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Hi guys,

I have two food plots that are approx 2/3acre each. I put norway spruce trees around the plots for cover this spring. The plots were started last year, i didn't weed kill (i know it's a no no), just rototilled and planted rye, clover and wheat in the fall. They both produced well in the fall and into the winter. Early spring had the clover growing pretty good but now ferns are taking over the plots and i'm not sure what to do at this point? I'm thinking an application or two of weed killer and disc under the plots and plant the same mix plus winter peas in august? Please let me know if you have any other suggestions? thanks guys
 

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If ferns are coming up, odds are the ph is off. Do a soil test. Odds are you'll need lime along with you're normal weed control/planting.

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Spray it soon. Dump a (literal) ton of calcitic lime on each plot. Disc it in and repeat the steps you did last fall, somewhere around the first of August.

In other words, do the exact same thing, except spray and apply lime, like you should have last year. ;)

If you're growing ferns, you can bet the pH is 6.0 or less...maybe WAY less.
 

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Tornado Jim
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Hi guys,

I have two food plots that are approx 2/3acre each. I put norway spruce trees around the plots for cover this spring. The plots were started last year, i didn't weed kill (i know it's a no no), just rototilled and planted rye, clover and wheat in the fall. They both produced well in the fall and into the winter. Early spring had the clover growing pretty good but now ferns are taking over the plots and i'm not sure what to do at this point? I'm thinking an application or two of weed killer and disc under the plots and plant the same mix plus winter peas in august? Please let me know if you have any other suggestions? thanks guys
I would caution you to not disk it. You will just turn up new weed seeds and bury the small seeds you have already planted.

Apply lime as everyone here says, your soils are acid, as Bob Dylan said, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the winds blow."

Mowing 2-3 times a summer for a season will probably allow the perennials to take over and give robust results.

Otherwise, spray but do not till!

If you do a light spraying with glyphosate it will not kill your perennials, it will just shock them a little.

I have done two full spraying of a good perennial plot this year that I am changing over to switch grass. The perennials are still coming back!

The Ed Spin approach is to spray with 1 qt/A in May. But this is not hard and fast. You could do so in June as well, especially further north.

Things are dry right now but I am amazed how resistent clovers are to glyphosate.

I do not do this, because I have acces to all my plots and simply mow them and that is all I need to deal with weeds. Clovers are tremendously good at taking over and not letting other stuff grow once they are thickly established.
 

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Lime, then spray your fields at least three times this year. It's pretty easy to kill the ferns as the fronds open but difficult to kill them before they unfold. Spot spray the ones remaining next year. You will not kill them with one spraying. They are difficult to eliminate. So if you really want them out it may be late next summer before you get rid of them.
It's been worth the time and effort to get rid of them in a couple of the fields where I had them.
Good luck
 

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^^^^

Good advice as usual from Bio

If you have a plot that has good clover in it you can usually get the clover to overcome the weeds without having to start over. Clover grows quickly and can usually outrun weeds and eventually take over if you mow and slow the weeds down a bit to help the clover out.

Add a little chemical help (either through roundup or a broadleaf or grass specific product) into the mix with mowing and you should be able to pull that clover plot back from the abyss.

Good luck!!
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Bio is giving you Eds method to get rid of weeds. I've used it and it works great. Like Bio for the most part I just mow the clover, and that also works.

Ferns are a different critter. Your dealing with both rhizomes and spores.
A single spraying of gly and mowing will have you fighting bracken for years.
 
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