Just looking to talk some food plot ideas - What do you guys have the best luck with for a late season plot? Do you do anything special for fall plot preps? How about some pictures of bucks taken off kill plots? 137 days till archery opener...
Fall food plot
I found out the hard way that winter rye retards brassicas too. I usually plant wheat but could not find any when ready to plant so I planted rye. I do not have even a third of the brassicas that I planted. Radishes seem less affected. So I have all rye plots this year. Will not be making that mistake again
No spraying for the most part. If I have areas of quack grass I will spray that. Hate that stuff. I have a 3 nozzle boom for a 15 gal tank. I made the boom very inexpensively from off the shelf Fleet-Farm stuff. It goes on the ATV. It seldom gets used.
I'm dealing with light, sandy soil that has relatively low fertility. That, along with planting grain rye does a good job of keeping weed biomass low from year to year. Young winter rye is allelopathic (it retards weeds). So, without a ton of weeds I'm able to mow and till without spraying.
Here's a pic. I'm in a substantial drought. This food plot is 3.5 weeks old and has received rain ONCE since planting, that rain was 1/2". I'm expecting this plot to explode once it gets some decent water. The Brassicas need it bad. BTW, it's not cloudy in the pic, that's smoke from MN fires.
I’ve been doing both, spraying and tilling. When creating a new plot I’ve been tilling in spring since that ground hasn’t been worked in 30 years. Then I spray 3 times over summer as weeds regrow. Then I till again before planting. If I was going to skip either tilling or spraying I’d skip the tilling I think. As long as you have bare dirt that the seed can contact you will be generally ok. I used to be critical of people saying keeping the weeds down is so important, but I’ve come around to see that that is truly is the case.
No spraying Fin Bender? My spraying consists of walking around with a 1 gallon tank for as long as I can tolerate since I don't have a pull behind lol. Would be nice to just skip that step and maybe till a second time if needed.
My method for fall food plots only (I don't plant spring/summer plots): mow, till, fertilize, broadcast large seeds (rye, oat, peas, etc.) and rake in with a drag spring harrow with tines held high, broadcast small seeds (radish, turnip, etc.), cultipack with lawn roller and tractor tires.
I've never cultipacked before seeding.
PS - I lime in spring if necessary.
I think it depends on how you prep your soil. If you till, your digging down up to 8" and seeds can really get buried if you don't cultipack first. If you're doing the no-till method, I feel like cultipacking before seeding isn't necessary. I tilled, let it sit, sprayed, seeded then dragged. We got a ton of rain after I tilled and it compacted the soil down pretty good otherwise I would have used the 4 wheeler to pack it down. I'd like a cultipacker, but will probably get a lawn roller for a fraction of the cost for next year.
So many different ways to do things, half the fun is trial and error!
I gave up on cultipacking, I just drag my plot with a piece of expanded metal. I found that I have way less weed growth!
A lot of things I’ve read recommend cultipacking before and after seeding. Before to firm up the seed bed then after to press the seed in. I don’t have a cultipacker I just use a metal lawn roller but I only do it after seeding not before and I’ve never had an issue. My process is: rough plough, disc, spread fertilizer, disc again, spread seed, roll it then pray for rain.
I do have a question for those of you using a cultipacker...do you just run the cultipacker after broadcasting seed, or do you drag at all first?
Based on plant growth along my ATV tire tracks, I think a cultipacker would help me greatly.
Yeah I ended up getting a hand spreader before planting my second food plot after seeing how uneven it was by hand. Definitely worth it, and they are fun to use lol