Tiller or bottom plow?

   / Tiller or bottom plow? #1  

thunder86

Silver Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
139
Location
Southern Indiana
Tractor
Bobcat ct4045
Looking to trade in my tractor and considering trading in my tiller with it to get a bottom plow instead. I'm definitely getting a heavy disc and I feel once the initial tilling/plow has been done all I'll ever do is disc.
Discing to enhance native forbs. Food plot would be clover/chicory/radish mix. Turnips. Maybe oats/wheat. I feel if I wanted to change these up once its been worked a previous year a disc would be all I'd ever need. I'm not a farmer and inexperienced in food plots yet. Thanks.
Maybe I should I keep the tiller for now then sell once it's all been worked and have disc only?
Don't wanna have a regret.
 
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #2  
Why do you think you need to disturb the soil any deeper than the disks will reach?
 
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #3  
Here is my philosophy: You can never have too many implements, and you'll probably regret your choices no matter what advise you take. Sad, I know. There are a ton of things I wish I'd done differently. Monday Moring Quarterback, hind sight is 20/20. That sort of thing.

But to get to the root of your dilemma.

If I understand this correctly, you are looking to turn an area into dirt to create a food plot? You have a tractor with a tiller. You want to get a plow and a disc?
How much space are we talking here? Do you have obstacles on this property? Is it sloped?

Plowing is great for hitting that reset button. But on a slop can cause some nasty erosion if not done properly. Also, plowing is great for fields or plots without a bunch of things in the way, like trees, rocks, etc. Whereas, simply tilling the plot, you can easily move around these obstacles and is a bit more forgiving with slops.
Running a disc is great, but you will probably need to drag a harrow or cultipacker behind it to further smooth out the soil. A tiller will do this automatically.
However, a tiller is slow.

I posted a thread on a similar subject, here: Plowing with LS

To update that threat, which I should probably do, the owner recently sold that property for huge profit. The new neighbors have yet to move in. I don't know what is going to happen.
But to summarize, It was a large open field, with some slopes, that would take too long to till with my 6ft tiller. I was looking to pull a plow though it, then disc it smooth before planting. I was only considering this because it is a large area. A food plot, depending on size, you may just get away with only tilling it. Save money on the purchase of a new plow and disc.
 
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #4  
Why do you think you need to disturb the soil any deeper than the disks will reach?
While there are exceptions, 90% of the time a moldboard plow and a disc harrow with at least 20" diameter pans penetrate to about the same depth ~~ 6" to 8".

The plow inverts the soil. The plow should cut through sod which the disc harrow cannot cut. Plow adjustment takes quite a while to learn.

The disc harrow mixes and smooths the soil, where a plow disrupts the soil. Easy to learn disc adjustments.


Food plots seeds are eager germinators. In most instances, plowing is unnecessary; discing is enough soil prep. It is important to get a soil test to determine soil pH before ordering seed. If soil pH is not compatible with the seed type, seed germination will be low or nonexistent.

Most seeds like mildly acidic soil, pH 5 to pH 6. Legumes, especially clover, can flourish in higher pH soil pH to about pH7 and do pretty well with some shade.

If choosing between a plow or a cultipacker, get the cultipacker.


Maybe I should I keep the tiller for now then sell once it's all been worked and have disc only?

Neither a 1,700 pound B2601 nor a 2,700 pound L3901 have enough weight to pull a heavy disc. Keep the roto-tiller. It is tractor weight you need for ground contact work. Engine horsepower is secondary. It takes a doubling of compact tractor weight before you notice a big difference from one tractor to another in ground contact work.
 
Last edited:
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #5  
A plow and disk combination is generaly better than a tiller in rocky soil and in areas greater than about 3/4 acre in size.
 
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #6  
I have and use all 3 plus a 6 ft. spring tooth harrow , the only time I use the plow is when I am going to have a new garden plot on sod ground . I agree with the previous post , no way are you going to drag a heavy disc with the 2601 . I have a 6ft. light duty disc and that does work with my 2650 . I do have flat ground so that does make a big difference too . I like going over my garden plot with the spring tooth harrow in the spring when the ground is a little to damp to till as it helps it to dry up quicker and is easier to till . I live in the north where thigs freeze up and it takes time for the soil to warm up . Not sure you should give up the tiller . Not sure how much ground you are going to plant but with a 1 bottom plow and your tiller you will be surprised what that 2601 can do . It will just take you a little longer . I don't use the plow that often but it is one of my favorite things to with my tractor .
 
Last edited:
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #7  
I have way more implements than i need . 2 tillers 5 and 6 ft multiple disks a cultivator a plow and a cultipacker. The plow i quit using at least ten yrs ago. The tiller is by far the best tool for food plots in not to rocky soil. The main thing that must be done is to kill the current vegetation and let the roots decompose for a while in the soil , It makes for much easier tillage no matter what you use, Plows work great on packed virgin soil , but as others have said it will take a good heavy disk and lots of passes to get it smooth. I till about 3 to 4 acres a yr for my food plots and it takes mots of a day . But i love doing it.
 
   / Tiller or bottom plow? #8  
Looking to trade in my tractor and considering trading in my tiller with it to get a bottom plow instead. I'm definitely getting a heavy disc and I feel once the initial tilling/plow has been done all I'll ever do is disc.
Discing to enhance native forbs. Food plot would be clover/chicory/radish mix. Turnips. Maybe oats/wheat. I feel if I wanted to change these up once its been worked a previous year a disc would be all I'd ever need. I'm not a farmer and inexperienced in food plots yet. Thanks.
Maybe I should I keep the tiller for now then sell once it's all been worked and have disc only?
Don't wanna have a regret.
My only question is how large and area are you looking to make in to food plots. The size is going to determine what would be better.
I use a two bottom plow and it takes time to set it up and biggest thing I've found is type of tires you use.
 
Last edited:
   / Tiller or bottom plow?
  • Thread Starter
#9  
I would say 2 acres total food plots. Initially I'll have more getting switchgrass in but I'm looking to just run 10 foot strips around it. I'll disc a few acres to enhance native forbs but that won't be every year. I would say constant every year less than 2 acres.
 
   / Tiller or bottom plow?
  • Thread Starter
#10  
Why do you think you need to disturb the soil any deeper than the disks will reach?
If I could get by with disc alone that would be great. I just figured if I ever wanted to change a plot it would be nice to have a tiller or plow, especially for the initial breaking of the ground first time.
 
 
Top