What would you plant in a fallow field

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buzz lightyear 

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I have been asked to put some hives in an orchard, fine.
Further, I have been told that the land owner currently has a field (of unknown size) that is currently fallow. My question is:
what would you try to pursuide them to plant, given the practicalitys of things. i.e. Borrage needs a contract and specialist equipment
Don't think they would be up for Balsum, Sunflowers dont produce in our temp.
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Hivemaker. 

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raspberries and blackberries. But leaving the field fallow surely means planting nothing.
 
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East Yorks New Bee 

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If the field is left fallow then the farmer must think it needs a rest and would be very unlikely to want anything growing in it, but if he can be convinced then why not something like phacelia which bees love and it can be ploughed back in as a green manure.
 

Annrbel 

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I agree with above. Our neighbours planted phacelia for that reason a couple of years ago and our bees benefitted. Technically it should be ploughed in before it flowers for the best soil improvement. By itself phacelia makes a clear almost mauve tinted liquid honey, some love, some think tasteless. If there is a wet margin, purple loosestrife, comes back year after year.
 

Black Comb 

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I agree with Hivemaker & East Yorks.
A fallow field should be left fallow.
 

Mike a 

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I would suggest clover.

I asked the land owner where I keep my hives as long as they were not treated in anyway and I was prepared to do all the work. He asked which plants I was considering so I gave him the list and he was more than happy.

So I bought the following from http://www.organiccatalogue.com
CLOVER White
SOLIDAGO Yellow springs
ECHIUM Mixed Hybrids
BORAGE
PHACELIA TANACETIFOLIA
 
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buzz lightyear 

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thanks for the ideas guys. Will let you know what I can do. Not exactly sure if its fallow or just been left? Guess it amounts to to same thing. Buzz
 

shonabee 

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"just been left" is basically nobody's got around to do anything with it - possibly used for winter grazing though.
"fallow" implies it's being left for a year to rest - for soil bourne pests to fall away, and soil "freindlies" (bugs worms and the like) to increase in number.

It could be that the farmer wants to use it only for one type of crop and is leaving it fallow from that crop familly, in which case planting something else might be welcomed.
 

Somerford 

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Fallow - ususally means it's been left after a crop has been planted and harvested the previous year.

There are a number of similarly 'fallow' fields around by me. Many had been sown with maize the previous spring, and it is common place for animal farms to leave the maize fields fallow over the winter as it is usually too wet/muddy to get on the ground without seriously poaching it.

Now dryer weather has come, many will, if they are planning to plant maize again, will likely spread manure/muck prior to plouging and then sowing sometime in April. The other option is to plant a grass ley for silage, or possibly spring wheat/barley.

What you could try and find out is whether the farmer is planning to have a 'buffer zone' around the field - this is usually a strip 1-3m wide planted to wildflowers/clover grass mix which will be beneficial to not only your bees but his crop too.

Otherwise, it is unlikely to be left 'fallow' far into the spring - the demand for good land for some sort of crop is too great and he will need to do something with it from a pure financial basis, whether you want him to or not !

What ever the case, get to know him - he might be a helpful contact in the future !

regards

S
 
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AMAE 

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This weekend have planted a couple of acres of a hay field with Sainfoin. Hopefully great for my bees, and premium hay...I hope.....

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merylvingien 

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If you want to please your bees, american yellow blossom clover, after the first season it grows about 6 feet high and is probably the plant that i have seen the most bees on at once, they LOVE IT!
 

bee ginnner 

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clover is always popular with farmers because it fixes nitrogen,however although bees love it it has to bee the right type of clover to fully benefit the bees.but i dont know which that would bee !:confused:
 

psafloyd 

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Probably about 5/6 at the moment
Technically, if the field is fallow, then by definition, you plant nothing, as it is left unseeded.
 

Erichalfbee 

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clover is always popular with farmers because it fixes nitrogen,however although bees love it it has to bee the right type of clover to fully benefit the bees.but i dont know which that would bee !:confused:
White
Bumbles will use white and red

Phacelia or Borage are good too
 

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