Virgin Soil - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Virgin Soil

Been working on clearing about 1/4 acre spot in the woods through out the spring. I decided to wait until i had everything how I want it prior to planting so I know i'll be doing a fall food plot this year. My question is and yes I will be doing a soil test and tons of lime and fertilizer but what would you guys plant the first year on virgin ground? I'd love to put some turnips/radishes in with some chicory and clover mixed in much closer to the season but am I trying to much for the first year? Should I just stick with some rye to help build the soil?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:17 AM
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Rye, and you can mix in just alittle turnip/rape seed. Turnips & radishes are annuals, chicory & clover are perennials. They din't really mix and you will get very little growth of either fall seeded (you will good growth in spring). If it is "in the woods" turnips/radishes need full sun.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:38 AM
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The soil test results will tell you a good bit about your potential options. Personally, I would go heavy on the rye and clover....throw in some oats too for a quick fall forage for this hunting season. Plant around Labor Day.

You can throw in some turnip and radish seed to see how it does....try to plant that early August. I would keep that to a small section as a test...if you are the only show it town, they will not be able to keep up with the browse pressure. The oats and rye will be the staple crop to keep up with the deer.

I do not have a whole lot of chicory experience....it's a nice addition to clover for sure. Being this is the first time this area has been planted, I would stick with just clover until you see how the soil does....but if you can pick up some chicory seed for pretty cheap, I would not hesitate to give it a whirl.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:13 PM
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The first year for our plots (3) we went with rye, oat, clover and chicory. Did a ring around the plots, about 50' wide each, of clover then Chicory, Rye and oats over the "middle".
We only tilled the outer ring... just low cut the center and over-seeded with the chicory, rye and oats.
Now we get plenty of hay off the "big" plot (2.6 acres).
2nd year we broadcast more clover over the outer ring and tried some turnips. 40'x200' "strip" in the big plot, all over the small plots.
Didn't take in the big plot, we blame less than ideal drainage there... so it got more clover and rye.
The two smaller plots, (about 1/3 acre each) had less success with the clover returning the following year, but took quite well to the rye and chicory, and has been gang-buster on the turnips each year that we remember to throw some out.
We'll mainly hunt the big plot in October and rifle, and lightly on the small plots.
We save "serious" use of the small plots for flintlock, as the deer will kick up the turnips and chow down after first deep hard freeze.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 06:05 PM
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If you look at my Ohio Thread in the habitat forum you will see my trials and tribulation with a woods plot. It will take a while to get the soil right. Get a soil test ASAP. Being in the woods it is likely to be very acidic. I would go with winter rye or winter wheat and then throw some clover seed in as well.

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