|Turnips finally starting to germinate and if you look real close there might be some oats|
About a month ago, I drilled a simple mixture of oats and turnips into about four acres of winter-grazed sorghum-sudangrass stubble as an experiment (or would that be called a trial?) and it's finally starting to come up. I plan to treat this part of the field as a cover crop and I'll probably graze it before planting the field to grain sorghum sometime in May, instead of trying to bale some hay or harvest any grain, although there's always the chance for either of those options (depending on the weather, etc.).
A few days after I drilled this mixture of oats and turnips, we had a nice rain that should have provided enough moisture to get everything germinated but about a week after that rain it turned pretty cold with the temperature dropping into the teens and twenties with a combination of ice and snow. Oats will usually winter-kill whenever the temperature drops into the low twenties, so I'm not sure yet how temperatures that low will affect a germinating seed. Due to how cold it was and how long it has been since I planted this field, I haven't been holding out too much hope for a real good stand of oats. Of course, a "successful result" from this experiment might be learning that it isn't worth it to try to grow oats as a cover crop, hay crop, or grain crop.
When I was walking across the field today, I did notice that some of the turnips are starting to come up, and if I looked hard enough I could find an occasional oat poking its head up out of the ground, so I might get something to grow in this field.
I never would have guessed that growing oats would be so difficult since almost everything I've read suggests that they are one of the easier small grains to grow. The last time I tried growing them I waited to drill them until the first week of March to avoid the cold weather and it turned hot and dry much earlier than usual. This year, I thought I'd plant them in mid-February and it turned extra cold. Yesterday, I happened to see a neighbor drilling something (I don't know what) into one of his fields so I plan to pay attention to that field to see how his oats grow after being planted later than mine. Of course that's assuming he's planting oats, although I don't know what else he would be planting this time of year.
Walking across the field today, I can also see the thinking behind planting a cover crop mixture because it looks like I'll have enough turnips in this field to fill any of the gaps if the oats don't grow. So even if the oats don't grow at all, at least I'll have enough turnips so that everyone I know can eat as many turnips as they want to eat. Just remember that if you want some turnips you're going to have to pick them yourself.
|You can't see anything growing yet, but in a few weeks I'll compare this to an updated photo|