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Giz9219

Food plothelp

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Looking to put in some food plots have a tractor,better going with bottom plow and disc or rototiller ?and what’s good to plant and when to plant? Thanks for any input.giz

 

 

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Most of the time you don't want to plow or till too deep or you'll bring up seeds from plants that have been hidden for a bunch of years and you'll end up with stuff growing you don't want in your plot. Usually just scratching the surface is best.

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Here's what I would recommend:

 

1.    Start by getting a soil sample after you have cleared an area and know where you are going to plot: Whitetail Institute has the best soil testing kit IMO 
 

2.    Mow the area where you want to plant if there is really tall grasses and weeds:  use a lawnmower with the blade raised or field mower. If you have a loader on your tractor, you can also float the bucket to remove vegetation. sticks, etc.
 

3.    Spray the future food plot area with Roundup or any weed killer containing Glyphosphate.  You can use a sprayer attachment for an ATV, tractor or a backpack type (PITA b/c it takes quite a bit of time c/w a larger electric sprayer)
 

4.    Wait 10 to 14 days  for the first round of native weeds to die and then spread your lime and fertilizer as recommended by your soil sample. The soil test will tell you how much lime and fertilizer to add per acre. If you can get crushed lime from a farmer or lime truck delivered by the ton it's much cheaper than bags of lime pellets.

 

5.    Disk the lime and fertilizer into the soil.  Look online at Everything Attachments and get yourself a good, angle iron HEAVY DUTY disc harrow. They have awesome ones for a three point hitch

 

6.    Smooth the area accordingly so that you can plant in a few weeks.  You can either drag a fence section to do this and break up the large chunks or buy a cultipacker. These are pretty awesome

 

7.    After you disc and smooth the top of the plot, wait about 10-14 days and you will see the weed seeds that you dug up after discing start to germinate. Now you will need to apply Roundup AGAIN. DO NOT DISC again

 

8.    Wait 7-10 days for the second round of weeds to die off and then apply your seed.  Apply the seed with a spreader, either a Scott's one like you use for grass seed or a hand help one. After you spread the seeds, the real key is to also get the seed into contact with the soil. You can either go the cheap way and use a lawn roller or buy a cultipacker like I mentioned above. In addition to pressing the seeds into the soil, it also creates tiny grooves for water collection and drainage.  Try and time this step if it's going to rain in a few days, otherwise the birds will come in and feast on your seed if it's going to be awhile until it rains.

 

9. Watch it grow baby!!

 

Good luck!!

 

Chris

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Beautiful description of the process, Chris!!

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Thanks a lot!!and what kind of seed you recommend Chris

 

 

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2 hours ago, Giz9219 said:

Thanks a lot!!and what kind of seed you recommend Chris

 

 

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You're welcome!

 

I am by no means an expert on this, but you could write 30 pages on just what seeds to plant!! That being said my mantra is to keep things a simple as possible. Also, I didn't mention it above but I HIGHLY recommend buying the Food plot book from QDMA. It is a great guide and talks a lot about looking at your property and determining objectives way before you decide on planning for food plots. Make sure you look at your land topography, drainage, intrusion from neighbors if applicable, travel areas, human foot traffic etc, etc. Also, make sure when you decide on a location, that you look at your own personal travel roads/trails. This is important b/c if you have one of your main trails next to a plot (extremely common b/c that's how you get your equipment to the plot), you are going to be bumping deer out of the plot on the way to your hunting spot. Although they will still use the plot, they will do it at night well after dark.

 

Also, I've seen it many times when guys will plant a food plot in an area that was previously the best bedding area on their property! They cut the grasses and shrubs b/c it's a good plot location and devoid of large trees (i.e they do not have to cut trees and pull stumps in a wooded area of their property for plot preparation) only to disrupt one of their only or best bedding/cover areas on their land. Sure the deer will hit the plot, but when it's grazed over, those deer are gone in the offseason b/c they have lost their bedding area.

 

Now, on to the seeds......

 

What to plant depends on your objectives (kill plot vs. true destination plot as a spring/summer/fall food source, protein for antler growth, vs. a winter food source to keep deer on your property year round, etc, etc).

 

Although there are 50,000 different ways to do this, my recommendation would be to start with a perennial such as chicory/clover or an annual such as brassicas. Many seed companies sell these blends, Imperial Clover, Biologics, Pennington, etc. etc. but you can also get seed blends from Agway. I think the Imperial Clover or Fusion is a great clover seed for early planting that will take you into the cold season as well. It's a great food source and pretty easy to grow, but needs some TLC like mowing once it really gets established. One of the LOU members posted pics this year of his clover plot and it was truly spectacular to see his pre and post mowing pics!! Probably the most lush I've ever seen. Clover may also take a season or to to "get going" but it's relatively hardy and can tolerate different growing conditions. The first year you plant it'll grow for sure,but it's likely to take a year or two to get super lush and thick. depending on how much rain you get during the growing season. It is often incorporated into mixtures of other seeds such as cereal rye, chicory, wheat.

 

You can also plant brassica mixtures later in the spring/early summer for a good food source later in fall and especially winter. It's an annual and will need to be replanted yearly, but the deer will absolutely tear up the turnips and radishes under ground after the first snow fall. They will graze freely on the greens throughout the summer as well, so it can be frustrating b/c if you have high grazing pressure as they will eat all the greens before the turnips/radishes can get established. Eventually the tubers get sweet and the deer absolutely love them later in the season!  I have also experimented with planting cereal rye first thing in the spring as more of a green fertilizer and re-discing it after a month of growth before it gets too high and then planting brassicas seeds after that. This is cereal rye and NOT rye grass. The deer eat the rye too so it provides a good food source and a green fertilizer to the plot.

 

Other folks will plant corn, soybeans, peas, rape, etc etc but I just don't have my own personal experience with these seeds. Hopefully some other folks can chime in on their experience.

 

Keep it simple and have fun.

 

Good luck,

 

Chris

 

 

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Thanks again for your input!!!


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Clover And Alfalfa spring thru early fall and Austrian winter peas mixed with winter rye or wheat October all the way thru winter are hard to beat IMG_0592.JPGIMG_0078.JPGIMG_0085.JPGIMG_1968.jpegclover Alfalfa pics IMG_2479.JPGIMG_2492.JPGIMG_2491.JPGIMG_1861.jpegIMG_2296.JPGIMG_2241.JPGAustrian winter peas Winter Rye plot


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Looks like it work well!! Thanks Giz


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So what do you guys use to work the soil? Bottom plow and disc or rototiller? My land is clay and rocky don’t know if rototiller would work well? Thanks Giz


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I run a 5ft King Kutter Tiller for most of my plots. Usually just 1 pass and it’s done. But for hard packed or rocky ground I run a chisel plow through it before I fit it with the tiller.


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Thanks Giz


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Depending on the size of your food plot and tractor a 2 bottom plow on a 3pt hitch is hard to beat. Gets the job done and is very maneuverable in tight quarters.

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Thanks dj,planted some apples the first year and bucks ripped them apart have plenty of oak around don’t know if walnut is deer food? Maybe try some apple again and fence them off?Thanks Giz

 

 

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With the young trees(if small enough) you can start them out with tubes so the deer can't destroy them. If they are a little bigger cut a slit in a piece of plastic drain tile and slide it around the trunk. that will protect it from the animals and mowers!! As the tree grows the plastic will expand and eventually the tree will outgrow it and you can take it off. By that time it should be big enough to survive.

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