Let it go?


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I planted a green manure mix of oats, peas and hairy vetch with the intent of turning it over for a clover brassica mix in early August. Here are pics of how it's going. Deer never seem to eat oats I plant and they are starting to produce seed. Peas seem to be browsed and a few have red flowers. My question is should I consider letting this ride for the hunting season? Will it continue to provide good attraction and forage? Or am I better off sticking to my current plan ?IMG_0416.JPGIMG_0417.JPGIMG_0418.JPGIMG_0419.JPG

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IF you do nothing at all - the plants will mature, produce seed (become less desirable to deer in the process) and some will re-sprout. What the deer don't eat the coming frost will kill and for the most part your plot is finished at the first good frost. If you planted winter pea they will survive the frost, but I would suspect few volunteer plants from peas as they are a larger seed and tend to need better seed/soil contact to germinate well.

IF you terminate this plot, reduce it to bare soil and re-plant. Which I get the feeling your considering. Depending on your tillage and planting method you can add a lot of work. Remove a lot of soil moisture if using more traditional tillage and remove a food source from your deer for at least a few weeks if not longer. Those deer will be forced to look for food some place else for a while. Also consider if your planting perennial clovers that they will not produce much this fall, but come on strong come spring. Annual clovers will be needed if you want to feed deer this fall while the brassica grow and mature. Use of a no-till drill can save you work and soil moisture if that is a possibility for you.

IF you employ a throw & mow/roll/spray type of plan you can transition your plot from one of summer feeding to one of fall and winter feeding without removing soil moisture, without the extra work and without much of a food gap to your deer.

Now this is where I have to shut up.....because I have NO experience first hand with throw and mow/roll/spray techniques. All I do know is that we have wonderful resources here that have that experience and can better help in that way if you so choose far better than I can. All I will say is that it will involve spreading your brassica and clover seed into this crop and then finding a suitable method for you to terminate the existing crop when needed, but BEFORE the seed you plant germinates. The dead crop creates a thatch to retain soil moisture and help your seed sprout. I would suspect you will get some volunteer plants from the current planting, but big deal. What the deer don't eat the frost will kill.

This is all just my 2 cents worth and may or may not even apply to your specific area and soils. If I have learned anything with plotting, it is that there is more than one way to do just about anything, so you have to do what works best for you with the resources you have available.
Do both!!!! It all depends on how big of an area you have. I have been wanting to have this scenario for my land but it never happens. I would do a strip plot. Leave your current in some areas and plant your fall plots in others. Then next spring replant your fall plot strips and plan on tilling under the stuff you left. I would say till under 10 foots swathes, then skip 10 foot. That way you can have both and you can have the best of both worlds. This is the right year to try this plan, the rain has kept our plots lush and green.

I can't seem to get my spring plots up to par, but this year with all of the rain, our NY plots are benefitting. One problem, I didn't plant one.

Good Luck
What was your reasoning for the original plan? What were you hoping to accomplish? (I'm not a fan of mixing brassicas and clover together, unless you're planting only forage radish as the brassica, and not much of that.)

The plot looks great right now, but is that a cool-season planting? What do you expect will happen with those plant types as the summer turns to fall and the first hard frosts hit? Given your soil quality, what are the best options available to you for a fall planting? What tools do you have available to manage the plot?

If it were me, I would definitely stick to your original plan, or some version thereof. Wait until around 8/15, in your area, and plant a cereal grain/legume mix. You can include some forage radish and you'll be very close to what is known as the Lick Creek fall mix. You can search for that on these pages; you'll find no better option for a fall food plot. IF you choose to do any tillage, leave the actual tiller in the barn (and some OM in the soil!) and just mow the plot, followed by a light discing. Set the discs at no more than 4" and only disc until you see half dirt, half vegetative matter on the surface. Do NOT disc until all you see is dirt...that's working the soil too much, killing it, in a way.

