First try on sun hemp, success!


5 year old buck +
I am always on the lookout for another item to add to the rotation, and this spring I bought a 25 lb bag of sun hemp. It being a legume I had the perfect spot, an acre and a quarter that had been brassica the season before, and was a relatively low fert soil area now. Planted pretty early in the spring, and just kicked back and watched it grow. We had a lot of rain first 2/3rds of the season, and dry this last 1/3rd. Plot seemed a bit sparse, but costs kept me at a 25 lb bag. Plants seemed to do well, and started noticing browse as they reached 9 inches in height. Since then the deer have kept 99.9% of the field nipped to less than 18 inches, with that last.1 growing near something that offered it protection. Those protected plants are almost 4 feet tall, and in bloom. I plan on letting the field go its own way from here out, I know it wont offer much after frost, but I need to see exactly how it behaves so I can plan for its future use. I don't know of any others in my area growing this item, but I would add it to your rotation based on what I have seen. It will be tilled under in the spring and planted with brassica, crimson clover mix. snapped one pic of one in bloom, tough to see other plants in the pic, but if you know what to look for, it is there. Anyone else have a good year growing this?

I don't know much about sun hemp but I just read up on it. Sounds like a great cover crop to build up soil with organic matter and nitrogen and feed the deer as well. Sounds like a good one to rotate with brassica as you plan. May have to add it next year. I'd like to know how it holds up during the season and if the deer stay with it.
I planted it this year as well for first time. I broadcast within beans after roundup application and on its own in sod and cultipacked in. I wish I had planted into black soil and earlier to give it a better chamce. I'd love to try it again, but the cost is definitely up there. I noticed deer browsing it as well, so it might be planted again somewhere down the line, maybe spring planted then go through and disk light and broadcast brassica within it or rye. I liked the fact that it's a soil builder on top of a legume on top of the fact that it's deer food with high protein.

maybe spring planted with brassicas mixed in? or, mixed with rye and brassica so you get a scavenger with the rye, a nitrogen producer with hemp and a nutrient retention center with the radish? might be terrible ideas but I'd want to add variety in with hemp if I tried it again.