Training Kit   No 2.3 

ESTABLISHING A MEDIC PASTURE

USING SEED

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Photos No. 15 to 35.             "How do you sow medic?"

    This group of photos makes an ideal booklet. It stands alone. Alternatively the photos and captions can be printed in the form of a flip chart.

 

Photo No. 15.

    Sow medic into a well prepared seedbed like this as quickly as possible after the autumn rains.

 

Photo No. 16.

    Medic seed - on the right - is very small.

See how much smaller it is than the seeds of cereals - on the left - or forage crops.

These small seeds must not be sown deeper than 2 cm. 
 

Photo No. 17.

    You need only prepare a shallow seedbed for medic.

This implement is the best.

It is called a scarifier.

 

Photo No. 18.

    The tines on the scarifier are fitted with points.

The points do not go any deeper in the soil than the height of half a hand - this is about 8 to 10 cm. 

Photo No. 19

Mouldboard and disc ploughs must not be used to prepare a medic seedbed.

They work the soil too deep.

They produce large clods which will take too much time and cost too much to break down. 

Photo No. 20.

    A tandem disc - also called a cover cropper - is not a good implement either.

It digs too deep and produces ridges like this.
  

Photo No. 21.

    Notice how the points on the scarifier cultivate at a shallow depth.

Better control of the depth is obtained if a depth wheel is fitted to the scarifier.

The small extra cost is worthwhile.

A scarifier does not make ridges like the tandem disc.
  

Photo No. 22.

    After the scarifier, the next stage is to go over the field with a harrow.

The harrow breaks down the clods.

It produces a fine level seedbed for sowing the medic.

 

Photo No. 23.

    A roller can be used to break down clods if you do not have a harrow. 

It is excellent for breaking clods but does not level the ground like a harrow.

 

Photo No. 24

    A combine seed is a good machine for sowing medic seed.

It cultivates the soil.

Sows the fertiliser and seed.

Harrows behind the combine seeder cover the seed.

 

Photo No. 25.

    The tines on the combine seeder - being shown to us by the farmer - cultivate the soil and kill any weeds that have germinated since the first cultivation with the scarifier.

Photo No. 26.

    The fertiliser box - shown on the right -  on the combine is filled with phosphate fertiliser.

  

Photo No 27.

    The medic seed is put into the small seed box on the combine seeder.

This is the last box at the back of the machine.
 

Photo No. 28.

    These tubes on the back of the combine seeder take the medic seed from the small seed box.

The tubes drop the medic seed into the light harrows behind the combine seeder.
   

Photo No. 29

    Light harrow are pulled behind the seeder.

They bury the medic seed in the soil but only to a depth of 1 to 2 cm.
 
 

Photos No. 30.

    These tubes on the combine seeder sow the phosphate fertiliser at the same time as the medic seed.  
 

Photo No. 31.

    Broadcast the medic seed by hand if no combine seeder is available.
 

Photo No. 32.

    A harrow should be used after the medic seed and phosphate has been broadcast by hand.

The harrow buries the medic seeds in the top 2 cm. of soil.
  

Photo No. 33.

    If a disc seeder is used the medic is sown through the cereal box as these machines rarely have a small seed box at the back.

Take care not to sow the medic seed any deeper than 2 cm.  

Photo No. 34.

    We do not recommend seeding medic into a dry seedbed.

If only a little rain falls after seeding the medic will germinate but then wither as there is no moisture deeper in the soil.

Re-seeding will be necessary which is wasteful and costly.

Photo No. 35.

    Germination to this stage is within ten to fourteen days when seed and phosphate have been sown in a moist seedbed.

Germination will be slower in a period of very cold weather.
 

Continue to next group of photos on grazing No 3.1
 

Further information and links

See Buyers' Guide to scarifiers for more information on the scarifier.

See Establishment using seed for a more comprehensive account of seeding medic pasture.