Tonight we planted alfalfa. This is a cover crop that has the following benefits:
- nitrogen fixer
- puts down a long tap root and helps break up the soil
- can be mowed and put in the compost for on-farm organic matter
- protects soil through the winter; diminishes weed production
We used a Jang Seeder purchased at Mechanical Transplanter Company in Michigan (super nice people). They sold me a number of planting wheels for $20.00 a piece to accommodate different seed sizes. We will probably need more, and this is an extra cost I had not calculated. I’m hoping the extra money this seeder costs (by comparison the popular Earthway seeder costs about $150) will pay for itself in time savings and seed cost. This was our first time using a seeder and I have to say I’m pretty happy with the results. Sorry for the poor picture quality…forgot the camera.
We used the Y-24 planting wheel to put down 1-3 seeds every 2 inches and we attempted to make rows about 2 inches apart. In the end we only used about 1/2 pound of seeds for 2000 sq. ft. So we are going to seed it again at that same rate to put down about 1/2 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. per Johnny’s Seeds. Nice job of checking the application rate AFTER we had planted.