Foodplot Improvements for 2021

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Okiebob, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Okiebob

    Okiebob Grizzled Veteran

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    I have an existing clover plot that is about three years old so it is time to work the ground and replant. After years of doing this I think I have found what works for my area so this year I am doing Chicory and clover with a Buckwheat nurse crop for the spring. I have about 30lbs of Sainfoin as well and plan to border the plot with it, does not compete well when planted with others. In the fall, I will plow and plant another section of the plot with winter peas, oats and cereal rye as well as some sort of brassica. I haven't decided on whether to plant kale or turnips. 10 years on the place has allowed me to narrow it down to these varieties after planting a plethora of bags with a picture of a buck on it. What hasn't worked in the past, cowpeas, sorghum, millet, dwarf corn, winter peas when not planted thick and alfalfa, even tried peanuts one year.

    Buckwheat. I think it has to be the most underrated crop in a foodplotters arsenal. I'm not running a hotwire around the plot, I just plant a plot that is big enough to take the hit when developing and buckwheat is the key. Five weeks from start to finish. It has worked well for me in the past as a great nurse crop or if I have the time to do multiple planting, like every five weeks, over the course of the summer it is a great soil conditioner. But what generally happens is I plant it as a nurse crop and the deer just tear it up and give the other plants a chance to develop a decent root system before being grazed to death. I use it on my fall planting as well.

    What are y'alls plans for the upcoming year? And what are your experiences with buckwheat?
     
  2. Cannon06

    Cannon06 Weekend Warrior

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    When all of our work is complete, the goal is to have at least 1/8-1/4 acre this year. Expand each year after. We've decided to go buckwheat this spring. Hopefully it prevents weeds and builds soil. Then a combination of oats and winter wheat for fall. Still waiting to get results of the soil sample, so unsure of how much lime we'll need. Also using Plot Start liquid to help with getting the soil right. I heard it's a good product.
     
  3. GregH

    GregH Legendary Woodsman

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    We are still covered in snow here. Most of my plots are ready to go being clover this year so all I was planning on doing was a bit of frost seeding. I will still plant sunflowers and soybeans in my largest plot. The deer are still working it over on a regular basis. About 18-20 show up nightly.

    I will have to keep Buckwheat in mind for when I will start a new clover plot. Is it something that you can get from a co-op? I've always used oats as a cover crop.

    I had a great patch of Chicory a while back. One year I decided not to mow part of it just to see what would happen. I was surprised when it grew 5' tall. It was way woody and full of stems that the deer weren't interested in. However, it reseeded itself beautifully. In the future I'll most likely keep it mowed.
     
  4. Okiebob

    Okiebob Grizzled Veteran

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    It is the least expensive seed I can get, $38 for a 50lb bag. You never see it in any of the deer on a bag blends. They absolutely mow it. I used it when breaking ground on a new plot, disced and planted every 5 weeks for three rotations, never had to worry about mowing it first as they had decimated it each time. I think it has a lot to do with being a not so commonly used variety. Deer can go to any of the neighbors plots and munch on clover, chicory and cereal grass of some sort but not big tender Buckwheat leaves. When it flowers, if they let it get to that stage, the bees go bonkers for it too. The cover crop bonus is that it mines phosphorus from a taproot that will go as far down as the hardpan.
     
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