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Discussion Starter #1
I am definitely not planting turnips and radishes next year. The deer didn't touch them except for the leaves, and even that wasn't too impressive. The turnips are just rotting in the ground, not eaten. I will try my luck with legumes next year for sure.
 

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We have tried various brassicas over the years with the same result that you are having. We went to winter wheat and oats ( high sugar content). The oats and wheat are eaten and they are cheaper to buy. We make sure to use the correct amount of fertilizer and keep the ph where it should be. I heard sugar beets are good but have not tried them. Gary
 

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I tried brassicas a couple times and had the same results. Went to wheat and oats also.
 

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they ate my greens pretty good, but my softball sized turnips and foot long radishes are just sitting on top of the ground with just a handful of nibbles out of em. i'm still hoping they decide to get on them before the spring till under. thought they finally figured them out in the fall with the green foraging. guess i was mistaken. still diggin through the snow for the clover and rye though. go figger.
 

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definitely some soft spots, but not rotten yet. been froze up for a while. maybe it helped. i've read that they'll still hit them when they're mush, so maybe we'll see.
 

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I am really suprised to hear about your lack of success with brassicas.

This was my first year of planting brassicas and I was amazed with the results. It took a while for the deer to start using them, but by mid-November they were hitting the leafy greens hard. As the leafy stuff started to disappear the deer began digging up all of the turnips and by New Years, there were barely any remnants of the brassicas remaining in the field.

For what it is worth we planted Whitetail Institute Winter Greens.
 

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Amazing how results differ by locale. I planted the Winter Greens this year in one plot and thought they were horrible.
 

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I have trouble getting brassica through to rifle season some years and I'm surrounded by farms. It is amazing how the results differ depending on the area. The deer seem to either love them or not touch them with little in between.

Try clover if your deer aren't eating the brassicas. My deer use my clover fields year round pretty much.
 

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It sometimes takes deer to learn to eat the bulb itself. This is our third year and for the first time, the deer ate all the greens and then destroyed the turnips and etc. Give it time, once they get a nibble they will be all over it. In our .3 acre plot we were able to keep deer interested from September until know. My buddy killed a 140" 8 point on it two weeks ago and we have seen as many as 15 deer on the plot at one time. They provide alot of forage for a small area. We used Antler King's Honey Hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
bake545 said:
Try clover if your deer aren't eating the brassicas. My deer use my clover fields year round pretty much.
How does clover do with a little bit of shade? I am thinking plant clover on the edges near the shade in my plot, and legumes in the sun where the brassicas did well this past year.
 

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The first year I planted a brassica mix it went untounched until Thanksgiving weekend. At that point it seemed like every deer in the area was feasting on a new found delicacy. The rut weary bucks seemed particularly ravenous. That was more than a decade ago.
Since then any successfully grown plot has been well utilized. It will always be a part of my planting rotation. I no longer buy ready made deer on the package blends. I call directly to seed sellers and buy it by the pound in the amounts I want. Not worth it for small plots unless you plant alot of them, but each type of seed has a purpose.
 

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My problem with brassicas is that my deer eat them too fast. They literally start eating them in September and then it's a wasteland all winter. 2 years ago, I planted all white clover. I think it was a much better choice. Food was there in the spring, nice and green all summer and fall, and then they dug for it all winter. Also, no hardcore tilling the next spring. Just did a frost seed to thicken it up a little in bare spots, and its awesome again.

Also, brassica can make or break your foodplot. For example, if you get a dry spell early summer, it can ruin the whole plot for the year. If you have clover, they will brown a little and look terrible, but after the first rain, BAM they are right back up and green as can be.
 

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I've always said if I was allowed only one seed in one plot it would be clover. Depending on weather conditions I always considered it a 9 month plant. Sometimes the snow is too deep and sometimes it really struggles in a hot dry summer.
I am going to re-energize my plot planting and I have latched onto a strip planting where there are roations and mixes planted by strip. Gives 12 month food supplies while minimizing bare dirt. Also the rotation increases organic matter and takes advantage of legume nitrogen fixing for the next planting. Very detailed planting process on other habitat management websites.
 

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Double Lung 20 said:
bake545 said:
Try clover if your deer aren't eating the brassicas. My deer use my clover fields year round pretty much.
How does clover do with a little bit of shade? I am thinking plant clover on the edges near the shade in my plot, and legumes in the sun where the brassicas did well this past year.
I think clover does better with some shade. Since clover has a shallow root system it can dry out pretty quickly so some shade can help. I haven't had a whole lot of luck with brassicas in shade though or wet ground.
 

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My deer like to eat clover in the winter. It stays green.

I also like the idea that you don't have to replant it every year!
 

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I strip plant simply cause i dont like to put all my eggs in one basket.In one strip i put rye, oats, radish, winter peas, red clover, and soys, planted mid to late aug.The rates are as follows to the acre.75lbs,50lbs,5lbs,25-50 lbs,12lbs,50lbs.Lots of seed i know however what happens is the oats freeze out,the radish,gets eaten or not there for winter,peas get ate and soys get ate or freeze out.What is left is rye for early sprng greeneup and red clover till august.The other strip is turnips rape and radish.Normally in 5b the weather doesnt get as cold as further north.However if it does get cold or we get dumped on with snow it is nice to have them there.If not their good for the soil.They kept my radish and turnip greens mowed down this year.And are now on the bulbs a little.It took a decade to get to this point.However they are cheap and easy to plant and now the deer like them.
 

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archeryman32 said:
My problem with brassicas is that my deer eat them too fast. They literally start eating them in September and then it's a wasteland all winter. 2 years ago, I planted all white clover. I think it was a much better choice. Food was there in the spring, nice and green all summer and fall, and then they dug for it all winter. Also, no hardcore tilling the next spring. Just did a frost seed to thicken it up a little in bare spots, and its awesome again.

Also, brassica can make or break your foodplot. For example, if you get a dry spell early summer, it can ruin the whole plot for the year. If you have clover, they will brown a little and look terrible, but after the first rain, BAM they are right back up and green as can be.

This year we had a drought which left the brassicas few and far between.Nice thing is we still had time to plant rye.
 

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they started hammering mine about two weeks ago. out there every night. eating the radish and turnip bulbs finally. it's about time they figured them out. this is what i wanted, them to eat it when everything else wasn't so easy. perfect.
 
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