Planting Time - Graybeard Outdoors
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Default Planting Time

I just finished disking, planting and dragging three small plots. They total about a half acre. One was clover, one was alfalfa and one was a mix of clover, rye grass and brassica. Anyone else working the ground?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Planting Time

It is time, a bit past time here really, and I have been considering what to do. For the first time in forever, a good friend has slaked lime from a water treatment plant for free. Problem is, I am working too hard at the office to have an ounce of energy left, the motivation, or any helpers to go get it and spread it. No co-op or bulk spreaders for lime here. No independent spreader person or equipment owners to assist in sweetening the land.

I have four-plus acres of plots. Strips mostly. All very good for drawing wildlife from the Dismal Swamp to which I am adjacent. Problem is, historically, as soon as my iron and clay peas germinate, the deer get on them and don't leave until the peas are eaten to the air-sky interface and then the pea plants are dead. I have seen this cycle for well over 10-years of wildlife food plot planting. It gets real hot here with no rain, so planting time is touchy as crop failure is a real danger.

I may just plant grain sorghum again. That was fun. The bag said the individual plants would attain 4-feet in height and to seed at a rate of "X" pounds per acre. Not having a grain spreader with calibration, and spreading seed by hand cranked seeder, I am certain I spread the seed at "X squared" pounds per acre. When the plants passed 4-feet I thought "Good!" When the plants passed 6-feet I thought "OK." When the plants stopped growing at 9 and 1/2 feet in height and were so thick you could not drive a bull dozer through the field, I wondered how, from a 14-foot tall tree stand are we ever going to see anything to hunt in that? Fortunately, a sounder of hogs took up over-night residence the weekend before hunting season and nicely opened up shooting lanes in the most natural of ways. That was a unique hunting season.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Planting Time

I know what you mean Land Owner, hard to find the time and motivation for planting in this busy life. Hard to fight off the guilt of not getting it done. That sorghum was IMPRESSIVE ;D but sure would make hunting tough.

I just managed to get my and my mother-in-laws garden turned over and disc'ed, fertilized and planted this past week. My woods plots are small hand planted plots and they're still going gangbusters from late last summer when they were planted but i've been planning for years to cut a tractor path from my backyard to the "bottom" land where the property line is. Is only 600 yards but i can't ever seem to get motivated enough to go get started. If i could get the tractor down there i'd cut undesireable trees and open up a 1/2 acre by the creek to plant for the critters. I need to get it done over the next few years or i'm afraid i never will. J

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Land Owner.... How much deer use did your sorghum get? Interesting. I have no experience with sorghum.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Planting Time

In retrospect, I have to say that was one of the BEST hunting years for deer I have ever had. The wildlife, in particular the deer, were not afraid to be seen in daylight as the sorghum was such a good screen that they felt very comfortable inside it. Sort of like corn, or row pines, too dense to see in or out. It wasn't about the deer being drawn to eat the sorghum, I never witnessed that, but there was intersperced new growth that the hogs disturbed and caused to grow. The deer were after that new growth in that forest of tall screening where they felt safe.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. Always keeping an eye out for new tricks.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 08:22 AM
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I tried frost seeding a patch late this winter but haven't seen any growth yet. I like to burn off the old plots from last year so that's what I have been doing till the soil drys out enough to work it. I planted a seed mixture last year that had sorghum in it, but the deer never seemed to take to it like the small birds did. I'll plant more this year if for no other reason than I think it looks neat. I got a real good deal on some bin run buckwheat last fall so I'll be planting quite a bit of that to help build up the soil. I also bought a lot of black oil sunflower seed to plant this year because of the good experience I had with it last year. The seed is inexpensive, the goldfinches and other birds loved it, the deer seemed to enjoy it, (they ate the leaves of all things), and it provided a great natural screen in my other wise bare field. I just plant the seed that is sold for bird feed ( #50/ $20.00 ). Last fall I ordered PowerPlant from Cabela's , they backordered it, and eventually a nice lady called and said they wouldn't be able to fill my order for quite a while and wondered if I would like to cancel. I told her to let it ride so early this spring I received this years seed at last years close-out price! I just hope this year isn't as dry as last year. Although it is illegal to plant in Indiana, it sure would be nice to have a patch of Multiflower Rose thrown into the mix!
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