CONDITIONS NOT CALENDAR SHOULD DETERMINE WHEN TO PLANT (EPISODE 655 TRANSCRIPT)
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>>GRANT: It is late. It’s almost October, but it’s been wicked dry here at The Proving Grounds. But finally, there’s an inch of rain in the forecast. We had a light shower this morning. And in the next couple days total, we’re supposed to get about an inch.
>>GRANT: So, we’ve used the no-till drill. Of course, in the big plots, The Release Process™ because that’s putting seed in the ground. And The Release Process™ in a bigger field has held a bunch of mulch. So, there was still some soil moisture there.
>>GRANT: And we’ve got germination already. We’ll show you some of that. We’ve got germination. But in these small plots where the deer – this is a hidey-hole food plot. We call it Hightop. I’ve taken some good deer here.
>>GRANT: But the deer eat up so much volume or biomass of that summer crop, you don’t get the mulch or the tonnage to shade the soil and it gets drier. There’s just more browse pressure per square foot here. So, we’ve got rain in the forecast.
>>GRANT: Carter and I are just going to broadcast some seed in here. There’s no need to work this soil or anything like that. That’s rarely needed. Disking is so overused. We don’t want erosion. We want to build organic matter, especially in this rocky soil here in the Ozarks. So, we’re going to broadcast the Fall Release Blend through here.
>>GRANT: And because deer have wiped out so much of the biomass, I’m not getting that natural ability of the soil to replenish the nutrients. So, I’m just going to add just a little bit of fertilizer, but I’m not going to fertilize the whole thing.
>>GRANT: I’m going to fertilize in front of our stand locations. So, I’ve got two stands on this small plot, because we never know what the wind is going to be; the wind direction when we get ready to hunt here.
>>GRANT: So, we’re going to broadcast the Fall Release at about 100 pounds per acre. I drill it at 70. But when you broadcast, not all the seed – of course, it’s going to germinate when it gets wet. But the seedling may not get their root in the soil. It may land on a leaf or something.
>>GRANT: Turkeys and squirrels and mice and doves are going to eat some of the seed. So, you’re always going to broadcast at a higher rate than drill – or so you should. That’s my plan.
>>GRANT: We’re going to hit four or five little hidey hole food plots today. Again, I’m feeling a little late. I like to broadcast 45 to 60 days before the average first frost date, which here is October 15.
>>GRANT: But when you’re broadcasting, the success rates of getting a good stand are way, way higher if it gets rained on top of. Not just moist soil, but that rain helps the seed make contact with the dirt. And of course, soaks it – gets it wet versus the seed laying on top of the soil. Soaks it so it will germinate and sprout. That’s our plan. We’ll share our techniques with you. We’re late, but it’s just fine because we’ve got to work with the conditions we have and I sure am hoping the weatherman is accurate and we get that inch of rain,
>>GRANT: You know, right before we planned, I was checking out the plot. Man, I’m so happy. Of course, I had sun hemp in here. And it has been browsed extremely hard. It’s there and there and all over. You see it in here.
>>GRANT: Sun hemp is a legume. And it’s pretty good quality forage, that’s awesome. But if I’d had peas or beans in this small plot, they’d have wiped it out. None of them would have survived. So, the sun hemp gave us some good food.
>>GRANT: And even just as important, or more important to me because this was a summer crop, it’s pumping nitrogen in the soil. And that’s been browsed hard. I’ll probably up the amount of sun hemp in next year’s summer blend for my small plots.
>>GRANT: In a big plot I don’t want that much. But in a small plot, it’s something that’s a legume. Taking nitrogen out of the air, putting it in the soil. And it’s fairly browse tolerant. Deer eat it, it keeps growing.
>>GRANT: Again, peas or beans in here, it’s just so small, they’d have wiped it out.
>>GRANT: The milo gave me biomass. Now, they’ve consumed all the seedheads. I don’t see a single seedhead out here. They’ve consumed it already. It made seedheads. You can see a few remnants. But it’s just giving me biomass.
>>GRANT: Milo has a big root system, much bigger than a clover or something like that. Bigger roots. And it’s just filling that soil up where water can infiltrate as they rot and die down. And these will decompose and become tremendous fertilizer for the next crop.
