Soil preparation with new rotary tiller suitable for barren peatlands
Soil preparation is an important process that gives seeds the ideal humidity and temperature to germinate and start growing well. Successful soil preparation reduces the risk of damage by insects and moles and gives the seedlings a head start over competing vegetation.
Soil preparation is used in all forest regeneration methods: planting, sowing and natural regeneration. There are a number of soil preparation methods, and it is the growth location, species and regeneration method that determine which is the best one. Tornator uses not only traditional soil preparation methods, but as the only company in Finland, a new type of rotary tiller specially designed for peatlands.
The rotary tiller is a Neva 111.2 tiller, a self-propelled and continuous device, resulting in two 50 cm deep tracks that are two metres apart. The blades of the device mix the raw humus layer and peat to a depth of 20–50 cm. During soil preparation, is it also possible to sow pine seeds at the same time. Rubber tyres and continuous tracks prevent depressions on soft peatland.
The preservation of dead wood, which is important to many forest species, can be significantly influenced by choosing a soil preparation method that breaks the ground less intensely. Light soil preparation also reduces the load of waterways and is more gentle on the undergrowth, such as moss, lichens and vascular plants. Soil preparation that is as light as possible is also important for recreational use, for example, and to protect the berry harvests that are vital for many game species.
What makes the rotary tiller soil preparation environmentally friendly is that forestland is excavated as little as possible, resulting in fewer adverse effects on waterways, the vegetation and decayed wood. Decayed wood can be moved out of the way of the device with the excavator bucket, preserving them better. Viewed from a distance, the change after soil preparation is moderate, and vegetation will return quickly to the prepared area.
The device also works more quickly than an excavator does. The method is particularly useful in barren and relatively barren peatlands. The method is less well suited to fertile land, because the seedlings tend to be outgrown by vegetation that springs up after felling. This means that the method can be used wherever sowing would occur in any case as a form of regeneration. The device can also be used without sowing in areas where seed trees or forests around the area take care of the seeding.