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Alfalfa, chicory clover mix plots
Established September 2016 with annual cereal grains and clover Alfalfa mix. Put in Frost seed Alfalfa Clover chicory mix late February looking at what type of maintenance recommended. 100 acres Woods ponds 4 Acres in six plots. Thanks for any advice haven't seen any Alfalfa clover chicory food plots in the Forum so think I might have screwed up LOL.
All the plots look like this, ph and fertilizer is right on.
Shoot a bunch of those turkeys
Keep it mowed (Before weeds head out, or at full bloom if clean). I mow half when required, then come back a week later to do the other half
Mow now lower than 6". Do not mow when dormant
Ensure base saturation K stays above 4% , best at 6% for clover forage
Spray any grass weeds with Cleth (Arrow) when very small
This mix has been the best /most consistant draw of any during SEP - DEC hunting season
I planted an alfalfa/clover/chickory mix last year. Mowing kept the weeds out but the chicory didn't like the mowing either. Also sprayed the plot with a generic for slay called "thunder" and sprayed clethodim. Although I do think spraying helped during the dry summer months when I didn't want to mow I think the mowing helped the most. The alfalfa and clover are both coming back strong! Good luck with your plot!
Thanks guys, Pat how is that plot in your picture?
Not trying to step on your thread Stressless. I think that Pat's plot is Plot 9 in the 2017 seed review.
I will be planting an alfalfa chicory + mix, High and Dry from Grandpa Ray's this spring.
I have planted chicory with Durana clover in a couple plots. The chicory had come up and was hit pretty hard last year.
Nice observation on alfalfa, clover and chicory. Maybe we can get some opinions.
Hi Bob, I saw the plots and they looked familiar so I check who it was. This is your neighbor. There sure are a lot of turkeys in the area. I am going walleye fishing tomorrow and hope to have fresh fish for turkey season. I am planning on hunting the first week of season. I can bring some fish and single malt. Your plots look good. Cliff
Pat, a couple of thoughts for you to ponder. For a full season blend with alfalfa, ladino clover might perform much better than red clover in the summer months, especially if the weather is hot. Ladino clover does not lignify like red clover and alfalfa, this makes it much more palatable in the summer heat. Secondly, I would not underestimate the benefits of chicory in a food plot blend. One of the biggest benefits of chicory is its ability to bring minerals to the deer. I run a small grassfed beef farm and my pastures have chicory blended into them, it has reduced the mineral supplements I feed by a tremendous amount. I don't think we always recognize the total benefits of individual plants in a mix, nor do I believe that we reap the full benefits of most plants when they are planted in a single species plot.
Purchased alfalfa this year and plan on putting in a couple of acre plots based on Pat's success. Now if I could just get Pat to plant it for me....
So fellas what I was wondering 1) is there is a herbicide that will work on a Red/White clover, Alfalfa, and Chicory mix plot? 2) If not then a mowing schedule to keep the weeds at bay?
Twanger - Howdy partner! I plan to bring some of the wild boar I got this winter and it definitely goes well with single malt. If you get lucky fishing I'll wip up that Walleye Marsala again. I will be there the first week as well.
Here is early stages of plot I planted 3 yrs ago. Like Pat, the clover took over. One mistake I made... I waited to long to mow and lost all my chicory. It seemed like it was to mature and never grew after I mowed it. Hoping the the roots will produce new chicory this year. Good luck!
Stressless, I have a lot of grass in my clover plots and need to spray them. Looking to do that in May. If your plots need to be sprayed let me know.
OK, looks like a spot spray of Clethodim 26.4% Herbicide for the plots with Clover (red/white mix), chicory, and alfalfa to knock back grasses, as well as regular mowing. This is what it looks like late Apr. Will spray in mid-June after mowing. Thanks for the input and advice, new to the plot kabuki dance - just learning the steps.
My experience with cleth is the sooner, the better. It takes a while to work and mature grasses don't die easily. Yours looks like it needs to be sprayed pronto.
Is it better to plant the alfalfa in the spring or fall Lewis
Drycreek - the stems you see are the nursery crop of cereal rye and oats from last fall. I jsut established the plots in Sep '16 those oats and rye they will die off in the next few weeks and make some mulch for the somewhat poor soil in the plots.
Didn't use any spray just cut it twice and it still has chicory Alfalfa and Hearty clover.
