wk outdoors 300WESTERN Ky. (7/19/13) – The heat of summer is a good time to begin thinking about fall plantings to benefit wildlife.
    
Winter wheat is a top choice for a fall crop because it is readily eaten by deer and wild turkey and is an excellent nurse crop for clover. Winter wheat is typically planted Augest 15 through October 31.
    
Broadcast wheat seed with a hand-crank spreader and rake or disk it under.
    
"I recommend planting clover at the same time you plant the wheat," said Joe Lacefield, a private lands wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The clover will take root over the winter and come on the next spring as the wheat starts to die back."
    
In tobacco country, winter wheat has been the cover crop of choice to the benefit of wildlife. High in protein and easily digestible, winter wheat provides high quality green forage which is especially attractive in the late season.
    
Lacefield said one way to prepare a site is to mow, then apply herbicide when the re-growth starts.
   
"After the weeds have died back, then till the area before planting," said Lacefield. "Ideally, you want to time the planting of your winter wheat and clover seed in anticipation of rain."
    
Another site preparation option is tilling or mechanical cultivation whenever the plot is dry over a period of time leading up to planting. Tilling uproots grass and weeds and loosens the soil.
    
Plots should be located on a level spot with decent soil fertility and full sun a majority of the day.
    
Winter wheat grows best when the soil has a pH of 5.8 to 6.5. Use a soil test to measure the nutrient levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) as well as the acidity of the soil. Soil test kits are available at most farm stores. Follow directions carefully.
    
If fertilizer needs to be added to your plot, consider using 10-10-10, a formulation commonly available in 50-pound bags. Both fertilizer and agricultural lime are available in pellet form, for easy application with a hand-crank spreader. Lime improves water penetration and the uptake of nutrients of plants growing in acidic soils. Don't skimp on the amount of lime that is recommended. Low pH is usually an issue with soils in Kentucky.
    
Two excellent plot locations are the edge of a field or an existing woods opening that deer or turkey are already using. Your tree stand or ground blind should be within easy shooting range and downwind of the plot.
    
Lacefield suggests planting Ladino or white clover in shaded, woodland openings. Red clover seems to do better in open fields with full sun, growing well on the warm weather days in September and October. Red clover grows taller than white clover and is less impacted by weeds, but all stands of clover need periodic mowing to thrive.
    
This perennial cool-season legume helps increases soil fertility and provides an almost year-round source of high quality forage for wildlife. An established plot of clover starts growing in the early spring and lasts until it is killed back by the heaviest frosts of late fall.
    
Author Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.  
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Art Lander (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

July 30, 2015 3799

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 3734

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 2834

Hanson, Owensboro, Bowling Green Youths Win at…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2529

24th Annual Miss Teen Hopkins County Fair Pageant…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 2445

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 29, 2015

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 17, 2015 16666

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 15638

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 02, 2015 1646

Poole Wins Hopkins County Fair Talent Show

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 1161

Community Helps ‘Cram the Hummer’ for School…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 1146

Tiniest Division of Hopkins County Fair Pageants…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 1046

Two Injured in Motorcycle Accident

by SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 886

Man Accused of Using Craig's List to Encourage…

by SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 860

Spinal Cord Injury Patient's Foundation Sponsors…

by SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 579

Legislator's Log - Week of Aug. 2, 2015

by SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 576

'The Free' Gets Greenville Crowd Groovin'

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 484

MCCH Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

by SurfKY News
August 02, 2015 474

Dave Says - Aug. 2, 2015

by SurfKY News