Need help with bad ground. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with bad ground.

Any ideas on what I can do to improve a large area of shaley ground. About 15 years ago my pap had some mayjor work on on our property and they recontoured the top of a hill. Instead of taking the topsoil off and placing it elsewhere they just kind of mixed it with everything. Now there is a mixture of shale and dirt that doesn't seem to grow anything except for a few places. Is there anything I can do to improve this short of bringing in truckloads of topsoil. The area is about 3 or 4 acres in size.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 04:35 PM
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

Well, I doubt it.

Hilltop, plus shale, means its going to be a very droughty location to begin with. So, if you get dry weather in summer, and you will, most food plot plants are going to suffer, a great deal.

You need soemthing deeply rooted to avoid the drought problems.

Have you considered a "tree plot"? Planting of wildlife beneficial trees. Apples, oak, chesnuts, etc. Even with those, droughts will still have an effect on growth rates.



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 06:22 PM
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

Do you have any pictures? I plant some pretty crappy looking shale/dirt mix in reclaimed strip mines with good results. Some of the spots didn't even grow weeds real well before we started. This is also in Armstrong Co so may be similar to what you are dealing with but who knows with reclaimed ground.

When I get home I'll see if I can find any pics of my ground so you can compare to yours.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 08:00 PM
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

But aren't most of yours down low and not on the tops?

I have a plot on a top, in a clearcut, where the sun beats down on the clover. The clover takes a beating in summer.



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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

What they did is tier the hill. It actually seems to hold a lot of moisture. I'll try to get some pics this weekend. I planted white pine and sawtooth oak on the boarders and so far they seem to be doing ok.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 11:27 PM
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch
But aren't most of yours down low and not on the tops?

I have a plot on a top, in a clearcut, where the sun beats down on the clover. The clover takes a beating in summer.

Yes, none are really on the tip top of any hills but many are sloped, get lots of sun and don't really hold water all that well. Here are a few pics of my "dirt". I have places better and worse than this. If there is dirt mixed in with the rocks you can grow a nice plot with some work and a lot of lime.



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

My soil looks almost identical. What did you use to work the ground?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 11:40 PM
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

Initially a small disk behind a quad and then larger 3 point disk on tractor. Spray several times first and the disking isn't so bad unless the ground is real dry.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

I was actually thinking about getting a 3pt tiller for the tractor this spring
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:28 AM
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Re: Need help with bad ground.

I do places like this at times to make the county happy. Try planting grass along with some crown vetch. They have inour area called a contractors mix but you can go to a feed store and mix your self. The mixture is annual rye and kentucky 31. I wouild go with a 50/50 mix along with lime and fertlizer. Also add some crown vetch even though it is very slow germination. Deer will feed off of grass quite well. I have seeded many areas like this and surprising we get coverage. I have a hydro-seeder which maked it easier. The trick to crown vetch is you have to use an innulator ( how ever spelled } and the rate they tell put in 10 times amout of it with the crown vetch. Even the crown is expensive but doesent take many lbs per acre it is still cheaper than buying topsoil and spreading it. Over seed the grass mis few times thru year. You dont have a lot to work with but i think its your best shot.
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