Since 1945 W.A. Bill Kester and family have been active ing rowing, propagating andharvesting the various plants, bulbs, tubers and seeds in their nursery; developing the most hardy and prolific strains available for your area. Twenty-seven of those years were spent in the wholesale business supplying the other aquatic and wildlife nurseries.
Kester's Nursery supplies you with the highest quality merchandise available. This is made possible because they grow and produce most of the merchandise they sell, thus passing the savings on to you.
The purpose of a native grass planting is to establish a vegetative cover of native grasses that will enhance the landscape. Native grass plantings of warm-season species provide excellent winter cover for wildlife. These tall, stiff, upright grasses stand up well to snow and ice. They do most of their growing in the heat of the summer, unlike cool-season grasses (like your lawn) which grow most in the spring and fall.
Native grasses will live a long time after established. However, like most perennial plants, they generally establish slowly. Therefore, it is very important to establish these grasses properly and to have patience when evaluating the results. It is very important to control unwanted vegetation (weeds), especially the first year. Mowing and herbicides are options for controlling weeds.
Plant 20 lbs. per acre
Plant 30 lbs. per acre
Little Bluestem Varieties
Plant 10 lbs. per acre
Plant 10 lbs. per acre
Mixes for pheasant, dove, quail, turkey (annual seeds only)
Includes short and tall varieties of annuals. Excellent for planting along fence lines, edges of woods, and strips in open fields. Grows 4 to 8 feet tall. Seeds mature in 65 to 90 days. Stands up good for winter feed. Contains a variety of sorghums, millets, beans, sunflower and others. Plant 15 to 25 pounds per acre.
2 to 4 ½ feet tall. Easy to walk through and see over. Contains varieties of short annuals (Wild Game Food Sorghum, Millets, Beans, Peas, Buckwheat and others). Good mix for Game Farms. Easy to see birds that are flushed. Alternating Tall Mix and Short Mix strips is an excellent planting system for large fields. Seeds mature in 65 to 90 days. Plant `5 to 25 pounds per acre.
Excellent for planting on wet or dry soils, mud flats or food controlled projects. Can be sprayed to control broad-leaf weeds. Very attractive to doves and quail. Most varieties mature in 60 to 80 days. Plant 15 to 30 pounds per acre.
A mixture of short and tall sorghums. Mix contains Wild Game Food Sorghum, Hegari, Rox Orange. Grows 3 to 8 feet tall. Good drought resistance. Can be sprayed with most herbicides used on corn and sorghums according to herbicide label. Always check the label to ensure that you don’t kill your planting. Plant 10 pounds per acre in rows or 20 pounds per acre broadcast.
Kester’s Forage Pea & Bean Mix
Mixture of several varieties of peas and beans 3/16 inch to ¼ inch in diameter. Highly palatable to upland game birds. Deer and rabbit also like the foliage. Because of the small sized peas, this mix is especially valuable as a quail feed. Contains: Kester’s Soybeans, Austrian Winter Peas, Iron Clay Peas, Catjang Peas, Red Ripper Peas. Plant 40 to 50 pounds per acre.
Dwarf White Sorghum
Similar to W.G.F. Sorghum. Has short, sturdy stalks 30 to 36 inches tall. Its short height makes it excellent for hunting over. Large white seeds are very palatable to deer, turkey and upland birds. This variety has produced very well in our shorter growing season in Wisconsin. Matures in 80 to 90 days. Plant 12 to 30 inch rows. Plant 8 to 10 pounds per acre.
Millet (Early Dwarf Pearl)
A high yielding grain type. Has short sturdy stalks 32 to 36 inches tall. One of the best millets for its standability and will hold up well during the winter snows. Seeds are excellent for pheasant, turkey, doves and quail. Does well in a shorter growing season. Matures in 80 to 90 days. Plant in 12 to 30 inch rows. Plant 4 to 8 pounds per acre.
Game Bird Mix
This new mix was developed by Kester’s for our customers who raise pheasant or quail or for those who want to attract these game birds. It is a mixture of short sorghums and millets that grow 3 to 4 feet tall. Provides a thick cover and has excellent standability for the winter. Can be sprayed to control broad leaf weeds. Contains: W.G.F. Sorghum, Early Dwarf Milo, Dwarf Pearl Millet, Golden German Millet, Siberian Millet, White Proso Millet. Matures in 80 to 90 days. Plant 8 to 10 pounds per acre.
