My “Happy Accident” plot!

Westwind

5 year old buck +
This year has been a challenge with the drought and heat in my area. I kept trying to get my plots greened up and they kept getting roasted!

This is my first year with a Woods PSS82 seeder. On one hand I kinda wish I had a no-till drill but I have so many spots that I want to seed but have tree stumps. The PSS 84 has been awesome- the main drawback is that I chose to set it to till aggressively on a couple planting sessions and ended up with burned up seedlings and bare dirt.

I’m in decent shape now. Everything is green and I was able to get all my plots into something. I did quite a bit of 50#/50#/50# rye/oats/peas in the big seed box and clover and groundhog radishes in the small box.

The largest plot I have…. Well it was weedy but planted the last couple years. This year I tried several rounds of failed plantings. On a whim, I ordered Warm Season Soil Builder from Green Cover. I planted it too late- around July 4 but it was the only thing that grew. A week after Labor Day, I ran the seeder through it and put in the 50/50/50 mix I listed above. All the sorghum Sudan was bent over but it stood back up after a week or so. Seems like there is a mix of deer forage growing and im sure it’s tall enough for bedding. Anyway- here are a few pics. Foxtail seems to be the main weed problem.

Here is what Green Cover lists as being in the Warm Season Soil Builder: Non-GMO Soybeans, Black Beans Forage Soybeans, Mung Beans, Sunn Hemp, Sorghum Sudan, Pearl Millet, African Cabbage, Mustard, Sunflower, Buckwheat, Okra, Flax, Rapeseed

Its about waist tall In all the areas I ran the seeder through.

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Pretty thick!

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This is a separate area- a fire break. It never had the warm season soil builder planted but i have hit it a couple times this year with brassica seed,clover oats and rye. (This was thin clover. I had the discs set nearly straight on the seeder, it doesn’t tear the ground up that way and over seeded like several recommended here.). Next year I think I will be able to spray once and maintain it as a clover fire break. I want to get to the point that I don’t have to spray. Hope that isn’t wishful thinking.
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Here is a strip I didn’t run the seeder though. I don’t think these will seed because I planted in July and it was so dry.
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I liked the Green Cover seed. I don’t plant enough acres to notice that it’s more expensive than what I was doing prior. Also my seed cost came down because with the seeder I didnt waste so much seed. I have some areas that I think I’m going to do the warm season soil builder on next spring and follow it with Fall Release possibly my own “similar” mix. I think the plot shown I will do Summer Release and then follow it up also with a fall release type deal.

Another note- someone here mentioned they use sunflowers instead of peas. The deer smashed the sunflowers in the mix all summer long. I did not know that deer liked sunflower stalks so much! Also- before I ran the seeder through it, that soil builder mix had enough flowering plants in it that it was buzzing with bees and insects. That was strangely satisfying to me. Loved hearing it.

Also- the deer are already nibbling brassica leaves. Usually in this area they won’t touch them until after a frost. Maybe the drought changed that.
 
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I'm envious. There is nothing that green on my place right now. And, I love fall greens.
 
I'm envious. There is nothing that green on my place right now. And, I love fall greens.
We got lucky to be in a strip in northern illinois/iowa that got rain this fall. I should have mowed some of my established clover plots but was scared if I mowed it it would kill that too. Someone on here said “let the change in seasons take care of those weeds” so thats what i did.

I feel for all the folks that did the work but didn’t get the rain.
 
It looks good man! I may have been your sunflower advocate, but there's plenty of other guys that like them too. I was going to ask what part of country you're in but you answered in a second post. The lady of the land looks similar to where I'm at.
 
It looks good man! I may have been your sunflower advocate, but there's plenty of other guys that like them too. I was going to ask what part of country you're in but you answered in a second post. The lady of the land looks similar to where I'm at.
I have got so much good advice here I can’t keep track of it all! I went crazy with the peas this fall- seemed like a good idea to get some legumes doing their thing. I got my fingers crossed for a mild winter and maybe get some more nitrogen fixing next spring. Probably won’t happen but who knows, lol!

Another oddity- in years past when I did peas (it has been awhile), the deer won’t leave them alone. They seem to be growing fairly unhindered this time. Kinda strange.
 
I have got so much good advice here I can’t keep track of it all! I went crazy with the peas this fall- seemed like a good idea to get some legumes doing their thing. I got my fingers crossed for a mild winter and maybe get some more nitrogen fixing next spring. Probably won’t happen but who knows, lol!

Another oddity- in years past when I did peas (it has been awhile), the deer won’t leave them alone. They seem to be growing fairly unhindered this time. Kinda strange.

