Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

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rabbitatfarm
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Location: Michigan

Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by rabbitatfarm » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:06 am

It's getting close to time to get cover crops in or at least think about it. September is usually the month for planting in Michigan.

I plan to put rye in some of my lighter ground for a spring plow down. My corn will stay standing for winter food and cover. I like a mix of crimson clover, Austrian winter pea and wheat for a spring green plot so one of my fallow plots will get that planting. I'll also overseed more clover on some of my grass areas.

Fall light discing will produce ragweed for cover and browse. What are your plans?

Larry
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BrownBear
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by BrownBear » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:18 am

I've spent the summer clearing out a six acre woodlot. I cut out close to 100 trees all Silver maple. The had shaded everything out and there was no cover or understory. I saved the saw logs for sale and used the tops to build brush piles every 200' or so. Saved all the Ash, Cherry, and Oak.They are clustered in islands that I will plant brambles, willow, sumac and other shrubs around the edges.
My biggest concern is getting some quick cover going on the open ground. I'm thinking about planting winter wheat, clover, and may throw in some brassicas. It's not to hard to get some feed going with the clover. Is there anything else I could add to the Winter Wheat for cover?
I then would like to frost seed Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, and Lespedeza in early March right into the wheat. Do you think frost seeding all these will work?

rabbitatfarm
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by rabbitatfarm » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:14 pm

I think your wheat will out compete your grasses. The wheat will already be growing. From what I have read, to grow native grass, it is best to kill all the vegetation, prepare a good seed bed, and then plant. You'll need to cut to keep the weeds down until the grass is established. Frost seeding works well with clover, but I have my doubts about grass. In addition, if you let the wheat head out you'll have wheat in the soil for next year. Do more research; native grass seed is too expensive to take a chance.

Did you treat the stumps after you cut the trees? Maples are notorious re-sprouters. They just may provide the cover you want.

Larry
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BrownBear
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by BrownBear » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:51 am

Do you have thoughts on what we could plant for quick cover for the winter? Most of the area is wetter ground and will be partially shaded. Your right about the wheat heading out and I don't think I would want to mow it during nesting season to prevent self seeding?
I can till the areas in the spring for the native warm season grasses.
I dug the stumps out used them as base for some of the brush piles. I like how they rot down over time and create the soil mound.
Have you planted the winter peas before? What do you like about them?

rabbitatfarm
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by rabbitatfarm » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:13 pm

I have planted winter peas. I think the thing I liked the best was the two-tone purple blossoms. LOL!! They provide a good protein source over spring and summer. I just planted them in a mix. I don't know where you are but have you considered rye? It would produce some green browse and some cover. I planted oats in the spring and the young rabbits have really been using it. I can tell they are young by the size of the droppings. You might be surprised what comes up even if you do nothing. Once the sun hits the disturbed ground, things happen.

Keep us posted on your success.

Larry
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LR Patch
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by LR Patch » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:40 pm

I like a mix of crimson clover, Austrian winter pea and wheat . This has always done good for me . Generally plant in mid to late Sept depending on how wet or dry the ground is . Also guys remember to put out some salt blocks , I used to just get the 1 or 2 LB bricks but last yr. got the 50LB block . I put them fairly close to the food plots. I really think the salt does as much and maybe more than the food plots , JMHO.
randy
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rabbitatfarm
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by rabbitatfarm » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:04 pm

Randy;

I like that mix too. Kind of a multi-critter planting. Turkeys and deer like it as well as rabbits. I'm running way behind this year. Need to plant my other plot and plan to get in some rye as well. Backed the brush hog into a couple of rows of corn so the short-legged critters and birds can get some. I'm retired and still not enough hours in the day. Been cutting. splitting and stacking wood, building a few brush piles, running dogs and at my age, grabbing a cat nap. I heard the salt helps produce bigger litters.

Larry
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Aubrey Holcombe
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Re: Winter Cover Crops: What Are You Planting?

Post by Aubrey Holcombe » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:55 am

Mr.Patch:
Did you find any Sulfur Blocks, for your Wild life?

Think we were talking to someone on here about these Blocks a few days ago,, I been using them for many years, and I think they work well for the difference in the price. I have some 50 pound blocks that will be there over 6 months, it actually melts into he ground, and the wild life will dig and eat the soil, I see the old rabbit there at where the blocks have been used for years all the time. Yes Sir love to see rabbit here at my place, makes my pups happy and me to.

D.R.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>>
ARHA Hall Of Fame, own "The Daddy Rabbit Kennels", Royston, Georgia

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