Get Ready Now for Spring Planting

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Although we are still seeing snow, frost and rain, winter will soon be over.  It’s 87 and sunny in Oklahoma today and we are only a couple of weeks behind their weather. 

Now is the time to get out your equipment and get it ready so you don’t have to waste precious weekend time getting rust out of drive shafts, making sure all of your equipment is running well and ready to go.  I will order my seeds today so they will be here when the soil is dry enough for planting.  There is plenty of time for seeding warm season grass, corn and beans, but the clover and chicory plantings should get done as soon as the soil conditions will allow.  I have had more spring planted clover plots fail from dry, hot spring weather than from frost, so I like to get them done early. 

Now that I have a regular job, my time is severely limited.  I will have to work every weedend starting now to get all my clents taken care of.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.  My New York land will have to wait until late spring as it is located in some really muddy ground – great for summer moisture but not conducive to early planting.  I never have to worry much about planting clover there due to the wet ground.

But, here in PA, I have some silty-sandy loam soil high on a hill that will dry up to the consistency of talcum powder if we don’t get regular rain.  These have to be planted very early in May, and although there is still a danger of frost, late May won’t work for this type of soil/site condition.  On this same site, I plan to put in some Eagle Brand soybeans.  They can go in at the end of May as I can use a seed drill and get them down to the moisture.  Last year, I planted sorghum sudan deep after my clover dried up and died.  I will go over it with the brush hog so there is some light colored mulch on the ground to keep the sun off the soil surface and hold the moisture. 

This would be a good time to get your soil testing done too.  Don’t wait until the soil test lab is over loaded with samples.  Get your testing done and your supplies ordered.

Well, I am going to take some of my own advice and go put some Liquid Wrench on my drive shafts I stupidly left out in the weather.

Good luck with your food plot endeavors and feel free to call me if you need advice or would like to share success stories and tip of your own.

About the Author:

Wildlife habitat manager and consulting forester from Central PA. Studied environmental Agriculture specializing in wildlife management and Forestry. B.S. Agriculture, Masters degree in Forestry. 30 years experience in land investment, forestry and wildlife habitat improvement. Currently working as a Farm Bill Forester for Pheasants Forever on Game Commission and Golden Winged Warbler Initiative.