>>GRANT: It has kept weeds at bay. When you look around, there’s almost – I don’t – I don’t even see a single weed in here. I see a little clover from a crop pass. But not one weed.
>>GRANT: And that milo this summer was big. They’re not eating the leaves. They don’t eat – deer do not eat milo leaves unless they’re starving. You can tell they’ve ate all the grain off the seedhead already. So, it worked perfectly.
>>GRANT: It provided a lot of tonnage of biomass. The roots were doing a great job. It’s really drought hardy. And it kept weeds at bay. I’ve had no herbicide here. Look at this – how clean this is with no herbicide.
>>GRANT: The sun hemp was pumping nitrogen in. I had peas and beans. I knew they’d get wiped out. But here’s something really cool. Something else that I want to talk about.
>>GRANT: Look at this spiderweb right here. You can see it real easy now because there’s just a little moisture on it and spiderweb right there. And I see a few more around.
>>GRANT: Well, some people, you know, we’re close to Halloween here, they, “Eew. Gross. Spiders.” Whatever. These are awesome because spiders, a lot of what they eat, a lot of insects they prey on, are insects that damage the vegetation I’m trying to grow.
>>GRANT: Man, I love it when I drive by a great big alfalfa field, or a bean field and the farmer did not use an insecticide. A-that’s kind of bad for the environment. And B-it’s an expense to the farmer. And it reduces their net profit. And there’s all these spiderwebs out there. That guy has got a great crop because the spiders are taking the predatory insects, the insects that would prey on his crop, out.
>>GRANT: But if you use a really strong insecticide, you kill these natural spiders that would take care of the insects that are causing him to lose money.
>>GRANT: So, this is my insecticide right here. It’s God’s plan to just use a spider. So, plenty of sunlight reaching the soil in between the milo and the sun hemp for us to broadcast in. We’ve got spiders that will take care of those pesky insects. And it kept the weeds at bay. And it added biomass.
>>GRANT: You’re still seeing a little mulch from my last fall crop. This is cereal rye stalks. It’s about all broken down because the bacteria had been converting this to dirt and fertilizer.
>>GRANT: Now, it will be really thick after, you know, this spring when we come in here, you know, April, May. It will be probably chest tall on me and really thick. And that all was on the ground. And throughout the year, it’s decomposed, building soil.
>>GRANT: Of course, I always like blends. This is Green Cover’s Fall Release Blend™. And I’ve got, of course, cereal grains. You see the big seed. And the winter peas, these big round ones here. And buckwheat for something to be real easy. And, of course, turnips and radishes and a couple of different clovers.
>>GRANT: This is about a third of an acre and I’ve broadcast this at a 100 pounds per acre. So, Carter and I are going to put about 30 pounds out here. This is a 50-pound bag. So, we’ll put about two-thirds or a little more out there.
>>GRANT: There’s not magic. We’ll broadcast and we’re going to be overlapping. So, you don’t have to weigh this to the ounce. It’s not as accurate as a no-till drill.
>>GRANT: And I will walk one way, east and west. And Carter will walk north and south or vice versa. We’ve shown this before. And that way, when you’re overlapping, you get really good coverage.
>>GRANT: If you just go back and forth one way, you might get a little skip, might not get as even of coverage. So, that’s why we split in half. I’ll put about 15 pounds in one and Carter 15 pounds in the other. And we’ll just overlap. Call it planted.
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>>GRANT: A lot of GrowingDeer viewers are probably a bit surprised to see us using fertilizer, synthetic fertilizer. But as I mentioned earlier, in these small hidey-hole food plots, it’s rare you grow enough biomass, due to browse pressure, to really improve the soil.
>>GRANT: So, in my bigger plots, we’ve not used any fertilizer, fertilizer, manure, compost – nothing in eight years. But in these small plots, we’re just not getting the full benefit of the The Release Process™.
>>GRANT: We’ve put a light coat of fertilizer on here, sweeten up the crop, get deer within range of the stand.
>>GRANT: We’ve seeded and put a little bit of fertilizer on this plot, so the last ingredient we need is rain. Man, we’ll be hoping we get a rain and turn this green – be ready to hunt here soon.
>>GRANT: You know, getting outside and working with the land and watching stuff grow or seeing a successful plot like we had here, is a great way to enjoy Creation. But more importantly than watching the fruits of your labor, always be sure and take time every day to be still and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.