Re planting winter rye??

Jeff H

Well-Known Member
Back in October the county came through and cleared a power line that runs through my property and partially through my food plot. Before they cleared it, it was so thick you could not walk through it and keep your hat on. After it was cleared you could drive a semi truck through. The ground was heavy with slash and leaves. I'd say the ground was 70 to 80% covered with leaf matter and slash.
I took the opportunity to throw down winter rye and clover hoping to take advantage of the new clearing. The WR came in nicely considering what I had to work with but was not what you would expect with a typical throw and mow planting. The clover is still very small as expected but the coverage is not bad. The deer hit it pretty hard and now there is nothing more than an inch tall. The leaf matter is less now than before by 30 to 40% but still lots of slash.
My concern is what will happen when Spring arrives. I'm wondering if I should replant WR this late to try and get ahead of the inevitable weed and brush explosion that is headed my way when the weather warms.
I have enough left over WR to cover the area but don't want to waste it if it's not going to work.
Things to consider: I do not have a tractor. I usually rent but can't rent one currently. I'm 3 weeks off shoulder surgery so all work will need to be done by friends and my 13 and 17 year old sons. We have rain and warm Temps Monday and Tuesday.
Also I will apologize for no pics. I'm working off my tablet at home and can't get them to load.
what would you do?

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Winter Rye Grain would have been your best bet. That stuff gets tall and thick, and is allopathic so it does well for weed suppression and it will grow on pretty much anything. I have planted it at this time of year and had a good stand come spring...
You can certainly overseed with WR this spring...I have done it. You will also get a lot of growth out of the 1" stuff you have now...
I have wheat and rye that has been eaten to the ground but in another month it will take off and by June be waste high. You can always broadcast some more though if it's thin. Red clover frost seeds nicely also. I have broadcasted rye on bare ground in March after I had a pond built and it did great.
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I recently cleared the perimeter of my place with a dozer and broadcast rye without amendments

Result was a good stand. Rye usually starts to really take off late winter/early spring

Paul Knox wrote the gospel on rye in a legendary thread on the old forum

Thanks guys. I think I'm going to spread the remainder of my WR this Sunday. I'd love a good thick stand in the summer to throw and mow into.
I took my boys out yesterday to re plant or over seed the winter rye. This is what it looks like currently. Pretty much eaten to the ground. rsz_20170205_134333.jpg
Here is what the rest of it looks like. Much better coverage but still only an inch tall.rsz_20170205_134159.jpgrsz_20170205_134121-1.jpg
Without doing anything else you would be amazed at what that will look like in 2 months!
Your right I'm sure, but I really want a thick stand to throw and mow into later this year. It was also an opportunity to get my boys away from the ps4 and help out the Ole man. I went over some chainsaw safety and let them do a little edge feathering as well. It was a good way to spend the morning.
Here are a few pics from last year in the rocks behind our house...

February 29th, 2016

March 9th, 2016


March 24th, 2016

April 12th, 2016

April 21st, 2016 I am standing in it with my arms up.

May 31st, 2016

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Looks great Jeff! I've been anxiously waiting to see what you'd do with the clearing ever since my last visit in the fall. The rye is lookin good! As always, feel free to give me a holler if you're needing any help.