December 16th, 2010, 01:16 PM
Well I have been seriously lax in updating this thread. Here are pics from my last two visits.
This series of photos range from late November to early December. I've got too many to keep the dates straight.
The radishes are doing extremely well. The deer are hammering the tops! This is exciting because they never touched the purple top turnips we planted for two years.
BTW, we added no nitrogen to the plots. Radishes are supposed to do REALLY well with nitrogen.
It's obvious in those pics where the deer are eating the tops. Others claim that they start eating the root later in winter.....I haven't seen that but will be watching for it.
December 16th, 2010, 01:24 PM
A pic of the plot and part of the apple/pear orchard I planted in it this fall.
More plot pics:
You can see why planting clover in the fall is better than planting in the spring.....you plant a mix that attracts deer and provides ground cover, while giving the clover time to establish a root system before cold weather. We had so much warm weather this fall that the clover is huge! This means that it will get a big jump next spring and will be much more likely to survive the typical TN heat and drought during July/August.
I plan to start a separate thread on the wildlife orchard I planted....just need to find the time.
March 4th, 2011, 06:42 PM
Pics dated 12/22. Cold weather smoked the oats which are now brown. It also got the radish tops. The radishes are still there however.
The rye is still green and going, as expected.
March 4th, 2011, 06:59 PM
Pics taken 1/15/11
The rye is going strong, the clover is in winter dormancy, the radishes are smoked and the oats are long gone. The radishes are smelling bad as the freezing/thawing is causing them to rot.
March 6th, 2011, 02:07 PM
mine is starting to come on again as well. The lack of rain last fall where we are at really stunted my plots. But the rye has done pretty well, and is starting to come on strong before everything else and they are flocking to it.
March 6th, 2011, 05:47 PM
Any evidence of deer hitting the raddish roots?
March 7th, 2011, 08:38 AM
I haven't seen any evidence of the radish roots being eaten. The tops froze and thawed so many times that they rotted to the ground, but the radishes below ground are still fresh. They should rot out this spring and leave nice holes in the ground.
March 7th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Sorry if I overlooke the answer, but do the deer not hit the radish greens until after a frost like with turnips? thanks
This is the most fun I've had since I started dating!!!!
March 8th, 2011, 08:33 AM
The deer were hitting the radish tops before we got frost. I watched them pigging out on the radishes several evenings during bow season. That is one of the big advantages of radishes over turnips or other brassicas.....they are palatable earlier.
March 26th, 2011, 10:58 PM
That is a big advantage! Now which type of radish do you recomend? thanks
This is the most fun I've had since I started dating!!!!
April 5th, 2011, 04:30 PM
Update pics from 4/2/2011.
The rye is starting to take off. It's amazing to look back at the dust bowl pics from last September and compare them to now. Rye really is tough!
Here you can see why I'm a big fan of fall planted clover. The clover spends the fall putting down roots, lies dormant during cold weather, and gets a huge head start in spring due to the established root system. This also makes the clover more drought resistant.
April 5th, 2011, 04:43 PM
There are three main ways to deal with the rye in the Foundation Mix in spring, and each has plusses and minuses.
1. Do nothing - the rye will grow to 4-6 feet, mature, dry down and turn to straw.
Advantage - easy, cheap, seed heads feed deer and turkey, rye shields clover, rye straw mulches the field, keeps weeds down. You also get free rye seed if you're replanting the plot.
Drawback - Hides clover
2. Mowing - Advantage is you control weeds and have a nice clover plot all spring and summer. The drawback is that it can take several mowings to kill the rye.
3. Spraying - spray Select, Arrow, or other generic clethodim to kill the rye and not the clover. Advantage is one pass over the field removes the rye. Disadvantage is that clethodim is not cheap.
This year I'm doing #1 and #3 on my two plots. The first plot has a great stand of clover and the ground is in good shape from several years of green manure crops. I sprayed it last weekend with clethodim and non-ionic surfacant. Crop oil is recommended, but it is uncommon in my area so I went with the surfacant.
In my other plot the ground is not in as good of shape and the stand of clover is not as strong. The rye will provide weed control and protection for the clover. It will also provide free seed this fall as well as a field full of straw.
