20 September 2009

imperial whitetail clover

we've long been interested in the whitetail institute and their imperial whitetail clover deer food plot seed. so, this year we ordered one of their test plot paks to see how well their seeds do here.

we're not planting this to harvest deer over. we just want to see if it will come up here and if it will attract any deer. if we were harvesting deer though, we would be practicing quality deer management.

we chose the institutes "double-up" sampler pak, because it contains seed paks of imperial whitetail clover, double-cross, chicory plus, winter greens, no-plow, alfa-rack plus, extreme and chic magnet as well as 10 lbs each of 30.06 a mineral lick and cutting edge a spring and summer nutritional lick.

math isnt our forte at all, but we figured that since you get two paks of each product (the website says one package of double-cross but they sent two) and each package contains enough seeds to plant 100 square feet - 10'x10' that by combining the two paks of a brand, you should be able to have enough to plant a 14'x14'.

we read that double-cross is imperial whitetail clover but with an annual brassica seed mixed in; so by combining the two imperial whitetail clover and the two double-cross paks we should have enough to plant a 20'x20 plot.

so we picked a spot out. we took a hand-saw and cut down that tallow tree growing in the center and then took a hammer and a nail and made some holes in the stems as well as sawed down into them then poured about a tablespoon of herbicide into them. we mowed it out a couple of times to make it a little bit better.

the planting dates for all the seeds that we received is from 15 september till 15 november with better results they say the earlier you plant.

so we checked the famers almanac to see the best days to plant right after the 15th september -- according to it, the 20th - 22nd september are the best days for planting forage crops as well as hay, flowers, peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and other aboveground crops.

so on labor day we sprayed the area out with herbicide. it took two gallons at 6 tablespoons herbicide per gallon of water. we chose labor day because this would give us the 10+ day cushion you are supposed to wait between applying herbicide and planting.

one day last week we went and raked the stubble and clippings then measured and staked out an area slightly smaller than 20'x20'.

the famers almanac didnt say which sign the moon was to be in on the 20th. we always prefer to plant when the moon is in cancer and wondered if it was.

it took awhile to find a website with the moon phase and moon sign locally. we finally found one with a "moon phase calculator."
so when we saw that on the 20th the moon was going to be in libra we were a bit taken-aback as we had always thought that the best times to plant is when the moon is in cancer then pisces and finally scorpio.

although we're not 'all in' with this moon sign stuff, we wanted to give our plot all the advantages that we could. so somehow or another we wound up on this page at kaykays.net which excerpts a few pages about planting by the moon phases from the lunar garden: planting by the moon phases by e.a. crawford.

mr. crawford writes about the findings of maria thun, a german lady who was financed by a group of farmers from 1952 - 1962 to farm by moon sign. ms. thun's results were so surprising that she spun off even more research which mr. crawford sorted out and put together in his 1989 book.
source link or click here to download eight page .pdf [48 kb]

anyway, that page said to sow seeds when libra is waxing. looks like the farmers almanac was correct.

so saturday morning we busted out the mantis.
after about three hours of dragging around and being drug around by the 'ol mantis we had enough. it took a tankful of gas.

next we took the garden rake and raked out all the roots and stubble that had come to the surface. then we took the lawn rake and smoothed it out best we could.

we broadcast around eight pounds (10 double handful's) of 8-24-24 and raked it into the soil. we noticed the label on the fertilizer bag said that its manufactured here in louisiana at deridder by o'neals feeder supply.

on sunday morning when we got up it was drizzling rain but it stopped in a few minutes as the sun rose.

last night after we broadcast the fertilizer we brought the spreader home and washed it and wiped it out. this is to help keep the fertilizer residue from melting the metallic parts. we mostly wanted the spreader to be clean so that nothing could foul the seed gate partially open whereby we could lose a bunch of seed.

so it was back to the food plot where the first thing we did was take an empty barrel and roll it over the soil to pack it down.
we took the scissors and cut the tops off the four paks and dumped them into a mixing bowl to blend them together.
this is how all the seed looked in the spreader.

we were nervous about messing this up. we only had a limited amount of seed but everything seemed to go well you just have to remember that when you get to the end of a row, to stop, bend over and push down the seed gate then to be doubly sure you wont lose any seeds pick the spreader up (so the wheels dont turn) and set it down where you want to begin your next row and you wont lose any seeds. but of coz we wont know if we were as smart as we think we were, unless and until the crop comes up.
then we rolled the barrel over the seed bed again.
on monday we'll put out the 30.06 mineral lick somewhere in the woods nearby.