Spring planting options


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I planted a long list of seeds on a newly cleared plot in September. I'd like to add buckwheat this spring but don't know if that's a good idea with everything that's already in the plot. I'm anticipating the cereal grains will bounce back in the spring along with the clover. The main plot size is .6 acre. I have an additional acre+ of logging roads planted in MRC and cereal grains.

Species planted mid September:
WW, WR, Oats, CC, MRC, DER, PTT and DR.

800 ponds of pelletized lime was added in September as well. All by hand so it's not as even as I'd like but I wanted to get something down. Initial PH was 5.6.

I added 20 pounds of WR in mid November but it's been cold at night, that might have been a waste.

I haven't tilled anything at all. I'm not planning on terminating anything in the spring unless the weeds are really bad. My hope is that the maturing cereal grains and potentially the buckwheat will out compete the weeds.

Current plan:
Broadcast Buckwheat ~April 2019.
Allow everything to mature, broadcast fall seeds into standing BW and cereal grain ~September 2019.
Possibly cut the mature cereal grains and BW with a trimmer.


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What type of grass is this? It was present when the plot was planted. Very clumpy. I’m not sure if the WR will shade it out or if it will take off and take over next summer.


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Not sure what the grass is but looks like it's being nibbled on?

I wouldn't buy your buckwheat just yet, because it looks like you've got a good stand of clover coming on. Your Crimson will be seeded out and dying in April, but your Medium Red Clover will keep going. How many pounds per acre of it, did you plant? You may have your MRC carry you right into the fall, in which case, I wouldn't do anything to try to shade it out. Assess your situation April first.

MRC is a biennial, so you should get 2 years out of it. If you like what you see, consider adding a Ladino next fall and work towards a perennial clover plot. Don't get too worried about weeds and grasses ..... the deer have figured out that they can eat around them! :) But it's always good to try to get them under control.

This is a mix of medium red clover and Advantage Ladino going into year 2 ..... Pretty thick and I just battle the grass.

Nice clover plot Farmer! Clover is the foodplot gift that keeps on giving. Weekender, good job on starting the field, but what is your longterm plan for this field? The reason farmer is talking ladino clover is because that would be the logical crop to be working towards. The difficulty with such diverse mixes is it takes away your spraying and mowing options, and thus can be difficult to control. On a small plot like this one I would be either working towards a longterm ladino plot, or a fall brassica plot. I'd say skip the spring buckwheat unless you are looking at a lot of bare dirt in April. That November WR should be growing, and that's the best transition crop in the field.
My initial plan was to get the soil prepared to grow a successful white clover plot. I’d like the plot to draw deer during the months of November and December if I had to choose a small time period but would like to offer food throughout the year. I have probably 30 acres of 1-2 year old clear cut immediately surrounding the plot so food isn’t really an issue. This is more of an “ice cream in a safe neighborhood” plan than a hunting plot. I didn’t hunt over it this year at all.

The more I read about it, I like the idea of diversity. Even in a white clover stand I’d probably broadcast cereal grains in the fall. I’d like to add radish or turnips but don’t want to dedicate the entire plot to that.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit the amount of seed I put on .61 acres! We were expecting and received ~12 inches of rain hours after I planted. I don’t live in the area so I wanted to ensure everything didn’t get washed away. At least twice the recommend amount of everything.

3 weeks after planting (first week of October):



Mid November:




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Diversity is good! You don't have to have 100% of your food plots in clover, but since it does so well in shade, you can pick your spots.

I'm with Farmer D on the white clover. Don't plant summer plots cause I don't need em. No ag within miles of our property. Native browse and durana/ladino keeps em on the property throughout spring/summer. Come fall...grains, brassicas to go along with the clover.
Your pics look very familiar, a newly started first year plot that had some growth but never really got started. I've had my share of those and believe me, next year will have it looking a lot better, first year plots are often poor hunting spots. If that were my plot I would frost seed ladino clover into the existing growth and then spray grass with clethodim when the spring growth is about three inches tall. You will have a tough time starting fall brassica in a thick stand of clover, and I would be very careful tilling those slopes because of washouts, you will lose a tremendous amount of organic matter if it rains on those slopes right after tillage. If you have a level corner of the field you could till and start radishes in part of the field for a fall planting. But my best experience with little plots by far has been ladino clover, especially slopes, and a small plot of clover feeds a whole herd with very little maintenance after it's established.
Thanks for all the advice! That's exactly why I love this forum. I don't think I'll make it back to our property until late February, possibly even later. Green up at our elevation (3k) in the mountains is pretty late. Most of the native early successional plants were ankle high the first week of May this year. I'm already looking forward to seeing what the plot looks like in April/May.