The Foundation Fall Mix


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  1. #1

    The Foundation Fall Mix

    I have mentioned this mix in a couple of other threads, and thought it had enough value to relatively new plotters (such as myself) to have its' own thread. (And I need to stop hijacking scrapejuice's!) I tried to think of a title that would be easy to remember for future searches, and Foundation is the best I could do. I chose that because this mix is the foundation of my plotting strategy. Wherever I want to go, I usually start from here.

    Winter Rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
    Spring Oats 80-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
    Austrian Winter Peas 20-80#'s per acre (4010 or 6040 field peas will work fine for 1/2 the price)
    Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre
    Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre
    I take NO credit for developing this mix, as the work was done solely by Lickcreek over on the QDMA forum. Here is a link to his thread:
    This is an awesome read, but at last count it was 50 pages long, so I'm just trying to condense some of the info here.

    Advantages of this mix:

    The oats are an early season attractant, but will die out in northern climes due to severe cold.

    The rye will make it through winter, feeding deer the whole time from fall through spring.

    The peas, well, they're deer candy. Enough said.

    Groundhog forage radish- smaller crown than most brassicas, so it wont shade out the rest of the mix, and deer start eating it sooner than other brassicas. Also develops a long taproot that can help break up hardpan.

    The clover will start in the fall, develop roots and wait for spring. In spring it will get a jump start and you'll have a clean clover plot all spring summer and fall till it's time to plant again. This means no spring planting, just maintenance mowing. In the fall, disk the clover in to put free Nitrogen credits back into the soil, then plant the same mix and do it again.

    The rye will grow to 4 ft tall or so in the spring, but doesn't even have to be's not planted heavy enough to shade the clover. (Another reason to plant the oats-so they will die in winter and you won't have a stand of cereal grain thick enough to shade the clover out.) Even if you want the grains gone in spring you can either bushhog or spray clethodim to have a pure stand of clover.

    Rye also has alleopathic chemicals in the roots that inhibit weed growth. It's also a nitrogen scavenger that collects nitrogen from the soil but releases it back into the soil as it decomposes.
    An idea on cost, where to get, and a repeat of some of the advantages.

    Call around for seed prices and availability. The only thing I will have to pay shipping on will be the groundhog forage radish. Peas, oats, rye, red and white clover are commonoly available. You may have to talk to several farm supply stores though, and they may have to put in an order for you.

    I will probably get my radish seed from Welters

    Here are some prices in my area:

    Rye $12-15 / bag or bushel (1 bu = 56 lbs)
    Oats About the same as rye, give or take (oats are 32 lbs / bu)
    Peas Varies- $30-50 / 50 lbs for austrian winter peas, up to half that for common field peas.
    Clover- $3-4 per lb for red, white can be more
    Groundhog Forage Radish - $2.65 / lb at Welters. They usually charge a fee for splitting a bag, and you'll pay shipping. It's worth it to me if I can't find anyone to order them for me.

    Here is the mix again:

    Winter rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
    Spring oats 80-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
    Austrian Winter Peas 20-80#'s per acre (4010 or 6040 field peas will work fine for 1/2 the price)
    Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre
    Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre

    So, if I plant
    80 # rye = ~$24
    80 # oats = ~ $24
    50 # AWP = ~$40
    10 # Red Clover = ~$35
    5 # Forage Radish = ~$15-20(? on shipping and handling)

    Total Cost = around $143 per acre. That will vary quite a bit on local prices. The cost can be lowered a lot by finding field peas instead of AWP.

    Even at this cost, it's well worth it to me. I saw more deer in plots last year than I ever have before. They stayed around all winter as well, which they have NEVER done on our place. It was pretty cool.

    You've also got to remember that this mix saves replanting a spring plot b/c the clover takes over. This means you're getting a full year of foodplot for the price of one planting. Here's a pic of the clover in my plot that I planted this mix in last fall. The pic was taken last weekend, and it has not been mowed in this pic. The nibs are all from deer browsing.

    They're hitting this red clover so hard it can't bloom, and that's hard to do! The clover piece of this mix is essential--only maintenance mowing is required in the spring and summer while the clover feeds the does during fawning and milking season, provides a good source of protein for the bucks, all while fixing nitrogen. The nitrogen will be captured by disking the clover under in the fall to replant the plot. The nitrogen will help the next crop, and reduce any fertilizer costs.
    How to plant:

    Best way is to disk, broadcast rye, peas, and oats, then cultipack. Then broadcast radish and clover and cultipack again.

