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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Procedure for Planting a Plant Population Wheel

Crop and Soil Environmental News, August 1997

Daniel E. Brann
Extension Specialist

Procedure for Planting a Plant Population Wheel

  1. Determine the diameter of the wheel. A 50-60 foot diameter wheel is satisfactory. This will give at least 40 rows (spokes) that are 4 feet apart at the circumference.

  2. Locate the center of the circle in any suitable site. Pull a tape the radius of the circle (* the diameter) and hold this on a push wheel to mark the circle circumference. The circle circumference will be 3.17 x the diameter. Thus, on a 50' diameter circle the circumference would be 158.5 feet.

  3. Lay a tape around the circumference of the circle to determine the outside starting point of each row. The starting points should be marked with stakes or flags at four foot spacings.

  4. Determine the optimum seeding rate per foot at two foot wide rows. Plant that number of seed per foot uniformly over the entire row length. Plant as uniformly as possible. The area near the center of the circle will be over 400,000 seeds per acre whereas the rows that are at the outside of the circle would be relatively low plant populations. A "Planter Jr." works well for some crops. A "hand jabber" works well for corn.

  5. Take a sprayer to spray herbicides for weed control. Apply fertilizer as needed.

Equipment Needed:

  1. The Planter, Jr. can be used instead of the wheel hoe to mark the circumference of the circle.

  2. A tape at least 200 feet long.

  3. Stakes or flags

  4. Nursery marker to mark plots

  5. Herbicide sprayer; Herbicides

  6. Fertilizer

  7. String if you want really straight rows

  8. One helper

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