A perennial with excellent drought tolerance. Grows 8 to 12 inches tall. Plant 2 to 4 pounds per acre.
Dwarf Essex Rape
A cabbage leaf type plant. Deer, turkey and rabbit like its cabbage taste. Stays green for winter feeding. Matures in 70 to 80 days. Plant 5 to 10 pounds per acre.
A lush forage crop. Very attractive to deer and turkey. Cold tolerant and stays green long into winter. Grows 10 to 18 inches tall. Does best on upland soils. Matures in 75 to 90 days. Plant 4 to 5 pounds per acre.
Deer will eat the tops and the large bulbs in the late fall. Matures in 85 to 90 days. Plant 5 to 6 pounds per acre.
Its thick fleshy leaves and round root make this a favorite of deer and turkey. Very high cold tolerance. Stays green long into winter. Matures in 65 to 75 days. Plant 3 to 5 pounds per acre.
Does well on drier soils. Grows 6 to 8 feet tall. Has a sturdy stalk like sorghum. Plant 10 pounds per acre.
Rox Orange Sorghum
An annual that will grow 6 to 8 feet tall. Sweeter than other varieties of sorghum. Plant 10 to 15 pounds per acre.
Iron Clay Peas
Excellent forage for deer. Plant 40 pounds per acre.
One of the best seeds to plant for turkey. This annual produces nutlets under the soil that the turkeys will scratch up. Plant 40 to 60 pounds per acre.
Japanese Millet or Duck Millet
Grows fast, produces and abundance of seed for water fowl and upland game birds. Plant 25 to 40 pounds per acre.
An excellent reseeding annual. Can be planted in wet or damp areas. Excellent duck food. Plant 10 pounds per acre.
Excellent food for quail, pheasant, turkey. Grows best in southern climates. A good reseeding annual. Also provides good cover. Plant 10 to 15 pounds per acre.
Best Deer Attractors
Deer Plot Specialty Mix
A well balanced seed mixture of annuals and perennials. Will attract and maintain deer. Annuals provide fast growth the first year and act as a nurse crop for the perennials in the mix. Plant in open spots in the woods, logging roads, fire trails, or along the edge of woods. Also good for upland birds and rabbits. Plant 35 pounds per acre.
Kester’s no-till Deer Plot Mix
This seed mix was developed to be broadcast and raked lightly or drilled with minimum tillage. It can also be used in conjunction with Roundup. Spray Roundup to eliminate grasses and weeds. Rounup works best on grasses and weeds that are 6 to 10 inches tall. Broadcast seed mix after the grass and weeds have been sprayed and the foliage has begun to die back (which will then act as mulch for your planning). This mix is ideal for small areas in the woods or on trails that are inaccessible to farm equipment. If possible mow the annual weeds or grasses once or twice the first year; keep to a 6 to 8 inch height. Yearly maintenance is to mow the late summer to early fall to promote green growth for winter feeding. This mix is very winter hardy. Plant 10 lbs. per acre.
One of the best deer attractors. A hardy, long-lived evergreen forb. Does well on upland soils and is very drought tolerant (good for sandy soils). Grows about 12 inches tall and makes an attractive ground cover. Stays green long into the winter. Deer like the foliage because of its cucumber like flavor. Deer, elk and turkey will dig through the snow to get to the foliage. Seeds are eaten by upland birds and turkey. Plant 15 to 20 pounds per acre.
White Clover Blend
A good deer attractor. This New Sealand variety is a large leafed variety that grows 8 to 10 inches tall. Stays green long into the winter providing food for the deer and turkey to scratch up. Partridge and grouse will also eat the foliage. Will grow in partial shaded areas, on logging trails. Also good for open areas in the woods. Very winter hardy for northern climates. Plant 5 to 8 pounds per acre.
Ladino Clover Mix
Clover has been developed specifically for white tail deer and turkeys. It is a mix of two ladino clovers (Regal & Osceola) which comes pre-inoculated. Does not do well on droughty sandy soils. Does well in semi-shaded woodlands. Plant 8 pounds per acre.
Kester’s Drought Tolerant Mix
Many of our customers have very poor, sandy soils, so Kester’s developed this new perennial mix. A mixture of perennial legumes and forbs that will stay green into the winter months providing excellent food source for deer. It will also maintain its green growth in drought conditions. This perennial mix will tolerate droughty to dry soils. Works well in sandy soils where the pH is low. Can be planted in the Spring or in the Fall of the year; a cover crop of oats or wheat is recommended. Plant 12 pounds per acre.