Your plots look great, IMO. Lots of good stuff in those mixes. Maybe some of the other things you have planted are taking the foraging pressure off the peas??
 
Your plots look great, IMO. Lots of good stuff in those mixes. Maybe some of the other things you have planted are taking the foraging pressure off the peas??
I really wonder about that! There is quite a bit more for them this year so that might be the reason. It’s sure a lot easier to plant with that seeder.
 
We got lucky to be in a strip in northern illinois/iowa that got rain this fall. I should have mowed some of my established clover plots but was scared if I mowed it it would kill that too. Someone on here said “let the change in seasons take care of those weeds” so thats what i did.

I feel for all the folks that did the work but didn’t get the rain.
When you mow your clover plots just make sure to mow above the clover but still cut the top out of the weeds.
 
That’s what I usually do- I’m just so gun shy after the summer we had.

It’s kind of hilly/uneven so sometimes I get a bigger bite than I want with the mower too!

Talking frost this week so no big deal now…
 
A little update to my “happy accident” plot. Short recap, this was a piece I struggled with in the drought. It was pretty much burned off dirt when I planted “soil builder” mix from Green Cover around July 4 It grew well and then I did 50/50/50 wr/oats/peas around Labor Day. (I also ran clover/radish/turnups through the seeder too- they came up a little here and there and around the edges.) My planting was done with a Woods seeder and I just dragged it through the standing soil builder planting which was about waist tall.

Deer are definitely using it, trails in and out of it are mud and they mowed down all the green stuff. It has been a really mild winter here, normally by now we are snow covered and frozen hard.
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Still some good stuff in there.
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Below is a strip of the soil builder mix I didn’t run the seeder across “just to see” what would happen.
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The peas have done really well. It was two varieties of winter peas, the deer have mowed into them but I am really curious what they will do in the spring. This was not really any blueprint on how things should be done, but it turned out fine. Many details to be worked out ahead of time, but I am really hoping that this spring I can plant Summer Release straight into it with my Woods seeder and then Fall Release straight into that when the time is right. Not sure that will work- this year I think I benefitted from my Soil Builder mix not having a full season to get to maturity- if I do Summer Release the right way at the correct planting time, it may be too thick for my seeder to plant Fall Release into. I really would prefer not to have to buy a drill!
 

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I have mowed clover for quite a few years. 5 inches, or basically a lawn mower on high seems to work wel with drought concerns. You should experiment with a sot of foxtail. Find the good time to mow. when seeds start to form, and how often after that you need to mow. Annual and red clovers will suffer from lack of seed production if you mow montly. About once a month seems to work good. Red aramath and creeping charlie are my main problems at my home. Up north, I embrace golden rod, just leave it alone and don't mow it. Kind of a good soil builder on it's own.

Far as your seeder goes, I'd keep it. I have a spiked roller I use at home on lawns. IT's performance varies significantly on soil conditions. Sandy soils are quite repeatable. But, clay can be all over the place. From really good dig in, too barely hitting ground, to a muddy rolling pin.

That PSS would be great if they have rollers you could switch out. You may be able to buy the front disc section and swap between the two. Not only your angle of attack with the spiked rollers can be changed. You can adjust your toplink to have the front rollers work even more agressive, or go the other way by having the weight go more on the rear roller. It would be nice if the rear cultipacker could be fixed, or had and adjustable pressure spring to put some of the weght on the cultipacker more. You could drill a hole to pin the cultipacker in a fixed location if you wanted the rear roller lightly engaging for the seed meters and put more of the weight just on the cultipacker. Close to a throw n mow situation.

Far as drought insurance goes. I had a really dry 2021 up north. I planted oats, turnips, and clover in the end of april. Left it alone the whole year. Turnips were still alive and the clover was doing good in the fall. Perhaps find a whole year foodplot mix you can put in the spring and plant the edges of the plot with it. If the middle in burned up, atleast you got something growing in the plot.

Far as competition from clover goes, you could mow afterwards, or add on a sprayer head to the back of the seeder. Spray a little gly to burn clover off. OR just spray clethodim, if that kills foxtail or not.
 
That PSS would be great if they have rollers you could switch out. You may be able to buy the front disc section and swap between the two. Not only your angle of attack with the spiked rollers can be changed. You can adjust your toplink to have the front rollers work even more agressive, or go the other way by having the weight go more on the rear roller. It would be nice if the rear cultipacker could be fixed, or had and adjustable pressure spring to put some of the weght on the cultipacker more. You could drill a hole to pin the cultipacker in a fixed location if you wanted the rear roller lightly engaging for the seed meters and put more of the weight just on the cultipacker. Close to a throw n mow situation.
This would be awesome and if I had this option I would do it.
 
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