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RealWorld Deadly Dozen - Plot Issue
Looking for advice on what happened to this food plot. Definitely not my first fall plot. I planted Realworld Whitetail Harvest Salad and then lightly seeded turnips, rapes, and radishes on top (plot topper).
The only thing that took well was the turnips. Planted in Southern Indiana, early September, right before some really heavy rains.
Picture one shows tons of bare spots. I actually went in and seeded more turnips in mid-September because very little of the oats, peas, clover, rye, and winter wheat came up.
Seed and fertilizer amount was calculated using online software and pH was spot on 6.5.
What do you guys think happened? Bad seed? Maybe too much rain (we did have a super heavy rain about two weaks after planting).
The second picture shows that the turnips did come in fairly well (for the amount planted), but the other seed was hit and miss...what was weird is that some of the seed lay dormant for like 3 weeks before sprouting...never reaching maturity.
Any advice is very appreciated.
I would bet the ground got hard packed,did you drag or anything and was seed broadcasted.Actually same thing happened to me first planting and I had to replant this year
How do you think it got packed?
It was burned, turned, then disc until fine.
Planted according to instructions then drag and pack.
When it rains extremely hard, it can pack the soil. Some soils will crust over really hard, preventing the sprouts from breaking through as well.
I replanted some brassicas in a field where I had planted soybeans earlier the same year, that had gotten flooded out. I had sprayed a broadleaf herbicide on the beans. In the area where the soybeans had been sprayed, the brassicas never emerged due to the herbicide residual in the soil. Doesn’t sound like that would be your problem, but something to keep in mind in your future plans.
You stated that you burned, turned and then disced. By burning, do you mean with fire or you did a burndown with a herbicide? I’m assuming by fire.?
Sorry...I did mean Glyphosate. About 2 weeks before turning.
I've always done this and never gotten that result before...
Compacted soil due to minor flooding does make more sense to me and I had never thought about that.
The glyphosate wouldn’t be the issue. There’s no residual with it. Do you have a cultipacker? Sometimes you can break the crusted up soil on a planted plot by going over it with a cultipacker after the soil dries out enough.
You stated that you disced the soil until “fine”. Is it possible the seeds got planted too deep if the soil was powdery?
T-roy...that's the one thing I've really tossed around in my head a lot. It wasn't powdery fine, the goal was just to break up the huge clods of turnover. But I have wondered if somehow I might have covered with too much dirt. I just used an old harrow drag.
I guess all I can do is pay way more attention next time and see if that might be an issue in the future.
I am going with what T-roy said. Looks to me like the heavy rain you had compacted your soil creating a hard crust that the seed couldn't penetrate when it germinated.
That's one of the problems with too many seeds of different sizes in a mix. Some can get covered too deeply and don't have the energy to sprout. I'm not saying that's what happened to you, but I don't plant many blends at all. A couple that I do plant are WINA Fusion (clover and chicory) and WINA Extreme. I have good luck with both. If I feel the need to plant, say wheat and clover in the same plot, I plant the wheat as you described and after dragging I plant the clover on top and cultipack. This past September I did wheat and medium red clover in the same plot and had really good coverage on both.
Thanks guys. I do think the soil hardening was a factor and it just threw me off. I don't think I've ever had that much rain after a fall planting before and so I just didn't have any experience with water actually causing seed failure. I guess I should have re-planted the whole thing, but it was getting late in the month before I realized what had happened and I felt that turnips were my only viable option.
Next year I'm going to plant a little earlier to avoid this. I was trying to walk that fine line of keeping the tops tender during early bow season, while still having nice bulb development.
Really hard to tell from a photo and description. My guess is soil was saturated and the young seedlings drowned. Soil by definition is composed of 50% dirt, 25% H2O and 25% air. The heavy rain saturated the soil with H2O, displacing the air, and the young plants drowned. Some plants germinated later and some are more tolerant of "wet feet"
Did you see a lot of deer tracks in the dirt after planting?? For the hell of it next time you plant put a couple of 2.5 foot a round cages 3 feet tall in it to keep the deer out, so you can see if the deer are pounding it hard. Now I don't know what happened but have seen small plots get hit so hard by deer it looks like nothing is growing.. Plants that are very small can and will get pulled out with the roots and all and make it look like nothing is growing. How big is this plot? Ed
Seeds drowned is my guess.
I had similar results with the same product. Very disappointed, but very wet this year. I am chalking it up to being too wet, but will be cautious where I put anymore of their seeds.
What Teeton said. By putting in some exclosures you can eliminate one possible cause-overbrowsing.
Thanks again guys...I'm going to be putting an enclosure out for sure this time.
The size of the plots were 1/3 of an acre, and another about 200 yards away was 1/5 of an acre.
There are always lots of tracks in this area, but the deer herd it pretty average. 2-3 doe families and I don't think there was anything for them to over-browse, but again, I'll be double-checking with a cage.
I actually reached out to Don Higgins, owner of Real World Wildlife, and he told me the same thing happened to him this year and that his fall plots were the worst they've ever been due to the heavy rains in early September.
He lives about 2 hours west of me so that makes sense.
I sure appreciate all of the advice and tips. It's coming in handy for sure. I'm already starting to shift away from hunting mode to spring habitat.
I've been planting food plots for more than 10 years. I planted two different deadly dozen plots in 2018 and had the same results you guys have had.
I love their other products and will continue to use but am done with this one.
My guess is mixing large and small seed together as stated above one is bound to fail based on recommended planting depths. The rape is seed to soil contact, any deeper it is likely not going to germinate. The Brassicas 1/2” deep. Plant the brassica first drag soil over it then seed the Rape and don’t drag just cultipack all of it together. I stay away from mixed assortments of seed sizes and weights because of the results you had. I sell seed and have done lots of experimentation. Hope this helps. Good points above on compacted soil.
Totally agree, Deerplotter. Anymore, I try and stay away from blends unless the different seeds are very similar in size. Bouncing around in the seeder box seems to sift the smaller seeds to the bottom, plus, in order to be able to allow the bigger seeds to feed through the opening, the smaller seeds will feed out too quickly unless you speed up. Plus, as you pointed out, ideally, the bigger seeds need to be planted a bit deeper than the smaller ones.
I think disc until (fine) & heavy rain prior to emergence is the answer to your question
T-Roy. Completely agree.
The only blends I plant are ones I mix myself. Typically my blends are really pure stands that I plant separately in the same field. I start with the deepest seeds first then work my way to the smallest, shallowest seeds. A pea needs a much different depth and seed bed than a brassica. I’ve always thought those blends were more about marketing than anything else. If the seeds are compatible like a clover-chicory-Alfala mix that’s fine. But oats, peas, sorghum and clover is just plain stupid.