How long do I have to wait for reseeding of WR/WW/clover to occur in a greater capacity?

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I have a 1/2 acre well-growing clover/WR/WW plot above my house that is currently about 5-6' tall with WR/WW (mostly WR) and knee-high with a mix of MRC, alsike, aberlasting, Imperial whitetail, domino white and mammoth red clover. I would like this field to be a draw for the fall and plan to overseed, after mowing, with a brassica mix, more WR/WW and some more clover in the early fall (thinking mid-late July for the brassicas and clover and late August/early September for the grains. My question is, how long should I let this field grow so as to get the most "free" seed out of the clovers and grains. There are seed heads and white/red/purple flowers on the grain and clover currently, but they are not dried out. I would only like to mow once if possible and I want this field to be lush for PA's archery season which opens in early October.
Middle of the plot looking downhill
IMG_6522[1].JPG
Nearest side of the plot looking out
IMG_6515[1].JPG
Clover is about knee high or more
IMG_6523[1].JPG
 
Last edited:

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Derek,

Just a couple thoughts. Depending on how thin the clover is, you may want to skip the brassica this year. I'm guessing you planted the field last fall. That means the perennial clover will just be getting established this fall. I'd be reluctant to suppress it with gly or by mowing it flat to the ground. You can do that for fall of next year. Without suppressing the clover, it is hard to get other seeds to germinate. Why risk a long-term clover plot for one season if it doing well? Instead, I would wait for the seed heads on the small grain to mature. After labor day, I'd mow the field back to about 6 with rain in the forecast and cultipack. If there are open spots in the clover, you will get a volunteer crop of cereal.

As for seeding brassica, it depend on the brassica. For example, GHR is a brassica that will be attractive immediately when it comes up. If you are planting for archery season, it is a good brassica to try. PTT, on the other hand, won't be attractive until later in the season. Planting brassica early will increase the growing time and produce larger bulbs on things like turnips or GHR. This can be important if you are trying to feed deer in the very late season, but won't add anything for archery season in PA.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
When is your first frost typically? I'd mow about 5-6 weeks before that. That's around Sept 1 in mid MO..
 

bigboreblr

5 year old buck +
In Early august of 2021. I nuked a decent clover plot with a far amount of weeds. I scratched it up a bit with a york rake, put in a clover blend and tillage raddish. Because I put the large leaf brassicas in there, about half my plot was pretty much bare. I watered about 2/3's of it several times. That stuff came up well and smothered the existant clover as well as the new clover seed.

Those large leafs will drown out your clover, not all of it.

How rich is the sol there? IF you can handle weeds for another year, I'd avoid the brassicas. MAybe toss in some oats in that labor day mowing. They'll grow a bit, take some nitrgoen away, and die after a couple of 15 deg F nights. Nothing fancy, plain feed oats. Definitely no winter hardy oats.

There may be a reason oats are under rated on this site, but they are very favored by deer and will not choke out a clover plot. Excellent nursery crop..
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Derek,

Just a couple thoughts. Depending on how thin the clover is, you may want to skip the brassica this year. I'm guessing you planted the field last fall. That means the perennial clover will just be getting established this fall. I'd be reluctant to suppress it with gly or by mowing it flat to the ground. You can do that for fall of next year. Without suppressing the clover, it is hard to get other seeds to germinate. Why risk a long-term clover plot for one season if it doing well? Instead, I would wait for the seed heads on the small grain to mature. After labor day, I'd mow the field back to about 6 with rain in the forecast and cultipack. If there are open spots in the clover, you will get a volunteer crop of cereal.

As for seeding brassica, it depend on the brassica. For example, GHR is a brassica that will be attractive immediately when it comes up. If you are planting for archery season, it is a good brassica to try. PTT, on the other hand, won't be attractive until later in the season. Planting brassica early will increase the growing time and produce larger bulbs on things like turnips or GHR. This can be important if you are trying to feed deer in the very late season, but won't add anything for archery season in PA.

Thanks,

Jack
I was wondering about how well any new WR or brassicas would germinate as this plot is THICK with clover (see new photos above). I don't want to give up the good clover plot either, as I will be nuking and getting another half acre plot started in July that is right next to this one. (Ladino, mammoth red, alsike, domino white and a brassica mix with some winfreds added and WR). I didn't know if waiting till later in the year to mow the clover would hurt it or help in the long run. There are very few weeds in this plot as the thick clover smothered them I think. I wanted the brassicas for later in the fall/winter attraction. (I hunt from October to mid January-the late archery/muzzleloader season), and I want to give the deer something to eat come the harder parts of winter. I found last year that I needed height for them to hit it once the snow set in, so if I do try to add brassicas, it might be earlier than later....any big detriment to mowing in late July as opposed to late August (aside from a higher drought possibility and the late July being too early for grain planting)....also I do all my planting by broadcasting so I always use a higher rate--put at least 100 lbs of WR and 50 lbs WW in the field last year).
 
Last edited:

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
In Early august of 2021. I nuked a decent clover plot with a far amount of weeds. I scratched it up a bit with a york rake, put in a clover blend and tillage raddish. Because I put the large leaf brassicas in there, about half my plot was pretty much bare. I watered about 2/3's of it several times. That stuff came up well and smothered the existant clover as well as the new clover seed.

Those large leafs will drown out your clover, not all of it.

How rich is the sol there? IF you can handle weeds for another year, I'd avoid the brassicas. MAybe toss in some oats in that labor day mowing. They'll grow a bit, take some nitrgoen away, and die after a couple of 15 deg F nights. Nothing fancy, plain feed oats. Definitely no winter hardy oats.

