First Time Throw and Mow

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by SwampCat, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    IMG_2270.JPG IMG_2277.JPG I have been planting food plots for many years - but this is my first attempt at throw and mow. After getting it done, I am not feeling too good about it. After seeding and bush hogging the plot - there were areas almost devoid of duff and some areas it was so thick I dont believe anything will come up. Besides that, it is dry as a bone. I sure wanted to put a disk on it and lightly till it, but I fought for the urge.
     
  2. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    A question for those who use the throw and mow technique- there were a lot of 15 inch tall box elder seedlings on this plot. I didnt spray it - do they keep coming back after not disking up the roots?
     
  3. Jason Broom

    Jason Broom Well-Known Member

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    Some things can only be learned after an expression of faith. Hopefully that holds true for you on this plot.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  4. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned in other posts about this, each situation is different and it may benefit you to spray with gly or a combination of chemicals. If I can get away without spraying, I will, but sometimes it benefits the plot to burn down the existing vegetation. With cooler weather coming, you might be ok with the saplings, as they go dormant. You might have set them back if they were in the process of getting ready for fall and transferring nutrients into the roots and you cut off the supply.
     
  5. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    9FD997B0-A349-45D9-9266-4DE348324323.jpeg Two weeks later and not a seed has sprouted - what is left of them. Hogs have eaten a lot of the seed. They dont bother the plantings that have been lightly disked - I guess just too appealing laying there on top the ground. Having doubts this throw and mow plot is going to amount to anything.
     
  6. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Did it rain after you planted? Was there good seed to soil contact? I'm just hoping to learn from your experience.


    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
  7. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Reading your post I was thinking, "I hope you don't have hogs". Same thing happened to me this year. I tried my first throw and mow and I can tell you that I won't ever try it again. I had to come back and disc, then reseed. I would have been better off to plant it the conventional way the first time. I've no doubt it will work with no hogs, but no hogs is something I don't have.
     
  8. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I got a 1.5” rain a few days after i planted. I though conditions should be pretty good. I did not roll it - so as far as seed to soil contact - the seed was just laying on the ground but not pressed in. Hopefully, i will still get a decent stand of clover.

    I agree - I could have spent another hour and tilled it in and had a good stand. I am not giving up on throw and mow just yet - but my initial opinion (subject to change) - is this method is best suited to either someone with limited tillage equipment or someone planting a very vew acres and can time everything perfectly.
     
    weekender21 likes this.
  9. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    I have never rolled mine. Just spread the seed and mow down the thatch. I guess I have been pretty lucky. At our lease, we T&M'd 3 out of 5 plots this year. The only reason we disced the other two is because we raked ground up tree debris out of both of them and wanted to get an initial loosening of the soil after it had been ran over with a bobcat when chopping the trees and the tractor making multiple passes to rake it. Here are a couple of pics of those and the last 2 are straight T&M, no discing. On all the plots, fert, lime and seed were all put out at the same time.
    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  10. Crimson n' Camo

    Crimson n' Camo Active Member

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    It’s really no longer a matter of questioning whether or not this method works. There’s been a lot of folks who have had success with it now. Enough to definitely say that it DOES work. If your planting failed then the question needs to be….Which variable in MY situation needs to be tweaked in order to have success with this method. Which variable or variables were not suitable for good germination and growth?
     
    Jason Broom likes this.
  11. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    It could be that you got some germination, but your lack of rain after that is the contributing factor.?. You didn't spray and none of the vegetation that was there at mowing, has any regrowth to it. Your original post says that it had been dry when you attempted this and you only got 1.5" of rain. It doesn't take long for dry soil to dry back out on 1.5" of rain if there is heat/sunshine involved. I have seen seeds pop out of the ground, get a couple inches tall and wildlife come through and wipe it out. Especially on plots about the size of what you tried this in. The first couple of times at my lease this happened and we thought nothing was growing. We have a lease member that traveled for his job and he got to stopping in and taking pictures of the plots when he was up there. We got pics of great looking growth in all of the plots for the first couple of sets of pictures(about 3 weeks from initial planting), then we go up there to work and see how the plots are doing, it is bare soil again. It will leave you scratching your head and wondering what you did wrong. This will really confuse you if you have a trail cam up and it doesn't produce but a couple pics of deer, only to find out that the trail cam had been messing up.

