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Oh no, another clover question

Old 04-04-2003, 10:40 AM
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Location: Montezuma Iowa USA
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Default Oh no, another clover question

Clover has got to be the proverbial dead horse that constantly gets beat, but here goes anyway. I have a small (approx .2 acre) spot in the woods that is pretty much naturally cleared (just grass) and wouldnt take much to finish. I had considered hitting it with roundup, discing, and then planting with clover for a low maintenance kill plot. I had planned to do all this next spring (too busy this year).

In discussing this with a farmer buddy, his response was this. " Why dont you just round up the area a couple times this summer so it is completely dead by fall, then just broadcast your seed at the end of growing season so it will come up next spring?" " It will work fine and you will also not stir up any weed seeds, and this is basicly what occurs in nature." He really didnt think I should even bother with a soil sample and said he would be surprised if I really needed any fertilizer either (our soil is pretty good here). I finally convinced him of why I wanted the soil sample.

This sounds easy enough but every time I read a response about No-Plow (I was going to use regular IWC clover) you hear guys respond " yeah they call it no-plow but you still need to work up the soil and bury the seed, etc, if you want it to grow well" . I would just ignore my farmer buddy but he is a one of the more successfull farmers around and does raise some alfalfa.

So will his plan work well enough if I do everything else with the soil sample, lime, fert, etc, and just skip the discing? I considered doing this, broadcasting the seed in the late fall, and overseeding again in the spring just as insurance. It would be worth the extra seed $$ to skip the trouble associated with discing or plowing the sod.

Thanks, Timber

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Old 04-04-2003, 02:46 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

You can do what you' re saying but the better the soil contact with the seed the better the germination. Seed a bit heavier than normal. Nature will move the seed into the soil during the freeze and thaw. Or you can help it mechanically.

Dan O.
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Old 04-05-2003, 06:52 PM
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

Ed Spinazzola says it will work.(QDMA book: Food Plots, Easy as 1 2 3)
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Old 04-05-2003, 07:47 PM
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

Don' t ever try to figure out clover. Planted 3 new plots this spring 1/8 to 1/4 acre. Biologic mixed with Ladino.The seeds that came up the fastest? Seeds that were thrown out along the edges on the HARD untilled, and unfertilized ground. But the seed on the tilled ground is starting to catch up. But pressing the seeds helped, as where-ever I stepped when seeding was where the seeds popped first. I planted just before a rain and that set much of the seed.
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:11 PM
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

Thanks boys. I guess this is just basic frost seeding really. I would have the ability to cut the grass short before and after spraying and I also have a yard roller which should help with seed contact. All I have to lose is some sweat, a few multiflora rose bushes [:@], and a little seed. If it fails I can always do it " right" the next time.

Oh yeah, would you seed in August/Sept in hopes of getting some growth and benefit this year or seed late Nov/Dec for growth the following spring?
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Old 04-08-2003, 06:15 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

I personally wouldn' t wait until spring. Definitely do the soil test. You' ll probably need lime. Start liming now....use round up to kill off the grass, and if you can, burn the dead grass off. If you have a way to rough up the soil afterward that would help. Sow your seed in early fall(if possible press it in)...and you should have a clover plot this fall, and it will really boom the following spring. A few friends of mine, and myself have had good success with doing it this way.
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Old 04-10-2003, 02:14 AM
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

Ive got the soil collected for the sample, just need to get to the co-op for the test. My farmer buddy said it was even free. I dont have a good way to get the soil torn up, that is my biggest problem, cant get a tractor to it. I could try to rough it up with my drag harrow, but that dosent do much. I have a yard roller to press the seed in, but without discing the soil I dont think that would do any good.

My buddy said when his partner gets done spraying round-up with his 6-wheeler we could use it to kill the grass. He also said we could probably scrape up enough left over fertilizer at the co-op to do what I need, also free. My friends say Im a tightwad, not sure why...

I dont know if anything would grow if I overseed the dead sod in the fall without tilling the soil first, but seed isnt that expensive. I can frost seed again in the spring.

Thanks for the suggestions, I let you guys know how things turn out however I do it.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:57 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Oh no, another clover question

I know the feeling of having to do it by hand.After you use the Round-up drag an old piece of fence around just to ruff up the ground a little.I would use local clover(much cheaper and grows better),inoculate the clover and plant just befor a rain.Worked for me this season.
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