There may be a reason oats are under rated on this site, but they are very favored by deer and will not choke out a clover plot. Excellent nursery crop..
I did a combo clover/brassica/WR plot on this spot last year and I was ok with the clover not coming in as well (in my mind it did great, but the brassica were definitely thicker in the fall but the clover came in great this spring). Never thought about oats, as I thought they would get frosted out too fast...guess I could do a combo of oats/WR if I really wanted to. You can see the biannual clover in and amongs the brassicas in this picture. The soil in this field is REALLY good (never tested it, but it was a hayfield before I nuked it). IMG_5012[1].JPG
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
When is your first frost typically? I'd mow about 5-6 weeks before that. That's around Sept 1 in mid MO..
I think its mid-October, so I would probably be mowing late August.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I was wondering about how well any new WR or brassicas would germinate as this plot is THICK with clover (see new photos above). I don't want to give up the good clover plot either, as I will be nuking and getting another half acre plot started in July that is right next to this one. (Ladino, mammoth red, alsike, domino white and a brassica mix with some winfreds added and WR). I didn't know if waiting till later in the year to mow the clover would hurt it or help in the long run. There are very few weeds in this plot as the thick clover smothered them I think. I wanted the brassicas for later in the fall/winter attraction. (I hunt from October to mid January-the late archery/muzzleloader season), and I want to give the deer something to eat come the harder parts of winter. I found last year that I needed height for them to hit it once the snow set in, so if I do try to add brassicas, it might be earlier than later....any big detriment to mowing in late July as opposed to late August (aside from a higher drought possibility and the late July being too early for grain planting)....also I do all my planting by broadcasting so I always use a higher rate--put at least 100 lbs of WR and 50 lbs WW in the field last year).

I doubt you will get good germination without suppressing clover, but I would not risk that. Since volunteer seed is free, I'd still mow and cultipack in the fall. It really will depend on the clover.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I doubt you will get good germination without suppressing clover, but I would not risk that. Since volunteer seed is free, I'd still mow and cultipack in the fall. It really will depend on the clover.
As there is already good existing clover...my idea is to add more clover to "fill in" and add diversity to what is already there..plus I think alot of what is in that plot is medium red or mammoth red, which is a 1-2 year crop that will have been growing 1 year at the time of new planting..I don't need the new clover to be great immediately...next spring will do....so im trying to add more perennials and .might try some quick growing kale or rape to see if it can get above the clover (and use some of the good nitrogen as well) I have actually had decent success getting WR to grow in established clover plots with only mowing, but I've also never had clover growing this thick or tall before..
 

bigboreblr

5 year old buck +
Chickory is an option. Remember, oats doesnt die during a frost, it does not over winter, but it does take a couple freezing events before it's done. Usually 2 nights of 15 deg F or so. Canola is a hit or miss sometimes with deer. Planted some last year up north, not a nibble on it.......

Oats definitely stays good well into rifle season here in NY. A buck in a field of oats wish he had something else for breakfast opening day of rifle..........

That plot looks great. You could do nothing and have a great spot this fall.... White clovers don't have the growth of medium red. Closest I have had to it is either berseem or dutch white clover. However, either one of them haven't had the persistence of ladino or imperial white for me. I am guilty of frequent mowing. though..... 2 spots I dont have much choice. Wife / in-laws complain when the backyard plot looks "ragged". I also maintain a stretch on snowmobile trail, so I mow that 1 or 2 times a year. Pretty much when I can get up there and do it.

From experience adding just 1 lb of turnips to an acre is plenty of turnips in a mix. Get 2 or 3 different white clovers, or just one and keep putting medium red in there. Before I had confidence in frost seeding, I used to like medium red clover because it grew so well. Still like it though.
 
Last edited:

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I did a combo clover/brassica/WR plot on this spot last year and I was ok with the clover not coming in as well (in my mind it did great, but the brassica were definitely thicker in the fall but the clover came in great this spring). Never thought about oats, as I thought they would get frosted out too fast...guess I could do a combo of oats/WR if I really wanted to. You can see the biannual clover in and amongs the brassicas in this picture. The soil in this field is REALLY good (never tested it, but it was a hayfield before I nuked it). View attachment 43755
The total brassica component in a good mix should not exceed about 3 lbs/ac.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
The total brassica component in a good mix should not exceed about 3 lbs/ac.
Planted a mix that totaled 6 lbs in the 1/2 acre field above but would definitely go lower in the future. Don’t think it was stunted but I bet each individual plant would have gotten even bigger if there were fewer. Also hit it with urea about 4 weeks after planting which I would do again.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Planted a mix that totaled 6 lbs in the 1/2 acre field above but would definitely go lower in the future. Don’t think it was stunted but I bet each individual plant would have gotten even bigger if there were fewer. Also hit it with urea about 4 weeks after planting which I would do again.

Lower plant densities, especially of N seeking plants like brassica, means fertilizing is less important, especially in a T&M system with good nutrient cycling and mixing/rotating legumes with the other plants.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Lower plant densities, especially of N seeking plants like brassica, means fertilizing is less important, especially in a T&M system with good nutrient cycling and mixing/rotating legumes with the other plants.
good to know...still trying to work my way to T&M...i just dont have equipment to cultivate so I mowed, sprayed twice and broadcast...then we got 9 inches of rain in September and BOOM lots of good looking stuff in the plot..really want that thatch to help with moisture retention as these plots are on a south facing slope that sheds water pretty quick and can get kinda warm
 
Top