This post is from our Summer 2021 Newsletter by Jeff Carter.
I have had great success utilizing summer seedings in early August to grow high quality food plots for fall. The same system used in farm fields for seeding pastures and hay fields works for clover, chicory, peas, radishes and Brassicas for wildlife food plots. Remember that warm soil and fewer weeds means the new crop can grow very fast compared to an early spring seeding. However, water is needed for good germination, so wait until the hot dry days of July have passed. The seeding rates (below) are in pounds per acre (43,560 sq. ft.) so adjust according to your food plot size. Make sure to take a soil test before any crop planting, and remember to feed your crops lime and fertilizer if you want to feed the wildlife. Find wildlife food plot recommendations at https://go.uvm.edu/ag-testing.
I like to plant these mixes in separate plots, or side-by-side, right at the end of July or the first week in August:
• Cool season perennial: 8 pounds clover mix plus 4 pounds chicory per acre. Add 30 pounds of oats as a nurse crop (and to keep the bears busy) while the clover gets good roots established.
• Cool season annual: 6 pounds Brassica mix, plus 2 pounds radish per acre. Overseed 100 pounds of oat/wheat/rye mix 30 days later for a tasty treat in late fall that provides for winter feed and spring green-up.Toward the end of August, try this mix:
• Cool season Annual: 50 pounds oats plus 50 pounds winter peas. Add 100 pounds of wheat or rye in early September for that extra boost of feed. Reach out to Jeff if you have questions on food plots at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-388-4969 ext. 332