    If you don't have a cultipacker, I would broadcast the rye, peas, and oats and either drag or lightly disk it in and then broadcast the clover and radish before a rain or very lightly drag it. The clover and radish doesn't need to be more than 1/4" deep.
    When to plant:

    Plant 4-6 weeks before average first frost. My average first frost is 10/14 and I planted last year around the middle of september. I could've pushed that to late september or early september pretty easily. My archery season starts in late september, so that means I want my plot a couple weeks old then.

    You don't want to plant too early, or the cereal grains will get too big and "stemmy" and will not be as palatable to deer.

    Rye is less critical on planting dates than most things. It will germinate and grow at pretty low temps (mid to upper 30's). Last year I sowed rye on top of the ground into standing beans in early october. When the farmer leasing the ground harvested the beans, I had a stand of rye already 3-4 inches tall. That kept deer in that area all winter and into early spring.
    An example of how to use this mix as a foundation plot:

    I will replant the mix every year because the grains, peas, and radish are a great fall attractant. I could just as easy use this plot as a GREAT way to establish a permanent clover plot.

    Clover is an important food plot, but it is most useful in spring, summer, and early fall. It goes dormant in cold weather and deer utilize it much less than the other parts of the mix at that time.

    That boils down to me replanting the fall mix to hunt over, and having a red clover plot the next spring summer, and early fall. I use red instead of white because it is cheaper and establishes quicker. White is usually more preferred by deer and has a higher protein content.

    If I wanted to establish a long term clover plot, I would plant the basic mix with some red clover and more white clover. The red would establish and grow quickly, the white would take over later. White lasts a few more years than red.

    As fall planted clover works MUCH better than spring planted, this basic mix is a great segway into another plot. It's also a great way to condition new ground.

    The tinkering options are endless. In one plot last year I left out the clover, then disked the plot under in May and planted buckwheat on May 9. On July 4 I disked the buckwheat under. It will come back from seed, and I will till that under for my fall plot (AFTER having a dove hunt over the mowed buckwheat field full of buckwheat seed). That makes 3 green manure crops in the same calendar year, all starting with the foundation plot.

    Again I take NO credit, as the work that went into it was done by someone that knows a heck of a lot more than me. I do hope that folks find this info as useful as I have. If you do, let me know! I'd appreciate questions, comments, or complaints.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    pettis county MO


    Looks great but thats not cheap!
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  5. #3
    I estimate things on the high side . Prices vary widely with location. Call the farm supply stores in your area to get prices.

    I could just as easily plant:
    50 lbs rye @ $12/ bu = $12
    80 lbs oats @ $10 / 50 lbs = $16
    25 lbs field peas @ $25 / 50 lbs = $12.50
    10 lbs r. clover @ $2 / lb = $20
    5 lbs g.hog radish @ $3 / lb = $15

    Total here would be $75.50. I tend to go heavy on the seeding rate because the deer POUND it on my place.

    If you have to go cheaper than that, plant only rye, peas, and clover. Tinker with it, and bargain shop for seed.

    For comparison, I just checked on Buck Forage Oats. $38 per 50 lb bag if you order more than 10 bags. Planting 2 bags per acre in a stand alone mix, you've got $76 per acre in seed there, and none of the benefits of the other components in the fall mix.

    Imperial whitetail clover costs around $80 per acre (from their website) Red clover I'm estimating at $20- $30.

    The fall mix I've listed has many soil building advantages over other mixes I've seen, and it is very versatile. In one planting you get a killer fall attractant plot, a winter nutrition plot, and a low maintenance clover plot the next year, saving on fuel and time by not having to replant a spring plot.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    Leave out the radishs and clover and it will BE CHEAP. However, by leaving out the clover you will most definatly have to maintain the plot next year.

  8. #5
    Are spring oats called any other name? I was looking around on welters and couldnt find spring oats on there.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    Quote Originally Posted by BLUE72CAMARO View Post
    Are spring oats called any other name? I was looking around on welters and couldnt find spring oats on there.
    Oats are oats are oats. I never heard of spring oats I guess. Another forum I belong to a guy planted straight standard oats along side of Buck Forage Oats. He said the standard oats actual held more deer throughout the year. He said it was never more than 1 or 2.

