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Succession - good idea, bad idea

Daver

PMA Member
I am still a newbie as far as planting food plots and so forth, but it is a lot of fun watching them grow and seeing the hundreds of deer tracks stomped into the dirt and knowing they are there because of something you did. (If you plant it, they will come!
)

Whether this was a good idea or a bad idea or just a waste of seed, here is what I did the other day. I would like to get some experienced opinions on this please...

I had a plot of turnips planted in mid August that are coming along nicely. In the hard rain the other day I decided to "use up" some other seed(s) that I had and I broadcast those over the turnip plot, trusting the rain to take them in the soil which it looked like it was doing. The seed I broadcast was a commercial mix of ladino clover, white clover, and other clover varieties. My thinking was that the clover, planted now, would give me some growth for next Spring, the turnips will get hammered in the next 2 months. Smart or stupid?

Since that felt so good and I had some more seed left,
, I decided to keep it up. So I went over a winter wheat food plot that is up about 4" to 6" with the same clover mix. Good idea or bad idea?

My thinking was that the more seed I laid down, the more stuff I would grow and extend the life of the plot.
 

bjkpharmd

New Member
Great Idea! I'd question the execution though- I'd probably have left it til March and frost seeded the clover blend. If clover geminates and gets too little growth this fall, you may lose a bunch over the winter. Some QDMers are making lots of talk about not "clearing the table" and having gaps in time when there is no food in a plot.
 

IA ML'r

New Member
pharmer's right, depending on how long we have until it gets cold for an extended time you may lose a bunch of it, frost seeding some more might be a good idea. If you had planted the clover at the same time as the brassicas it would have worked just like you are hoping for. That would have been pretty sure to give the clover time to establish well yet this fall and start growing early next spring. Just make sure you mow it at least twice next year and some grass herbicide like Poast or Select might be needed too.
 

Big Timber

Moderator
I agree with pharmer and 'ML as well,

I'll bet you'll see some clover come up this spring but frost seeding would have been the way to go. I guess it would depend on the condition of the ground. If the soil was somewhat loose, you will see some good growth as long as the seed isn't washed away. If it was fairly compacted, your germination will suffer. I haven't dealt with winter wheat much so I'm curious to see what happens.

Experimenting could bring something new to the table.

I'm interested to see what happens this spring. Keep us updated.

BT
 

Daver

PMA Member
The soil was quite loose, but to be safe I will also frost seed it too. The other thing I am noticing after two hunts near one of my plots is that the deer are nipping the turnip tops off so much it almost looks like bare dirt. I think I need to:
1. Radically increase the "deer droppage factor" by whacking a pile of does.
2. Plant earlier.
3. Plant more acres.
4. Fertilize, which I didn't do at all.

Thanks for the input, I am still learning to be sure, but this is quite entertaining to plant these plots and watch the deer react to them.
 

Big Timber

Moderator
Whack more does, and plant more acres.

I learned years ago that even 2 acres wont supplement the population. Deer densities are high in my county, this may be different for you.

Your on the right track either way.

Get out and take care of some does!


And don't quit experimenting, let us know how everything goes.

Good luck never hurts either.

BT
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
One of the best times to plant either clover or alfalfa is very late summer. Late July to very early Sept. Any weeds that germinate will die off from frosts and the following spring you will have a good seeding. I think you find that the deer will really tear things up this winter when they dig/pull up the turnips, which might be hard on any clover seedlings. You might still try frost seeding in Feb/March on bare ground (not on snow.)
You may have seedlings survive in the wheat but you will need to clip the wheat next spring/summer (if the deer don't) to keep it from shading out the clover.
 
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