Food Plot Advice

Shutter Monkey

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I usually hunt over a pile of corn (Just kidding Geaux!), i hunt mostly in thick Piedmont, but this year I have the opportunity to hunt over a small 1/2 acre clearing in the forest. I'm thinking of doing a food plot, my questions are;

1. Is it too early to make one? and
2. If it isn't too early what should I plant in the middle of a forest?
3. I can't move heavy equipment in so I won't be able to plough the ground, just brush hog it and maybe break up the top inch or so of soil. What should I treat the soil with?

thx.
 

Vincent Vega

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I wouldn't bother planting one this time of year as they will have plenty to eat for the next several months. If you insist on planting I would lightly scratch the ground and plant some clover. The clover will actually increase the nitrogen level of the soil so you don't have to put down as much fertilizer in the Fall. Be sure and keep it mowed down to 3 or 4 inches.

I usually plant on Labor Day weekend but prep the plot ahead of that time to kill off weeds and soften the soil by plowing though that may be tough in the summer without some heavy duty equipment. I've actually had a chisel plow refuse to engage the ground in some really hard compacted dry red clay so it's best to start working the soil as soon and as often as you can.

Many folks will tell you to do a soil test. Why not go ahead and do that but just plan on laying down pelletized lime now so that it has worked into the soil by Fall. It's cheap and helps the plants absorb nutrients by reducing the acidity of the soil. The less acidic the soil the less fertilizer you have to use.

Also if you're planting in the middle of the woods be sure you trim back the trees and branches so that the plot receives plenty of sun. A food plot will grow best when it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Good luck and let us know how you do.
 

mfoster

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I would go in around July and roundup where your planning to plant ,then come September I would put at least 250 lb of fertilizer and break the ground.an 1/2 acre is not going to provide a lot of nutritional value so I would consider what would grow best . Whether it’s winter wheat or annual rye grass you may have to try several things.
 

Lineman73

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The easy way out: As stated above, spray the desired area with round up during summer. Around Labor Day, spread pelletized lime, 10-10-10 fertilizer and annual rye seed. You do not even have to break up the soil. Rye will grow if you just throw it on the ground. Deer love it and will keep it mowed (eaten) down to look like a well manicured lawn!! Turkeys like it too. Have seen hog nosing around in it and rooting it up. So there you have it, the easy way. No tilling or plowing, just spread the seed and other stuff on the ground. 50 lbs of rye seed, 50 lbs of lime and 50 lbs of fertilizer cover a bit over an acre. Then build a small ceremonial fire and perform Native American rain dance. Calling down Thor, the Norse god of thunder wouldn't hurt either!! Cross your fingers and hope for the best!!

Good luck being a farmer and a hunter!!!
 

erkinator

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We are going down this weekend. Going to disc the established plots and do rye, wheat and clover. Then we will be adding new plots in the fall. New at this also so we going to give a try.
 

YOTESHOOTER

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We suggest you check the ground below the surface at least 2" below the ground surface. It may look dry at the ground surface, however as we have found is that dirt below is so wet all you will be doing is making clods, and bricks without straw.

We are awaiting 10 days of straight Sun, without rain to help dry out the soil below the ground surface.

Take a shovel, and dig up a shovel full of dirt, take the dirt at the end of the shovel tip, put it into your hand squeeze it in your hand and if it forms a clog and will not flow through your fingers, just forget trying to turn it, till it, or harrow it, all you will end up doing is
clogging up the implements, causing a lot of useless work for yourself.

Rye, is great for fall/winter, not spring, or summer. Yes rye, is cheap, buy really does not last long,try some soybeans, and other plants, wheat is ok, millet, even try some peanuts, has great green top foliage and in the late summer you can have green peanut boil.


just a simple suggestion to strongly consider...
 

Pholley526

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You want to plant the highest protein foods possible they will promote antler growth. Also consider having “sanctuary’s” around your property where you flat out don’t go.
 

YOTESHOOTER

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We have been using a special blend out of MONTANA, and in 2 years we have seen 12-20% heavier body weights, better antler growth, and more Deer, staying on the property. We talk to biologists from different parts of the country, and decide the mixtures we will try and use.

We have many small food plots to test, what our local Deer herd likes and what they don't plus we move the different mixtures around to see how well the mixtures work property wide.

Deer, observing, is a 24/7 year round not just opening day... And so is planning, preparation, and execution of working your plan and as well of working the ground to the ultimate productivity it can return to your game...

 

erkinator

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We are new to this food plot stuff. Took over lease just last season and it already had 6 plots established.I went to a Co-op and asked for a spring mix and this is what they recomended. A few othe blogs mentioned the same 3 items,rye,wheat clover,peas
seed 2.jpg
seed.jpg
 
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