  10. #7
    Ditto on the oats. They are called different things in different parts of the country. I believe a lot of people call them spring oats because that is when you would plant them in order to get a grain crop. Unlike wheat or rye, oats won't make it through a winter of really cold weather. In Tennessee a common variety is Bob Oats. In other parts Jerry Oats are common. Find out what your local farm supply store recommends for your area.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Western PA
    Thanks for the info on the plot mix. We have a new lease and will be doing our first plots this fall. Right now the plot sections are either weeds or clover/weed mix. Would you suggest killing it before we plow? I know part of the plan is to plow in the green manure but for the first year I am worried about the weeds.

  12. #9
    If you're working new ground I would definitely hit it with a dose of 41% glyphosphate (generic roundup) at 2 quarts per acre about a month prior to planting. Then plow the plot, disk, and plant. Killing it first will make the plowing go easier, and plowing itself will destroy many of the roots of persistent weeds and keep them from coming back in addition to making the soil much easier to work in future years.

    If it is new ground, a soil test and lime/fertilizer is highly recommended.

    If you worry about weed competition, leave the clover out of the mix the first fall. Then:
    1. Disk the plot under next spring and plant buckwheat
    2. Let it mature to 8 weeks or so and make seed, then bushhog and disk in again. It will come back from seed.
    3. Let it go until time to replant the fall plot when you would disk it under again.
    4. Plant the fall mix, this time with the clover. The BW may come back again from seed, but the first cold snap of fall will nuke it and it will be gone.

    The advantages of this last strategy are:
    - Three green manure crops in one year, adding back a LOT of organic matter to the soil.
    - Buckwheat is great for both organic matter AND weed suppression. It grows so fast it shades out weeds.
    - Repeated disking allows weed seeds to germinate, disking again kills them. Eventually you will deplete the seed bank and all that will remain is what you put there.
    - The spring/summer of year 2 you should have a hugely reduced weed presence, leaving a clean clover plot and much better ground.

  13. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    If your going into a new piece most definatly spray that crap out of it. If you can do it, spray it, let it kill, disc it, let it green up and spray again. (takes alot of time). But I defiantly agree with Deathbringer on the spray now and do an annual crop of something like rape or rye or oats or peas something that is done by spring. Then spray again next spring and disc and then your options are endless at the point.

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Western PA
    Thanks guys, When you say "disk" it under in the spring. Are you able to use a disk only ( no plowing )? Or is this just a term you are using for tilling the ground. We soil tested but we chose info for corn and soybeans. Changed our plan since then. I'm going to have to do some investigating to determine the fertilizer.
    By the way we can't use your Foundation plot mix name. We have already be referring to it as the "Deathbringer Plot mix".

  15. #12

    First and most importantly, it's not my mix . I chose that name because I wanted it to be memorable for future searches and because that is what it is in my plotting strategy. If you call it anything else, call it the "World Famous Lickcreek Fall Mix". Lickcreek is the only one who developed it. Here's a link to his original's pretty neat to see how this developed over time.

    On to your question...

    When I talk about disking next year I am assuming that you will plow this fall. If that is the case, I would bushhog the mix in the spring, and only use a disk to work the field. This alone will bury a large portion of the green matter with only a pass or two of a good heavy disk. The same applies for subsequent diskings. Once you plow the ground, you won't need to plow it again for a long time as long as you work it every year or two.

    BTW, I get the humor in "DeathBringer Plot". I chose my username for the same reason. I have a friend I mess with all the time, and I named a stand the Death Bringer stand and told him he could never hunt out of it because he didn't have enough killer instinct. My handle is definitely tongue-in-cheek.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    in a roadside ditch
    I'll be planting this mix in a 1/2 acre plot and a 1/3 acre plot this fall, bout the second week of Sept. Can't wait!!

    Getting ready to spray them in then next week or so.


  17. #14
    i will be using this also

  18. #15
    In about a month and a half it will be time for me to put in the fall plots....for guys in northern areas it'll be much sooner than that.

    Here is what my plot looks like on 7-24. There is a very good amount of red clover, but the summer heat has weakened it enough to allow quite a few weeds to come in. That is ok by me though, I'll just call them forbs. Forbs are a preferred browse for deer, and it makes it sound better than saying I've got a weedy field.

    I am pretty sure the deer have been feeding in this plot every afternoon since spring. But to be certain I climbed up in my treestand yesterday afternoon with a camera.

    I saw these two does and a nice looking young 6 point. They browsed by me for over an hour, absolutely gorging themselves on the mix of clover and a few "forbs".

    Is it deer season yet???

  19. #16
    I was asked in a PM "If you could only plant 3 seeds in the mix, which 3 would it be?"