So many people don't realize that many of the broadleaves in your new food plots are annuals. If you clip them, they might regrow but the 2nd time you clip them they pretty much are gone. How do you think organic farmers make a living without the use of chemicals?
A firm seed bed that allows your perennials to germinate fast, getting ahead of weed canopy is essential.
Has to be vastly superior for promoting good soil health.
This is the field Sep 10, 2016 at in initial planting, the neighbor organic farmer that disc'd it did it three times over the summer to kill all native grasses / veg - not a drop of herbicide on it to date.
Same field in June with the cover crop of cereal rye and oats up, we cut the grains after seeding (as you can see) to provide a straw mulch and to put the grains where the poults and other critters could get at them.
How short do you all cut the clover chicory plots? I cut mine about 3 weeks ago with my brush hog up about 8-10" but afterwards thought I should have cut shorter. I think I could mow again this weekend with all the rain we have gotten.
Cut it 7 inches high roughly but it was the first cutting actor the cover crop went down so we felt it could take it and it's responded very favorably. Note that there is chicory and Alfalfa in it as well.
Best time to plant alfalfa spring or fall Lewis
Lewis based on my limited experience Plant in early fall with a nursery crop of annual rye and oats, frost seed it in Feb - if you have woods near - blow the leaves before frost seeding for best seed/soil contact...
Thanks yes leaves can be a problem Lewis
Stressless, I can see that grain now that I look at it again. I'm gonna try that myself in about a month. I'm planting Granpa Ray's Mass Builder on a 3/4 acre plot and using wheat as a nurse crop. Hoping to get something in there that the deer can't outrun.
New clover/chicory plot planted mid June.
Good stuff, Rob-VT - glad it came in thru summer. The clover here in Ohio is fading some in the heat but the alfalfa and chicory is doing well. All are producing good root systems helping push N back into some poorish soils. Here the utilization, chicory is getting beat!
Stressless where about in Ohio are you? I'm SW Ohio. Your plot looks great.
Will mowing thistles before seeding get rid of them. I got thistles with some seed I planted. Never had them before.
I'm South of Millersberg, Coshocton county. Def mow before they go to seed, also make sure your soil samples are up to date and follow the agronomists advice for your plots. Also Ohio DNR has a Private Lands Biologist program where they will come out to your farm and review your management plans for the entire farm, ponds, woodlands, food plots... for free.
Things that go bump on your cell phone..... on the back plot, sweet dreams
Very happy with 6-7 of the 8 plots I put in last fall, got this pic almost to the day a year since I plowed the ground to establish the plots. The tire marks are the winter wheat overseed, 11-52-0 and 0-0-60 fertilizer I put on three hours earlier then this pic.
Epilogue: All 8 plots, 6 disk and plowed, 2 natural worked REALLY well. We took all 4 deer off the plots and saw/had GREAT hunts on them almost every sit. Making access trails this year to get-in /get-out better. My second P&Y - I'm hooked on the plots and the sound management. Thanks for the help/tips I'll be back over 2018 for maintenance questions on the plots.
My #3 Hitlist buck, rough Gross ~ 148
Nice buck and great shot! Congrats on your plots!
Congrats on the bucks and food plot plantings.
Very nice! Congrats on the success from all of your efforts!
AWESOME. Soil test now and keep PH above 6.3 and get your base saturation K above 4% (6 or 8% is even better) Alfalfa really pulls out the K, and evnthough you are not taking hay, heavy grazing removes most of the forage (and the deer droppings mostly elsewhere) Keep building the soil and the deer hunting and deer quality will improve in kind.
OK, figured I'ld update this thread as I'm still learning and can get some pro-tips as well as maybe help some new guys.
To start I'll hit the wavetops.
- Sep '17 Fertilized as in the previous post Plus added a awnless winter wheat and cereal rye I mixed.
- Mar '18 Leaf Blew the main plots and DIDN'T blow one half of one to see if really makes any difference. Frost seeded some sketchy/thin areas.
So I'm a FIRM believer in blowing leaves off if frost seeding and actually for the health/growth of the plots. Here are a couple examples - my plots are all thin and get heavy leaf cover.
Pipeline plot after blowing...
All my plots growth -> winter wheat and rye was grazed chin high - and remained grazed that way until early May '18 when the growth overtook the pressure. This is from Mid Apr '18 just prior to OH turkey season.
So the plots turned green early and the turkey loved it...
.. and loved it some more...
