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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Second year in a row for the ridge field not producing beans. Christian county, lots of rocks, not great soil. The field has a few beans here and there, but nothing that would canopy over or look at all like a field of crops. Looks barren and brown. I will drill rye and some clover and brassicas this fall (and likely give up this bean quest), but should I plant anything now or just leave the field fallow and spray in late August before planting the fall crop? I appreciate your advice as I am not experienced in this but sure do enjoy the process.
 

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Been there my friend... it's like forcing a round peg into a square hole... in my limited experience your better off researching what will survive and possibly strive in the soil conditions / topography where your farm is located.. what works great on another individuals piece of dirt doesn't always translate to yours. I tend to favor plantings that will help build your soil. Clovers throughout the summer followed by Cereal grains in the fall will help add OM (organic matter) to your soil. Cereal grains/OM terminated the proper way will keep moisture in the ground and weed competition at bay...
 

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Soil test for clover, amend and then plant 50# rye, 12# red clover per acre around labor day. The following year, you can disc in everything while it's still green and replant this mix again. Do that for a few years and then try doing your beans again. Personally, I prefer to just cut the plot in half and rotate sides each year with a brassica and cereal grain mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did a test last year and amended per recommendations. I planted rye and turnips over winter but did not test again. I just dug one up yesterday and sent it in today. I'm quite interested in what it will show. I did select beans (just to know if I had a specific deficiency) and clover. My problem is that I am concerned about the disc for fear of bringing up even more rock and the erosion issues from being on a ridgetop. I wondered about buckwheat for now and then planting clover and rye over winter. Beans might not be in my future, but deer eat lots of stuff I'm told.
 

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Rye and clover isn't the most glorious food plot, but it grows in sub par soil and will draw deer in all year long. Rye draws them in during the fall and throughout the winter and then the clover takes over in the spring and holds on strong throughout the summer. Standing rye and red clover stayed lush and green during the summer drought of 2012. Everything else we planted burnt to a crisp.
 

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How big is the plot?
Are the beans not germinating or are the deer just nipping them off as soon as they germinate?
 
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