    The answer is easy:

    The rye is IMO the best cereal grain for a fall plot, the peas are candy and go great with rye, and the clover adds the next year's low maintenance plot.

    By giving up the oats you lose diversity and possibly have a little more maintenance the next spring. This is because in cold climates the oats will die out, leaving a thinner stand of rye the next year which is easier to deal with if you have limited equipment.

    By giving up the radishes you lose fall attractiveness and the soil building qualities the radishes bring.

    If I only planted rye/peas/clover I would up the rye planting rate, possibly up the pea rate just a little, and leave the clover rate alone.

  20. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    I would go:

    I would up my peas/rye and leave the radish rate alone. The rye most definatly is better in cold climates, peas make any plot better if you can keep the deer from mowing them off before they grow past 1inch. As long as the radishs arent too think the everything else will grow fine. You still have the radishs for the late season draw and come spring then you can frost seed or go through a standard planting of clover/chicory. And as far as maintance goes, with a good frost seeding you can mow the rye off a couple of tmies and its gone.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bowhuntr311 View Post
    I would go:
    I'll add my 2 cents on this. Dwarf Essex Rape can be subbed in for the radishes, but it doesn't offer the soil compaction reduction that radishes do, you don't get the organic matter benefits, and it has a larger crown than the radish so it will shade more of the plot. Also, radishes are a nitrogen scavenger meaning that the plant takes in nitrogen while it is growing, then releases the nitrogen back into the soil as the root decomposes. DER is not a nitrogen scavenger, it is a nitrogen user. On top of this, the radishes are usually favored by deer over rape.

    Dwarf Essex Rape is the only rape I could recommend with this mix because the others have a much larger crown and will shade out large portions of the plot.

    IMO, radishes offer more bang for your buck than DER and are a much better option than the larger rape varieties.

  22. #19
    got a question about the radish`s. can i replace the groundhog radish with another radish type? can`t get the groundhog radish around here anywhere.

  23. #20
    If you can't get them, sub in something else. Forage radishes, tillage radishes, and daikon radishes would all work. Price shop though, because some radishes are marketed directly for food plots and they cost a lot more. I'd stay away from those.

    I will be ordering 50 lbs of GFR from Welters Seed this year. I only need about 20-25 lbs this year, but if you order 50 they pay half the shipping. Total cost is 2.65/lb plus $11 for half the shipping. What seed I don't use I'll put in the deep freezer for next year.

  24. #21

  25. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    You think this recipe will work just the same? Now, so you know I already purchased it today and am planting tomorrow, just would like to know if it will work the same.

    Oats - not spring oats?, the guy at the co-op said they'd be the same though
    Forage Peas - Had to go to 3 different stores to find any peas at all, said they wouldn't produce peas this late in the year but said deer love the leaves?
    Winter Rye
    White Dutch Clover - }
    White Ladino Clover - }Never realized how small clover seed is.
    Red Aslike Clover - }
    Bullseye Turnips - I did find radishes at my 3rd coop today, but had already bought the turnips. Not sure if they are purple top or not.

    The guy at the store told me to use 17-17-17, but couldn't find any, so he gave me his last bag of 20-10-10 and 3 10-10-10. Don't know if this will work, but it has to be better than none right???

    Im also going to throw out 300 pounds of lime. Just tilled the bean field today so this is all happening tomorrow before a week of rain. Hope it aint to early.

    Let me know if you guys think this will work the same.

  26. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    forgot to put how much of what i got

    rye - 50
    peas - 40
    clover - 10
    turnips - 10

    acre and a half field give or take

  27. #24
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    Captain you have an 1.5 acres and your putting the numbers listed above in pounds of seed?

    I would think your turnips might be a little heavy. In a stand alone planting turnips are suggested to be planted at max 7lbs/acre. Turnips and DER both have large leaves. I would be concerned with them shading out the other stuff. For 1.5 acres I would probably back the turnips down to 5lbs.

  28. #25
    It sounds like a good mix. The mix of clovers should be a good way for you to establish a longer term clover plot. The only thing I would worry about would be the turnips. Make sure you don't plant them too heavy or they can shade out other parts of the mix.

    I'll echo bowhunter's concerns on the planting rate of the rest of the mix as well. If it were me I would add a bag of rye and go with 100 lbs rye and 50 lbs oats for 1.5 ac. You could even add a bag of rye and a bag of oats. The heavier planting rate on the cereal grains won't hurt anything and will probably result in a thicker stand. Did the peas come in a 40 lb bag?

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