The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I took these 2 pictures this weekend to show why I’m such a fan of ending my planting season with the addition of rye into all my plots. It’s cheap, easy to grow, stays green all winter, the first thing to start growing in the spring, a great soil builder and weed suppressor. The deer in my area are nutritionally stressed by early spring and hit the plots hard as soon as the snow comes off them. It’s the only thing green in March and early April and I believe it’s a big help until the other plants wake up. Once they stop feeding on it you can plow it into the soil, mow it until you want to plant something else in its place or let it grow tall then spray it with gly and drill through it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,260 Posts
Yes winter wheat or rye are great. Another great thing is they grow in just about ever soil type and condition too. It is about the easiest thing to grow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,211 Posts
I took these 2 pictures this weekend to show why I’m such a fan of ending my planting season with the addition of rye into all my plots. It’s cheap, easy to grow, stays green all winter, the first thing to start growing in the spring, a great soil builder and weed suppressor. The deer in my area are nutritionally stressed by early spring and hit the plots hard as soon as the snow comes off them. It’s the only thing green in March and early April and I believe it’s a big help until the other plants wake up. Once they stop feeding on it you can plow it into the soil, mow it until you want to plant something else in its place or let it grow tall then spray it with gly and drill through it.
Amen to that! Plots look great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
No particular reason Grizz, I've used wheat in the past and it also worked well. Maybe i'll try a side by side comparison this fall for something to do. I like around Labor day and watch the weather. If i'm putting it in with a nice plot of brassica I broadcast about 150lbs. per ac. If I drill, about 80lbs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,260 Posts
No particular reason Grizz, I've used wheat in the past and it also worked well. Maybe i'll try a side by side comparison this fall for something to do. I like around Labor day and watch the weather. If i'm putting it in with a nice plot of brassica I broadcast about 150lbs. per ac. If I drill, about 80lbs
I have planted winter wheat and rye side by side and never could really tell any difference in preference by the deer. Both seem to give the same performance.

As far as planting dates I usually go from Labor Day till mid September. You can actually plant later but I like it coming up pretty good by the time bow season comes around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,211 Posts
Rye would get the edge over winter wheat in my book. It scavenges nutrients better....adds more biomass to the plot with its root system. However, from a logistics standpoint, rye can create more of an issue the following summer as it gets fairly tall - great for fawning cover, but can be tough to mow for guys with limited equipment. Also, I think rye continues to grow at a lower temperature than WW - which is why folks like it for early spring forage for a deer herd seeking quality forage at its most desperate time of year.

We actually started using barley in place of rye in most plots - mainly because it heads out early in the summer, providing a great food source for hen turkeys and their poults.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,260 Posts
Rye would get the edge over winter wheat in my book. It scavenges nutrients better....adds more biomass to the plot with its root system. However, from a logistics standpoint, rye can create more of an issue the following summer as it gets fairly tall - great for fawning cover, but can be tough to mow for guys with limited equipment. Also, I think rye continues to grow at a lower temperature than WW - which is why folks like it for early spring forage for a deer herd seeking quality forage at its most desperate time of year.

We actually started using barley in place of rye in most plots - mainly because it heads out early in the summer, providing a great food source for hen turkeys and their poults.

How does barley do in the cold temps compared to rye? Cost difference?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,211 Posts
How does barley do in the cold temps compared to rye? Cost difference?
I would give rye the upper hand in cold weather performance. Barley stays green all winter, but I don’t think it grows as much as rye.

I wish rye would head out as early as barley...but the turkeys still use it. I have seen rye stalks knocked over and picked clean.

I have not compared the costs side by side, but I would imagine they are very similar in price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Great points OAWC, you are correct on the fawning cover, one year I let it go in the spring and by May it was 3-4 feet tall. Before I could mow it I had to ride the 4wheeler through it to chase the fawns out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
You are quite welcome, I have my on going bedding area project 3/4 completed, have been hard at it for the last 2 months and will try and get some progress pictures posted. Slow going working solo but had some help this weekend and made some solid progress. After i'm done i'll have my son in law get some drone shots of them as it's difficult to get many worthwhile ones on the ground, it's just so thick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,866 Posts
The photo with the exclusion fence is very interesting. The deer are apparently eating a lot of rye.

Rye is a grass.

For years we've heard that deer are browsers, not grazers.

But from that photo it looks like the deer are doing a lot of grazing of the grass.

How much grass do they eat? And how fussy are they about what kind of grass they eat?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,260 Posts
I am a big fan of rye plots also. The deer seem to like it more than the winter wheat. And it grows about anywhere
I agree though that either seems to grow in just about any soil condition, type, and moisture. I don't recall ever having a bad plot of either.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top