bear. Also, a large variety of songbirds and pollinators frequent our land, which greatly enhances our time spent outdoors.

Seeding Implements
Photo by Kasco

When we first purchased our land, it hadn’t been worked in many years. The fields were choked with weeds, only one road led to the property, and no trails were between the fields. We didn’t own equipment, such as tractors, tillage equipment, or seeders, and in the first few years, we used our all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and some improvised attachments to clear fields and plant food plots. Over the years, we added a compact utility tractor and some tillage equipment, but we also learned that you can establish and manage food plots with a limited budget and smaller equipment.

Many tasks are required to establish a food plot or develop a new pasture: Weeds and grasses need to be eliminated, fields need to be plowed or tilled, and the field or pasture needs to be seeded. Seeding a field can be as simple as walking through it with a bag and scattering the seed by hand. You can also use an all-in-one implement to break the ground, plant the seed, and compress (or “pack”) the seed with the soil. Seeding equipment may be pulled by ATVs or utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), but depending on the size of the field or pasture, it may require a tractor. Let’s take a look at some of the options and uses for seeding implements for smaller properties.

Tried-and-True Methods

As I mentioned before, a lot of seeding equipment options are available — even on a limited budget. Granted, in recent years, innovative technology has been used to develop some dynamic all-in-one equipment for seeding, but some methods that’ve been around since the prairies were first broken are still valid today.

If you’re interested in seeding a small area for a food plot of less than an acre, you’ll still need to kill any competing weeds by spraying an herbicide or by using a carefully controlled burn of the plot area. Spraying can be done with a hand or a backpack sprayer. Once the plot area is showing signs of a die-off — usually after two weeks — you’ll need to expose the soil to seed the area. This can be accomplished by using a garden tiller, or even by dragging the area aggressively with a relatively inexpensive harrow behind an ATV.

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