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#414154 - 09/25/07 12:25 AM How to sow my clover?
Semibald
Spike


Registered: 05/10/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Shelby Co.TN

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I had a good food plot this year with summer annuals (soybeans, corn, sunflowers, iron clay peas), despite the drought! But because I can only plant on 2 acres (and maybe also due to the drought), the deer ate it so heavily it looked like it had been mown by Sept. 1st. But the soybeans and iron clay peas in the exclusion cages were 4-5 ft tall! I mowed the field and plowed it. Now I'm waiting on rain.

I bought the Whitetail Institute's Chicory/White Clover mix. I have a tractor, disk, and drag. But I don't have a cultipacker. Seems like I read on this site last year that I can avoid that hassle if I sow my clover just before a good rain is forecast, or during the rain. Will this give decent soil-seed contact and germination?

Since this will be a perrenial field, and it is my only food plot, I see no reason to buy a cultipacker I might not need again for 4-5 years, if I can get away with the easier method. Any thoughts on how well this will work?
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"Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians - except for the occasional mountain lion steak." - Ted Nugent

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#414855 - 09/25/07 12:30 PM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: Semibald]
HOOK
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 05/01/99
Posts: 15823
Loc: Rutherford County, TN

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You can use rain as a cultipack process but you won't get a good germination rate without the insurance of seed to soil contact through cultipacking. Long story short you'll be throwing a lot of seed away. Do not attempt to seed "During a rain" either.
If you have an ATV you can use it to pack the seed in by just driving over it. You also have the option to rent cultipackers at lowes or home depot if you don't want to buy one.
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#416148 - 09/25/07 10:36 PM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: HOOK]
Semibald
Spike


Registered: 05/10/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Shelby Co.TN

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Thanks, Hook. I think I may buy a cultipacker after all. I've looked at some that are less than $1,000 - cheaper than I expected. Can anyone suggest a brand/type of cultipacker? Do I need to pack the soil both before and after sowing clover? Or just after?
_________________________
"Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians - except for the occasional mountain lion steak." - Ted Nugent

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#417276 - 09/26/07 02:51 PM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: Semibald]
tnclayboy
10 Point


Registered: 12/02/04
Posts: 2987
Loc: Arlington tn

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I don't like dragging or harrowing small seed like clover and chickory , I don't have a cultipacker either ,but I do have a heavy 10 ft roller that does the same thing, another thing I picked up at a yard sale for 20$ was a 2or3 ft wide sod roller .It will hold about 100 gallons of water to pack as it rolls . I took the handle out of it and hooked it up to the back of my ATV . I use it in smaller areas.
The ideal set up for small seed like clover is to disk, harrow or dragg till smooth ,at this point you can either cultipack first then hand sow with spreader or sow then cultipack or roll in. I always try to plant just before some rain I personally think its very easy to waste way to much seed when using clover. Thats why I will put it in my hand spreader in stead of my Atv spreader . I won't even open the seed gate on my hand spreader and as soon as you start turnning the handle you can feel plenty of seed coming out .So If I got an acrer to sow, I will put the recomended amount and then some and then just spread the whole area at least once then repeat walking crossways till the seed runs out. that way I know its covered good. Hope I could help
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I LOVE DEER HUNTIN SO MUCH IF THEY STARTED A ROCK SEASON ,I'D START CHUNKIN ROCKS AT THEM. BEN LEE .

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#418686 - 09/27/07 07:29 AM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: tnclayboy]
HOOK
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 05/01/99
Posts: 15823
Loc: Rutherford County, TN

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Seimbald

If you go to my article here:
http://www.tndeer.com/art-basic-food-plots.html

You'll see an example of a rolling cultipacker. You fill it with water for weight. This is similar to the modle I use, but mine is only as wide as the ATV, and you can buy them at Lowes or Home Depot for around $100.00
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#423647 - 09/30/07 07:22 PM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: HOOK]
tug
Spike


Registered: 09/29/07
Posts: 73
Loc: wilson

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I have my wife rake it with a leaf rake, then I drive over it with an ATV.
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#428659 - 10/03/07 01:56 PM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: tug]
Semibald
Spike


Registered: 05/10/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Shelby Co.TN

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Thanks, Hook, tnclayboy, and tug! I live in the Memphis area, and I've called about 20 CO-OPs and tractor stores in this 50-mile radius, and amazingly, no one has one! A couple of places offered to order one, but that takes a couple of weeks. I think I'll try the smaller sod-roller - we have Lowe's here! If I can't get that, I'm going to get on my ATV and get my wife in her Kawasaki Mule, and we're going to do a lot of driving! I think I'll buy a hand spreader, too. I have a pull-behind-ATV spreader, but I'm afraid all the seed will fall out before I get it half done. Thanks, again! I'll let you guys know how it goes.
_________________________
"Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians - except for the occasional mountain lion steak." - Ted Nugent

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#439836 - 10/10/07 09:17 AM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: Semibald]
Semibald
Spike


Registered: 05/10/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Shelby Co.TN

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I used a lawn roller I bought at Northern Tool to flatten out the soil, and it worked great! It's made by Agri-Fab, costs $160, weighs 500 lbs full of water, and only 60 lbs when empty. I'm ready to plant, but was waiting for rain in the forecast. We had a 20% chance of rain a few days ago, but I didn't risk it, and I didn't plant. Of course, we then got rain for hours, probably an inch or so. Now when it dries out I can spray glyphosate on the grass that's just starting to poke through a little. I want a clean slate to plant on just before the next forecasted rain.
_________________________
"Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians - except for the occasional mountain lion steak." - Ted Nugent

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#444069 - 10/12/07 11:50 AM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: Semibald]
tnclayboy
10 Point


Registered: 12/02/04
Posts: 2987
Loc: Arlington tn

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sounds good . Good luck to ya!!
_________________________
I LOVE DEER HUNTIN SO MUCH IF THEY STARTED A ROCK SEASON ,I'D START CHUNKIN ROCKS AT THEM. BEN LEE .

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#444399 - 10/12/07 03:41 PM Re: How to sow my clover? [Re: tnclayboy]
big jim
4 Point


Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 418
Loc: South of Norene, Wilson County

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I just frost seed clover in the winter when we have an inch or so of snow. The daily freezing and thawing process works the seed into the ground. With spring rains, it will germinate.
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