    How are your soil samples for this plot or are you trying to get started on building OM? This still requires some lime and a soil test is preferred. What did you plant, I might have missed it? How many turkeys are in your area? I've seen hogs eat just about anything, but it is very rare that they don't go through and root up the soil in a few places while they are eating. Is that rooting in the latest photo or just where the duff has been flipped up? I'm just trying to help you out by asking questions here, that may let someone help you figure out what might have went wrong and possibly make suggestions to fix it.
     
  12. lakngolf

    lakngolf Well-Known Member

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    I get some results from throw/mow or throw/roll and just throw, but last year tried an actual side by side with the t&m getting the best soil area. Last year was a disaster rain-wise. As I have described elsewhere, last year's tilled area method was to use chisel plow just before broadcasting and cover. This gave the seed a furrow to fall into, and produced some decent plots even in dry weather. Not so much for t&m. Many, many, many folks use the method with great success. With rain, I would assume my soft rich soil would produce good results. But the chisel plow was my chosen method again this year and will be in the future.
     
  13. Crimson n' Camo

    Crimson n' Camo Active Member

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    One other thing I would encourage everyone to keep in mind is that this is a long-term soil rebuilding process. It’s not a one time planting where you go out on plots that have been tilled for years and do side by side comparisons with how the first planting comes out. In many situations where the soil has been degraded… it’s gonna take rebuilding some top soil and establishing a thick thatch covering before you start seeing the same success as others.
     
  14. lakngolf

    lakngolf Well-Known Member

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    The reason I made sure the t&m was done in the area that had produced the best results before. I think the soil is pretty good!
     
  15. Crimson n' Camo

    Crimson n' Camo Active Member

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    Some folks will have failures or setbacks and will ask themselves “why”……others will have similar issues and just blame it on “T&M”. It has worked for countless numbers of people now all across the country. If you failed at it then it was likely due to either your implementation of the method or the current conditions of your field. Issues will most likely revolve around soil moisture in one way or another. Either you aren’t infiltrating water well….. or you aren’t retaining water well….or both. With proper soil moisture, T&M plots will thrive.
     
  16. lakngolf

    lakngolf Well-Known Member

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    As stated above....."Many, many, many folks use the method with great success. With rain, I would assume my soft rich soil would produce good results. But the chisel plow was my chosen method again this year and will be in the future."
     
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  17. shawn cox

    shawn cox Well-Known Member

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    Your clover will be fine. I only use throw n mow on all my plots except I had to disc one this year to smooth it back out from a lot of hog damage. I too have a hog problem this year. They just moved in a few plots where I had a three way mix of oats wheat and rye and a plot where I had AWP they most of the big seed. They didn't get any of the smaller seeds and they are coming up fine but I have extra bags of 3 way mix that I am going to put out once we put a little more pressure on these hogs and get them to move on hopefully. I will get it put down on the next rain event. The hogs did just like yours did it looks just like they just sucked it off the ground. We had 11 shot this weekend so hopefully they will leave. I hate them. I can't believe people would actually want them.
     
  18. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I am not giving up on throw n mow yet. I have many other conventionally planted plots that are not doing well - for lack of moisture. But, I expect them to come around as moisture becomes available. I worry about the seed in the throw and mow sprouting a root hair and then drying out and dying. That is not as likely to happen in the conventionally tilled and planted plots. The disturbed duff is due to hogs. They are not rooting the soil - they are pushing the duff aside. Where this has been done, there is no visible seed. This plot is 3/4 acre. I planted 75 lbs WR, 75 lbs WW, and 5 lbs white clover. My soil requires no lime - pH is a natural 7.5. I fertilized with 200 lbs 17-17-17. This plot has been conventionally tilled and planted since 2005, but layed fallow the last two years - with just bush hogging. The seed has not sprouted and been eaten. This plot is 200 yards, and within sight of my back deck. I check it almost everyday. I plant about 70 acres of plots every year, so perfect timing with preferred weather conditions can be difficult to achieve. Planting that many acres - I often have to plant when I can - not when I want to.
     
  19. maddog3355

    maddog3355 Member

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    Sounds like bad seed to me. I have never seen a plot fail like that, you should of had germination with 1.5 inches of rain.
     
  20. Crimson n' Camo

    Crimson n' Camo Active Member

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    Here's just one example of what I'm talking about in my previous posts. What is the white stuff growing on these seedlings? Do you have this in fields that have been heavily tilled for years?

    [​IMG]
     

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