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Clover Seed on the Ground!

Old 10-09-2017, 11:25 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Clover Seed on the Ground!

After months of work first clearing brush and then removing rocks the 1/2 acre food plot was ready to plant. Of course that's about when the drought hit. Was finally able to get the seed down this weekend. It's a 50/50 mix of Patriot and Durana clover with some chicory planted around the edges and around the large rocks that were too big to move (we're talking VW Beetle sized stuff). For the most part there are zero weeds with the exception of some wild onions but those don't concern me. We've had some rain each day since so I'm hoping it will do well. I'll definitely post an after picture once it's up and going.

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Old 10-09-2017, 11:58 AM
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I would throw a bag of wheat on top of that.

Durana is a great clover but takes a while to establish. It does best when combined with a nurse crop.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:55 PM
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Valid point but I really don't have much of a heard here. In 6 months the only thing I've caught on camera is two doe with three fawns and two small bucks. This is with 3 different cameras. Very little food around here for them as there is no agriculture so there shouldn't be a lot of pressure on it for a while.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:58 AM
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Here we are 7 weeks later and for the most part nothing. Weather really hurt me. No real rain until recently and at this point I believe the temps are too low for germination. While there are a few spots that have come up it's really sparse and don't think it's going to do anything. Even the chicory did very little. At this point I think it's best to wait and try again next fall. Probably get another soil test done in July just to see where it's at and go from there. Kind of disappointing but really makes you appreciate the folks who rely on the weather and crops for a living.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:59 AM
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One reason I mix my plots, I call it the shotgun approach. Raps, Oats, Alfalfa, Winter Wheat, Rye and root plants, Radish/Beets. I plant plots in plots, a section of one thing, a section of another. I don't expect everything to do well, insects, weather and whatever is going to take it's toll, but I usually have something coming up always.

Alfalfa and Raps put down deep roots quick and seem to survive drought better. Root plants can go dormant for awhile and then continue growing. Cold hardy plants. like Raps and Oats survive some really low temperatures.

I try to have something going on all year round in my plots. Raps is really popular when it gets frosty out.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:07 AM
  #6  
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I don't really know of anything that would have done well under the weather conditions we had this fall. The seed was put down on bone dry ground with a forecast of 1+ inches of rain over a 3 day period. On paper it was nearly perfect but in reality we got less than a 1/4" of rain and the soil never got saturated to the point it would hold moisture for more than a day. Basically, nothing stayed moist enough to germinate the seed with the exception of a few low spots that puddled and held the moisture and dry seed will not germinate.

The current forecast is calling for 1.5" of rain next week but the next day temps will drop to lows in the 20's and only 40's for the highs. Current soil temps are in the low to mid 50's but that won't last long when the cold weather comes in. I'm afraid these seeds are doomed at least for now. I did seed a little heavier than the suggested rate so maybe enough will winter over and germinate in the spring but then we have our typical hot dry summer to likely kill that. Luckily I've only got about $70 in seed so it's not going to be a hugely expensive lesson to learn. Anyway, I'll update as things change or don't change.
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:04 AM
  #7  
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So, it's been nearly 5 months since my last update on the clover plot. Once the spring rains came and we had some unusually warm weather the clover started popping up. Last week (April 20th) I cut it back to about 4 inches to hopefully allow it to overcome the weeds. As of today that seems to be working as the clover has really come on strong and there are a lot fewer weeds. Right now the plan is to get some 0-25-25 down just before the next rain and do at least one more cut before the summer heat gets here. Overall it has filled in very nicely. There's a few thin areas that will probably get overseeded this fall. I really didn't expect it to do this well after I got no germination back in the fall so it's a very good surprise.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:09 AM
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That looks GREAT Ballistictip. I'd bet the deer are in it every night.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:59 AM
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Thanks Semisane. I'm totally surprised at how well it's done considering the conditions. I had a trail cam set up on the power pole at the far end of the picture. Beyond the pole is just an overgrown weedy area and to the left of it is an old clear cut that I'm sure it being used as a bedding area. The cam was only catching the back left corner and I'm seeing quite a few in there. I moved it yesterday in hopes of getting a better idea of what's going on. If I can get it through the summer I think it will do well. Both Durana and Patriot do better in their second year so I've definitely got something to look forward to.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:24 AM
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I agree looks great well done, , now to see how long it takes for the critters to hammer that on you LOL
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