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Brassica Plantings

Darron

Junior Member
273
0
Dayton, Ohio
Here in about three weeks it will be time to get your brassica food plots in the ground. For optimal growth and bulb production plant sometime between July 4th and July 25th. I usually split the difference and plant around July 10. Purple top turnips and rape make a great mix along with adding radishes. Here's a common mix I plant:

2.5# PTT
2.5# Dwarf essex rape
5# radishes

I also plant the commercial blend "shot plot" when I can find it on sale in the winter. I picked up several bags of shotplot for $5 each at a local sporting goods store back in the winter. For $2.50 a pound it's a good deal and beats paying shipping when mixing seeds yourself. I've had good success with shot plot as well as the above home made mix.

The radishes do not canopy as much as other brassicas so one can go a little heavier with them. Remember not to plant the above seeds too deep. Simply till/disc, drag the soil to firm it up or use cultipacker and broadcast seed on top of dirt and walk away. Tilling under a year old clover patch can help you with nitrogen needs since brassicas love N. If not add, 150-200# per acre of urea (46-0-0).

One can also overseed the above seeds into killed sod before a rain with success. Simply mow, wait 2-3 weeks, kill weeds with round-up type application and then broadcast into dead sod before a rain. I've seen some great results using this method.

Brassica seed is very cheap. If you're paying over $3 a pound you are paying too much. $20-30 will buy you enough seed for one acre. The fertilizer will cost more than the seed.
 

rgecko23

*Supporting Member*
7,466
0
Massillon, Ohio
This is great information Darron. I am looking to do about an acre food plot where there was once corn, and beans. The farmer has not done anything with the land in the last 2 years. Its pretty grown over with weeds right now.

I was planning on just mowing them down and just tilling it up. IYO would this type of application work in this scenario?
 

Buckmaster

Senior Member
13,922
157
Portage
My 6 plots total 5 acres will be sprayed this week. We'll begin installation procedures beginning July 4th weekend into August. This Spring was too wet to do any plot installation.
 

Darron

Junior Member
273
0
Dayton, Ohio
This is great information Darron. I am looking to do about an acre food plot where there was once corn, and beans. The farmer has not done anything with the land in the last 2 years. Its pretty grown over with weeds right now.

I was planning on just mowing them down and just tilling it up. IYO would this type of application work in this scenario?

Mow, broadcast fertilizer, till, firm plot up with cultipacker or drag, broadcast seed and walk away. Weeds usually are not an issue because the brassicas grow so fast and canopy so well.
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
17,262
187
Ohio
Good plot info as usual, Darron. I'd like to pick your brain a little bit....

Last fall, first week of September, I planted three new plots on the property I hunt. The biggest is about 3/4 acre, while the other two are about 1/4 acre each. These were planted with oats, rye, and red clover. All three were pretty decent, but the 3/4 acre plot was the best by far. This spring, the 3/4 acre plot was mowed and the clover was really taking off a couple weeks ago. Ok, that's the background info... here's my question... If you were in my shoes, would you till under the 3/4 acre plot of clover and plant brassicas in a couple weeks, or leave the clover for the deer all summer and plant with cereal grains again in the fall? I'm planning on trying cereal grains and clover in the two 1/4 acre plots again to try and get them going a little better. I would really like to see how the deer at this farm respond to a plot full of brassicas, but I'm hesitant to till under the lush clover that's bringing them in in droves right now. What do you generally see on your property... Are the deer drawn more to cereal grains or brassicas during hunting season?
 

Darron

Junior Member
273
0
Dayton, Ohio
Good plot info as usual, Darron. I'd like to pick your brain a little bit....

Last fall, first week of September, I planted three new plots on the property I hunt. The biggest is about 3/4 acre, while the other two are about 1/4 acre each. These were planted with oats, rye, and red clover. All three were pretty decent, but the 3/4 acre plot was the best by far. This spring, the 3/4 acre plot was mowed and the clover was really taking off a couple weeks ago. Ok, that's the background info... here's my question... If you were in my shoes, would you till under the 3/4 acre plot of clover and plant brassicas in a couple weeks, or leave the clover for the deer all summer and plant with cereal grains again in the fall? I'm planning on trying cereal grains and clover in the two 1/4 acre plots again to try and get them going a little better. I would really like to see how the deer at this farm respond to a plot full of brassicas, but I'm hesitant to till under the lush clover that's bringing them in in droves right now. What do you generally see on your property... Are the deer drawn more to cereal grains or brassicas during hunting season?