..but love was their weakness and downfall...
Lol, THAT IS AWESOME!!! Story???
Harvested 2 mature toms off those plots, opening day and the 2nd day of the season. P&Y last fall 2 mature toms this spring. Thanks Bowsite and Youtube, and Twanger and all the rest. A small town county bumkin can read and listen and learn. Stay tuned for the 2018 season.
Best Rergards, Stressless
Congrats! What a feeling when you succeed with hard work.
Love the turkey pic with the flowers I always have flowers in my turkey pics you can't have a funeral without flowers.So are you frostseeding wheat and rye over your clover and alfalfa.That I have never done but I commend you on your plots been doing it a lot of years probably 45-50 and yours look great congrats.Lewis
Lewis, thank you. I do the winter wheat and cereal rye in mid Sep hopefully with a bit of rain. I frost seed clover, chicory and some alfalfa.
You’re sure cashing in on all of your hard work, Robert! Congrats!
Update, I went in with "what I wanted" not fully appricating how much effort and delicate Alfalfa is, so a bit more then a year into it I've already headed to integrated Birdfoot Trefoil into the plots to replace diminishing alfalfa. https://extension.psu.edu/birdsfoot-trefoil -> Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) is a forage legume that is more tolerant of these adverse production conditions. and when you're not there to love and protect alfalfa that can happen fast.
So, without starting a new thread (I'll see if I can change the title) I've moving the summer and later fall legume in the plots to Birdsfoot Trefoil (BFT) - my plots aren't pH perfect and don't have loamy soil, most are 60 y/o old weathered spoil banks from strip-mining. I need something that will take those conditions and produce.
Here's the plot mid summer, doing well and a decent mix although the BFT is still young and not robust, but it's there.
2 1/2 months.... smile...
Robert this thread was a pleasure to read and follow your success. Congrats!
APAULS, thx buddy, I found this site and get a bunch of good info. I hope to post some good reports starting this coming weekend.
Had a great season and let some nice ones walk, all the stands are now in relation to the plots, once again the only thing green in whole lot of brown woods. I overseeded winter wheat and oats in Sept and the light freezes haven't killed the clover.
SMILES! here's of the plots (in the background) update once I frost seed the Birdsfoot Trifoil.
Wait....Whaaaat? What is the BFT doing this time of year? Growing? Attracting deer?
Guys - I've gotten some PM's on this tactic, leaf blowing your plots, I gotta believe it helps. A pic is worth a 1,000 words so here's 4K from mid-Jan in Ohio. Green is Good.
For plots that aren't in a "woods" it's obviously not necessary but all of mine are circled by mature woods and the leaf matter chokes out a large % each year. For spring green up (see the turkeys in '18 above) I think it is deal maker.
Once again I've had a spectacular season, I owe much of it to stuff I've learned here and with folks associated with bow ju ting ling beards and plot mtx.
So as in 2018 the mature Toms loved the food leaf free plots!
Even after the carnage in 2018 here they come back...
6yrd shot on opening day at 0700... bullhead, bullpen blind.
Second gobbler second day, tagged out in Ohio.
Second gobbler second day, tagged out in Ohio.
8yrd shot on this old gobbler, got video of the first miss at a brace of longboards molesting my decoys and then, they come back and one dallied too long and got a bullhead to the neck.
The video is here: https://youtu.be/ZHU7OApGEVM
Good job, Stressless! Congrats on both birds!
Any tips or tricks on blowing the leaf litter off of your plots? I’m assuming it works much better if the leaves are completely dry, but maybe not?
Nie work Robert, I'd kill for being able to work in a sweater on a snowfree field in mid January lol. That's got to be better for the deer than anything!
T-Roy -- I count on a windy day and "blow with the wind" and usually in Feb they aren't dry - I hope to do it in early Dec next year following a 3-4 dry spell wet and wetter well, it's a PITA but seems to be worth it - I have 4.5 acres in food plots and takes most of one day. I'll tell you that it working them a foot or two at time, you'll know exactly where you need to frost seed the bare spots.
Congrats! Really great to see your efforts paying off.
Year three on the plots - sprayed one last year - def saves $ just cutting the weeds - but I have two plots that are getting taken over so in '20 I'll prolly burn them down. Just did the last AgLime for prolly 6-8 years. all should be right about 6.7 ph...let it all winter and check again spring '20/ anything growing will be much more palatable then what was pushing up prior.