Food plot questions/fertilize or mow?

BigAl

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Jul 31, 2001
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20,370
Location
Fayette County, TN US
Last fall I planted a one acre plot of
forage oats, austrian winter peas, crimson clover, ladino clover, Red clover, and 7top turnips.

In the last few weeks, something has shot up in the plot that's about 1-2 ft tall with long stems and yellow flowers.

Is that the turnips with the yellow flowers?
When should I mow?
When should I fertilize?

As a side note, I never saw much evidence the deer were eating the 7tops.

Here's a pic I took in the fall followed by a pic of the plot now.

100_2372.jpg


23b47988-f33e-49e8-ab0c-6ac4e431bbb4_zpse777f838.jpg
 

woodsman87

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Sep 27, 2012
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1,560
Location
south TN
The yellow flowers are the turnips.

I don't know much about the mowing and fertilizing part. Now is a good time to fertilize though. Clover and peas will create nitrogen, and it will provide for itself and other plants, so nitrogen shouldn't be used very much when your fertilizing. I normally only fertilize mine during the fall. My food plots are grazed down by my cows after deer season. This year I let them eat it again this past weekend. I will probably put them in there for a couple of weekends during April, and by then all my pastures will be ready for grazing. I just let my food plots grow up after that. Even though I replant everyear, all the seeds help out some. Plus the seeds provid food for quail or turkeys, and the tall thick grasses are cover for the deer. You could also make a dove field out of one.
This is just how I do mine.
 

BigAl

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Jul 31, 2001
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20,370
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Fayette County, TN US
I haven't decided if I'm going to try to maintain this one or just replant every year. Probably depends on what it looks like in the fall. Thx for the info.
 

woodsman87

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Sep 27, 2012
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south TN
I replant mine every year, but I still like for it to seed outitself too. It definately doesn't hurt anything, and I love for the turkeys to get in them and pick through them seed heads and such.
 

fairchaser

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Sep 13, 2011
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7,958
Location
TX, USA
The clover will comeback if you keep the weeds out and it doesn't take much fertilizer only lime. We would split our plots between those we replanted every year with oats, turnips, rape etc. and the clover plots. Some of the plots just loved to grow clover so we just kept them in clover and sprayed for weeds and mowed a couple of times during the summer. You have to use the selective herbacide to keep from killing it. Your plots looked great by the way.
 

Boll Weevil

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Jun 26, 2011
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Hardeman
Whatever you choose to do, you might also consider the benefit of "green manure" should you choose to turn it in. Organic material, compost, moisture retention, and tilth all play a sustainability role here (in addition to the forage value).
 

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