Best Spring Planting to Build Soil

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Nissen121523, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Nissen121523

    Nissen121523 Weekend Warrior

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    What's the best spring planting to build soil?

    I plan to only have about 2 months of growth--plant mid May and till under July 4th. Located near the northern tip of Wisconsin....

    I was considering Buckwheat or Clover. Which would you choose, or is there something different you think is better than these two?


    I should add, the main purpose of me doing this is to be able to plant Big and Beasty every year.
     
  2. AdamC

    AdamC Weekend Warrior

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    It kinda of depends on what u are planning on planting after u plow down your soil building plot. I use the QDMA web site a lot for habitat/food plot questions. There use to be a member user name Double tree ,Paul Knox was his name He put hundreds of pages of food plot info on there. With a little reading I'm sure u will get your question answered and a whole lot more.
     
  3. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Double Tree is a legend in the minds of many habitat guys. Or atleast his threads are. There are many approaches to plotting but DT's threads are awesome threads to be read some real life examples of real plantings.
     
  4. Robson

    Robson Weekend Warrior

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    My situation is a bit different then yours b/c of location. I plant big-n-beasty every year. This has worked great for me...

    -Frost seed clover in March
    -let the clover grow and feed the deer all summer
    -sprayed clover in July
    -waited 1 week and disc the clover over while still slightly green
    -plant b-n-b 1st week of August.

    Now I know you'll probably need to be a bit earlier then my time line. Some research I did said discing/tilling the clover while still green will add some nitrogen in the ground. I still follow the recommended fertilizer rates for b-n-b, but its worked out great the last couple seasons.
     
  5. MGH_PA

    MGH_PA Moderator

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    For non-amended soil, buckwheat is a great later spring starter crop. Needs warm soil for germination and is very sensitive to frost, so it's a late May planting for my zone (6a). We actually started a new plot on some ground this year that hadn't been used for 50+ years. We planted Buckwheat in late May, then broadcast rye/oats/clover into the standing Buckwheat this September (usually you won't leave Buckwheat stand that long), then mowed down over top to create thatch. A poor man's no-till, so to speak (check our Crimson N Clover's threads over on QDMA).

    The plot is doing well and we're working toward developing better OM at the surface.

    Yep. The man had forgotten far more about plotting than I'll ever know.
     
  6. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    MGH....that buckwheat idea of poor-mans no-till "drill" method is one we're gonna experiment with. Micro plotters have it tougher than the larger ones like Grant Woods' who push push push no till methods. Easier to do with a drill...spreading seed is much tougher to encourage more of that organic matter layering at the top to occur. Nice.
     
  7. Nissen121523

    Nissen121523 Weekend Warrior

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    Both sound great. I think I'm going to lean towards frost seeding some plow-down clover. I won't spray it, but i'll till it under over the 4th of July and then till again around July 24th and plant B&B. Planning to do this every year...... B&B is too good not to plant every year when you have limited food plot space!
     
  8. BJE80

    BJE80 Legendary Woodsman

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    You should probably still rotate out of it every so many years. You will eventually run into disease issues even with planting something in spring.
     
  9. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    I concur, although corn is the prime culprit of non-rotational issues anything over and over again as been linked as well if you ask around enough. If you want B&B every year, I would strongly be sure to have something else in it each Spring...whether that is Buckwheat...sunflower....clover....chicory...peas...or mixture of any/all the above.
     
  10. BJE80

    BJE80 Legendary Woodsman

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    Some People definitely have issues with multiple years of brassicas. Or so I've read about. Other people can go 4 years in a row no problems. It's a crap shoot. I personally would not do more than two years In a row. But that's just me.


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  11. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Most definitely. We are goin on year 4 on our one property this next year on one of our larger plots at the Swamp Prop. We are gonna divide it in half, one half is gonna be strictly no bulb brassicas and basically 90% oats and winter ryes. The other half will be Monster Raxx Last Heart Beet like normal...then next year switch.
     
  12. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    The same premise will work with most anything. The reason behind Grant's no-till methodology has two main parts.
    1. They have basically no soil, it's gravel with some clay mixed in between the gravel particles.
    2. Soil health and micro-biology (soil biota) promoted through diversity and high soil organic matter. Tillage absolutely burns up soil organic matter.
    Grant and his boys have been really big on promoting broadcast seeding right into standing crops for quite a while. They have done a couple of shows this fall on broadcasting a diverse mix into standing eagle forage beans.

    Different plants do different things, both for the soil biota and for each other because of root exudates and root structure. Buckwheat is a pretty incredible plant when you look closely at it's benefits to soil. Each plant fills a niche and that's the beauty of diversity. Gabe Brown is one of the pioneers of the no-till/soil health movement... I'd encourage anyone interested in the subject of soil health to look up some of his presentations on youtube and listen to his talks and general thoughts. They are into crop production and livestock but the same principles are shared by everyone, ag and food plotters alike. Paul Brandt is another good one to look up and watch some videos on.
     
  13. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Yeah the issue we've always had is weed combating with no till broadcasting on a small scale....but this next season we are going to plant soybeans in the spring and then broadcast mixes into them come late summer and fall....the only issue though is not tilling to prep soil for soybeans....not too worried though because failure on the scale we do isn't like hundreds and hundreds of dollars of seed.
     
  14. Nissen121523

    Nissen121523 Weekend Warrior

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    My problem is the size of our plots. we have 5 that are only a 1/4 acre on our 120 acres. How do i maximize these plots? Soybeans wouldn't get past 3''. I would really hate to have to plant brassicas every other year. we never have clover left come late november here in northern wisconsin.... so alternating years of planting brassicas would be a real bummer.

    I might try this: Till plots in late May, plant buckwheat and wait till mid Jul. Then seed all standing buckwheat plots with brassicas. Roll the entire plot with a super heavy roller to knock over the buckwheat. Then spray the entire plot with gly, as most of the stalks will be laying ontop of the seed. then i have a no-till plot w/ organic matter....right? Or is that stupid?
     
  15. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Do a plot with some winter rye and winter wheat. Be great for OM and weed suppression.
     
  16. Nissen121523

    Nissen121523 Weekend Warrior

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    For the spring planting or mid July planting?
     
  17. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Be an early August planting. Grow a while until freeze up and then again in the spring until you want to kill it off. Worth a shot for one of the plots.

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  18. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Buckwheat doesn't generally leave that much residue on top. If I were going to try broadcast no-till using a high crop residue as a seed germination medium, I'd probably either plant winter rye or winter wheat or winter barley with crimson clover, austrian winter pea and then late spring next year...terminate it, broadcast soybeans into it as it stands and then I'd probably clip it high with a rotary mower (bushhog) or...try rolling it down with a roller or cultipacker ahead of a rain. That should provide several tons per acre of crop residue to hold enough moisture for the large seeded soybeans and it'll have the added benefit of loosening your soil, providing lots of tonnage of great food plot over winter and spring and add some nitrogen to the soil.

    If you're concerned about the browse pressure on the beans, consider trying the small seeded forage bean that Grant Woods tried this year. Those seed at a higher population and grow aggressively enough to keep up with high pressure areas. Then as fall rolls around, broadcast your preferred brassica blends into the standing beans just about at leaf drop.

    The alternative would be to use a spring planted grass based crop like spring planted barley, wheat, oats, etc...as a base for the mix.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015

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