It's really your choice. The red clover will only last for two years unlike white clover which can last 3-5 years if properly cared for. After saying that every year I ALWAYS have one plot in brassicas and one plot in my winter rye mix. Just so happens this year I will also have a plot in clover as well that came up nice after frost seeding in March. It has some weeds in it, but the clover is knee high in many spots. Due to access though, I can't mow it but the deer are bedding in this field and eating in it at the same time.

A small plot of brassicas can get wiped out in a matter of days. I had a 1/2 acre plot get wiped out in a matter of a week a couple years back. Cereal grains, especially rye, will grow at temps of 38 degrees and above which is why rye is so important in the above mix. Clover is a great spring and summer draw, but come November what happens? It goes dormant and is of little value during the mid-later part of season. Clover is an integral part of the puzzle, but it is not the entire puzzle.

3/4 acre is not very big, but have you thought about strip plotting? Portion in clover, portion in rye mix, portion in brassicas and then rotate every season? This way the deer have everything they need in one field? I will be doing that this year on a plot that is 3/4 acre (my biggest plot). I'll have half in brassicas and have in my winter rye mix.

As a deer hunter and land manager, one of the most important things to consider is drawing power during hunting season. Lets be honest, come May-August deer have so much to eat I see minimal usage on my plots due to the over abundance of browse in the forest. However, come September I want to draw as many deer as I can from neighboring properties. One, this obviously gives me a better chance to harvest deer and see more deer. Secondly, the more deer I draw to my property the less liklihood of my neighbors shooting immature deer (bucks). Of course I want to have deer on my place year round, but more importantly, I want them there from September through February. By not allowing your food plots to sit idle for months on end, deer become conditioned and conditioned deer are easier to kill. This is why frost seeding clover in Feb and March in spent brassica and grain plots allows the plot to attract deer earlier in the year as well as when you plant your annuals in the summer. Frost seeding is another subject I will touch on later in the winter.
 
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jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
17,262
187
Ohio
It's really your choice. The red clover will only last for two years unlike white clover which can last 3-5 years if properly cared for. After saying that every year I ALWAYS have one plot in brassicas and one plot in my winter rye mix. Just so happens this year I will also have a plot in clover as well that came up nice after frost seeding in March. It has some weeds in it, but the clover is knee high in many spots. Due to access though, I can't mow it but the deer are bedding in this field and eating in it at the same time.

A small plot of brassicas can get wiped out in a matter of days. I had a 1/2 acre plot get wiped out in a matter of a week a couple years back. Cereal grains, especially rye, will grow at temps of 38 degrees and above which is why rye is so important in the above mix. Clover is a great spring and summer draw, but come November what happens? It goes dormant and is of little value during the mid-later part of season. Clover is an integral part of the puzzle, but it is not the entire puzzle.

3/4 acre is not very big, but have you thought about strip plotting? Portion in clover, portion in rye mix, portion in brassicas and then rotate every season? This way the deer have everything they need in one field? I will be doing that this year on a plot that is 3/4 acre (my biggest plot). I'll have half in brassicas and have in my winter rye mix.

As a deer hunter and land manager, one of the most important things to consider is drawing power during hunting season. Lets be honest, come May-August deer have so much to eat I see minimal usage on my plots due to the over abundance of browse in the forest. However, come September I want to draw as many deer as I can from neighboring properties. One, this obviously gives me a better chance to harvest deer and see more deer. Secondly, the more deer I draw to my property the less liklihood of my neighbors shooting immature deer (bucks). Of course I want to have deer on my place year round, but more importantly, I want them there from September through February. By not allowing your food plots to sit idle for months on end, deer become conditioned and conditioned deer are easier to kill. This is why frost seeding clover in Feb and March in spent brassica and grain plots allows the plot to attract deer earlier in the year as well as when you plant your annuals in the summer. Frost seeding is another subject I will touch on later in the winter.

This plot was also frost seeded this year, which is probably why the clover is going so strong right now. That part you mentioned about "conditioning" the deer is exactly why I'm hesitant to till under the clover next month. I really want those deer to be used to coming to that plot for supper come September. Maybe the best thing to do is not till it all completely... just plant part of it to brassicas and leave the rest until this fall when I can replant the cereal grains. I have some more space in this area, so it's possible that I could expand the overall size of the plot. Next weekend I'm making a trip down there to check things out, so that should help give me a better idea of what's going on and what I should do next.