Over the last two weeks I have planted summer species multi species cover crops in four different places on my place. Two plantings were two halves of one field and the third was a piece of new ground that I was buring brush off of during the winter…..
I reported on the first planting in my last post and it has germinated and is showing green…
The second half of that field was planted differently. The bulls had pretty well knocked everything down while they were grazing but they left a lot of biomass. I took my handy broadcast shoulder seeder bag and broadcast the summer cover crop over this part of the field and then I bushogged the field to break up a nd distribute the residue.
Having already discovered that broadcasting this summer seed is at the least risky, I was hopefull that by driving over it and by bush hogging I could cover some seed. This was done on the Saturday before Memorial Day. I was releived last night to seed some new plants germinating…..I still do not know how good the stand is but as I walked by the fence I could see new growth.
On the new area….I planted this on Memorial day….I hooked up my little spike tooth aerator and ran it over the ground as much as I could. This area still has some trees and some stumps so I could not aerate everything.
Next I broke out the handy dandy shoulder seeder bag and broadcast the cover crop seed.
Then back on the tractor and I both bush hogged what weeds and grass was there and ran the aerator over it again….
I have not been up there yet to see check on progress….but that same day just as a check , I performed a little experiment.
I took a simple garden hoe and scratched a small row in the grass in my garden…..I do not till my garden but plant no till and mow between the rows with a push mower. Anyhow I opened a small row about ten feet long and dropped a handful of cover crop seed in the row and covered it up…..Last night I had new growth coming out of the row….mostly grasses yet but a couple of broadleafs…..
Now this row is near my new sweet potato plants and I have been watering them nightly so I have watered the MSCC row as well….The new area is damp anyway so I suspect I have germination up there too….will walk it good this weekend. I will try to remember to take some photos and post them.
The fourth area is the field where I planted MSCC this past fall and did not graze or anything…..this field was one of my weaker pastures and I decided to concentrate on building soil in this field…..The fall cover was marginal until spring and then the legumes put on a show with crimson clover and winter peas climbing up what small grain survived. This field is a little wet and the rain and cold weather limited the brassicas and othe broadleafs somewhat. By late spring I had a good stand and some decent biomass….I again broadcast seed and then bushogged….the good news is there is certainly plenty of new crimson clover seed out there….it had finished blooming and I checked a few seed heads and I think there was viable seed in them….I will check on this field this weekend and report back as well…..There was certainly plenty of biomass to cover the seed.
My grass in the horse area is getting so tall that Perkins and the donkeys don’t like to go out there to eat..most of the front paddocks have some cereal rye in them and it is tall..Once Star Baby walks it down a little they will follow her out there….Star Baby is not afraid of much…..