This pic shows a strip of rye I let mature last year as an experiment. When I replanted the plot that strip regrew better than the rest of the plot. I believe it was due to the free seed and water retention provided by the rye straw. This pic was taken last weekend showing that the strip that matured last year is STILL outperforming the rest of the plot.
I'm excited to see what the results of these different strategies will be.
April 7th, 2011, 10:45 AM
Subscribed... Great thread!!
Mission Ballistic 28" 68lbs - Black Eagle Carnivors - G5 Optix XR - G5 Strikers - Ripcord - Trufire 3d Hunter
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May 14th, 2011, 09:06 AM
Would you expect that if the radish roots had froze, rather than rot, that they would have been sought after by the deer?
Great thread and pictures, thanks.
May 16th, 2011, 08:04 AM
Getting ready to mow my rye if I ever get a dry enough day. The rye right now is probably around 7ft!!!! The clover underneath is doing great!!
couldn't be more pleased.
May 16th, 2011, 02:11 PM
Clover will grow with that much competition for sunlight?
I've been thinking I don't have enough light for anything on my forest floor, because under the leaves is mostly bare dirt. I have some areas that are growing grass, but I can't possibly mow it due to the tree density.
May 17th, 2011, 09:00 AM
I think there's a difference between grain crop shade and tree canopy shade. I've not seen clover grow well under a dense tree canopy, but it does great under a grain crop. Maybe it's because in a grain crop the sun is shaded only a few feet above the clover? Wind action would ensure some light penetration too. Whatever the reason, there is a difference.
May 17th, 2011, 04:11 PM
Thanks. I need something to feed the bunnies I want to hold there, and it's hard to do without enough light. Deer aren't a problem because I have lots of birch and red oak. The bright side is that I also don't have all that many weeds either.
The game plan has always been to thin out the woods and get rid of a lot of the poplar (it breaks off in high winds anyway), so that'll open things up - but it's gonna take me a few years.
June 8th, 2011, 09:24 AM
American Plum planted in a Ben Meadows mesh tube on the edge of the plot.
Clover doing very well!
Here you can see the line of plums.
June 8th, 2011, 09:32 AM
The clethodim I sprayed in one plot nailed the rye, leaving a nice clean clover plot. You can see a couple strips I missed with the sprayer in this pic of two bucks coming in to eat just before dark.
The other plot I did not spray and the rye really took off.
Here is a maturing pea plant. They get huge in spring.
June 8th, 2011, 09:59 AM
The plot with the maturing rye started getting a thistle problem after the last pics so my Dad mowed part of it. Here is what the clover looks like a couple weeks after mowing.
Here is a pic of the plot that was sprayed with clethodim. I don't know if my substitution of surfacant for crop oil reduced the effectiveness of the spray, or if this rye didn't get hit. The rye was set back for a while but then came back.
I mowed both plots that weekend.
WARNING: Turkeys LOVE to nest in thigh high clover and chest high rye. I ran over an empty nest that had already hatched and then unfortunately ran over an unhatched nest with a hen setting on it. In the match of Turkey Vs. Bushhog, Bushhog wins every time.
The deer were back in the plots the same day I mowed them. In farm country they don't mind disturbance by equipment that much.
^ Not a bad view! If you look closely above and to the right of the doe in the pic you'll see some limbs trimmed out of the cedar tree. I have a stand there and took a doe from that same spot last October.
July 25th, 2011, 12:25 AM
July 27th, 2011, 10:03 PM
July 2 update:
The clover looks great.
The rye straw is doing it's job.....keeping weeds down and conserving soil moisture.
July 27th, 2011, 10:09 PM
That afternoon I took my girlfriend back to the plot to watch deer.......and proposed to her
as this twin buck and doe I watched play as fawns last year stood at 65 yards and watched us.
I'm a lucky guy.
July 27th, 2011, 10:14 PM
July 23 update:
The clover is maturing and needs to be mowed. I experimented this year by spraying Select on one plot and not on the other. The plot I sprayed with Select to thin the rye now has a LOT more weed pressure than the plot I didn't spray. The only difference I can think of is that the plot I didn't spray had more rye to keep weed seeds from germinating, had more shade from the rye itself, and now it has more rye straw to mulch the field.
Both of these pics are of the weedier plot. I failed to get pictures of the other one, but the difference is very noticeable. The other plot is almost clean while this one is looking pretty shaggy.
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