Better yet, don't till at all! Spray with gly, if you feel there are too many grasses or weeds in the current mix, then broadcast amendments and seeds into the standing (dying) vegetation and mow it fairly tight. If you have a cultipacker, run it over the whole works a couple of times. If you don't have a cultipacker...start looking for one, because they are one of the best tools you can have for food plotting, outside of an actual no-till seed drill.
I planted a green manure mix of oats, peas and hairy vetch with the intent of turning it over for a clover brassica mix in early August. Here are pics of how it's going. Deer never seem to eat oats I plant and they are starting to produce seed. Peas seem to be browsed and a few have red flowers. My question is should I consider letting this ride for the hunting season? Will it continue to provide good attraction and forage? Or am I better off sticking to my current plan ?View attachment 8021View attachment 8022View attachment 8023View attachment 8024

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Welcome to the forum! You have some nice pics there. And a nice summer plot. I'm thinking the deer are getting more off that plot right now than any of us would guess. I'd seriously consider doing half and half, like struttinfool said, but I'd cut it right through the middle to make less work. That being said I think you will be winning whatever you do, and I could support your original plan as well. I like Jason brooms ideas because I'm anti-tillage, but if that's the equipment you have and what you like to do that works too. The time that oats are worth their weight in gold is when you plant them around labor day and they are the only green things growing on Dec first, about 6" high. Every deer in the neighborhood will be there. Deer don't graze any maturing grain in the summer but will go for the seed heads when dry. And the oats protected your peas and helped them get started.
All good ideas so far! another variation of what has been stated is to leave ten to fifteen ft. of the mixture alive and well, maybe mow it now to get get fresh younger growth going again. The deer will enjoy it and a ten to fifteen wide strip would likely be enough. Brassica planting peak for me north of you is July 15 to Aug. 1. The ground here is very wet right now and plowing would be messy. That may make for some excellent Thro-N-Mow conditions. I planted the brassica here earlier this week. It should take well but if not there is still a planting window left to go the plow route and replant if necessary.

There have been two rains this week already so where there was sufficient mulch I'm expecting good results.I'm guessing you are in a similar trend of ground staying good and wet. Will know here in a few days whether the planting takes or not.
Thanks all very helpful. This plot is a little over 1/2 acre very long and narrow with a stand at each end. The intent of the brassica/ clover mix was to get clover established in the spring. The mix has both annual and perennial clover. This is the 3 rd year of this plot and both were brassica after spring buck wheat. Trying to rotate my plots for next year.

I like the idea of turning over some and keeping some (need to turn over only have tiller and disc.) Might consider mowing all this weekend and then in a few weeks turning over the top and bottom third near the stands and throw and mow in the middle but not spray. That should be a decent balance of keeping food for now and growing some for the fall season. If the throw and mow doesn't work I can maybe turn that over after the new stuff starts to establish. Thoughts?

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It sounds good. I believe I'd consider not mowing the middle now if you want to do throw and mow on that section a few weeks later. The thatch you create now may keep the seed in three weeks from getting good soil contact.
You have a good plot already why chance anything? Id keep it as is and overseed WR and maybe a red and white clover in there. I've also over seeded AWP and oats in standing field like that in fall with good success. Could mow after broadcast, but those peas look to be doing well and if they are winter peas, should carry thru hunting season and not sure I'd want to mow them.. Any decision is a win for you looks like. Good luck.
I would not till it. you have a great plot that is prime for the throw n mow method. You could leave half of it standing now and I would throw some AWP down with some red and white clover of your choice and some wheat. I would just mow it down without spraying. the deer will still feed on the new growth and help protect your new seedlings coming up. But if you think it was too thick to do that. Spray half and then do the throw n mow. The winter peas work well with a throw n mow. I am doing them again this fall as some candy in mine. then if you want some perennial clover, put it on the other side mixed with some rye as a nurse crop and it should serve you well. Just remember if you do a throw n mow you need to time it with the rain. I planted mine last year and we did not get any rain for over 90 days after I planted my throw n mow but I have had the best growth out of my plots this year. Good luck