It took some trial and error but we got through the drill
I couldn't believe it when my husband Phil said that we were going to put 21 different trial plots into a 2ac field with a 3m wide, one-pass drill.
When we suggested to our Teagasc advisor Ivan Whitten, that we would do a small patch of different catch crops, we all agreed it would be a great idea. We could get a lot of information to help with decisions if we wanted to do catch crops in the future. Seeding rate, costs and then results, but we could see what worked and what didn't.
But we didn't really think it through. When all the little bags of seed arrived I started scratching my head. How on earth could we plant 400-500g of each type of seed. We didn't even have enough to calibrate the machine.
We rang a friend Tom Tierney who has bought a 3m Duncan Renovator drill. This direct drill has two long hoppers and individual funnels into each down spout. We power-harrowed the field and it came up really well.
We then poured the tiny bags of seed into three of the down spouts and repeated the process across the 3-metre drill leaving gaps to define the plots.
It was trial and error, although possibly more error than trial. Myself and Phil stood on the back of the drill and tried to keep the seed flowing.
We then shouted to Tom on the tractor when the seed had run out. We continued this across the field until we had the 2ac sown.
What it will look like or what we can learn will be debatable but at least it's in the ground.