Planting in rocky ground

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SmokinM
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Planting in rocky ground

Postby SmokinM » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:54 pm

Getting ready to plant some grass for a customer. New ground just got cleared of predominantly chestnut oaks. It is full of rock, like 5 acres of driveway full of rock. Most are golf ball size or smaller a few baseball size or so. I know grass will help hold them down if I can get it growing. The land is poor so fertility is first and organic material is non existent. I know some of you guys live in some rocky spots. How is the best way to smooth it up and seed it? Thanks for any help you can give.
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:12 pm

I know nothing about rocks but rye grass will grow on concrete.
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby callmefence » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:16 pm

I know nothing but rocky ground. But don't know where to start from your description. Any soil.? Can the ground be worked. Where are you and what's your goal.
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby SmokinM » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:34 pm

In Virginia. Yes there is soil and it can be worked some. Like I said the top 4-6" is basically like a driveway/roadbed just full of small rock. Plan is to plant fescue and rye grass mix. Trying to get it reasonably smooth and seed. Really wish I had a pulva-mulcher or Nesi's roller. Not sure a disc will do much and definitely not pulling my no-till across as we planned to do over the phone. Thanks
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby dun » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:37 pm

Heavy roller
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:18 pm

SmokinM wrote:In Virginia. Yes there is soil and it can be worked some. Like I said the top 4-6" is basically like a driveway/roadbed just full of small rock. Plan is to plant fescue and rye grass mix. Trying to get it reasonably smooth and seed. Really wish I had a pulva-mulcher or Nesi's roller. Not sure a disc will do much and definitely not pulling my no-till across as we planned to do over the phone. Thanks


What county ? I had some yards like that in Goochland on new built houses that had a gazillion lil rocks in it and I used an offset disk on it then a tiller then a Harley rake it turned out like a carpet and after going through all that a lot of the rocks were covered
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby SmokinM » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:22 pm

In Powhatan on one of those bluffs not to far off the river. The area is notorious for poor rocky soil, told her on the phone it would be to rocky to drill. Oh no it will be fine she says, two weeks later when they start clearing, what can I do about all these rocks?
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby Nesikep » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:54 pm

I'm well versed in rocky ground as well.. a good roller is essential.. I'd probably consider putting some clover in there too.. probably white clover would be my first choice for that.

A roller like this, filled will stuff any rock back where it came from, or crush it.

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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby boondocks » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:09 am

No sympathy, all I grow is rocks. Fist sized is small. Every spring they sprout up, size of your head often. Bedrock is about an inch below the surface is places. Fun fencing
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby dun » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:58 am

boondocks wrote:No sympathy, all I grow is rocks. Fist sized is small. Every spring they sprout up, size of your head often. Bedrock is about an inch below the surface is places. Fun fencing

Dam, sounds like you are in the Ozarks!
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby ddd75 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:33 am

rock picker to pick up the rocks first.

then disc..

then pick up the other rocks.

then seed.
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:37 am

ddd75 wrote:rock picker to pick up the rocks first.

then disc..

then pick up the other rocks.

then seed.


Alfalfa guys spring tooth, windrow with rock rake, pick the windrows, repeat... so they can scalp it.
An alternative approach is a rock bucket on a skid steer.
Sounds like small rocks so heavy disk and heavy roller should work, but you will get some compaction.

I pick every pass into a FEL or a rock box, pack before and after seeding, and still have to go back after grazing it a couple times to pick up what the cattle have kicked up. I do one rock paddock a year, and I lose 10# in the process.
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby callmefence » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:51 am

Stocker Steve wrote:
ddd75 wrote:rock picker to pick up the rocks first.

then disc..

then pick up the other rocks.

then seed.


Alfalfa guys spring tooth, windrow with rock rake, pick the windrows, repeat... so they can scalp it.
An alternative approach is a rock bucket on a skid steer.
Sounds like small rocks so heavy disk and heavy roller should work, but you will get some compaction.

I pick every pass into a FEL or a rock box, pack before and after seeding, and still have to go back after grazing it a couple times to pick up what the cattle have kicked up. I do one rock paddock a year, and I lose 10# in the process.


Of course I wouldn't use alfalfa.
I would chisel as deep and hard as possible, then disc. For at least 2 years I would grow a annual crop for hay and grazing. Reworking and fertilizer between each. I've been doing this in 10 to 20 acre blocks after getting enough organic matter I would turn towards looking into my permanent pasture perennial.
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby skyhightree1 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:20 am

SmokinM wrote:In Powhatan on one of those bluffs not to far off the river. The area is notorious for poor rocky soil, told her on the phone it would be to rocky to drill. Oh no it will be fine she says, two weeks later when they start clearing, what can I do about all these rocks?


Oh ok I am in powhatan today by Watkins landing. What size rocks are they ?
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Re: Planting in rocky ground

Postby Workinonit Farm » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:27 am

skyhightree1 wrote:
SmokinM wrote:In Powhatan on one of those bluffs not to far off the river. The area is notorious for poor rocky soil, told her on the phone it would be to rocky to drill. Oh no it will be fine she says, two weeks later when they start clearing, what can I do about all these rocks?


Oh ok I am in powhatan today by Watkins landing. What size rocks are they ?


Sounds like a perfect opportunity for the two of you to meet up, on site, and make a plan. :)

Funny thing, when I read his initial post, I thought to myself "hmmmmm, sounds like our place, heck sounds like most of Virginia!" LOL and, as it turns out, it is Va!
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