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Food plot planning

5/21/18 @ 10:19 AM
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Junkie4Ice
Junkie4Ice
USER since 12/19/11

I'm planning on planting a food plot in the corner of my lot that I'll be building on next year. The lot is about 4.5 acres of field and 4.6 acres of woods. I'm thinking of putting the food plot in the back corner of the field and putting up a stand in this corner. Then planting trees around the plot to build up the wooded portion of my land to about 5.5 acres total. My primary focus will be whitetail and turkey for hunting.

My questions are: 1. How big of a food plot to go with? 2. Do you plant the same thing every year or change it up, I've heard it depends on the farmer's crops in the area. 3. Do you manage a food plot as you would a garden, or let nature take its course once it is planted? 4. Does shape of the plot make that much of a difference? 5. Would a small pond next to the food plot be beneficial? I will probably need fill to build and there is no major water source within about 3 miles.

I probably won't plant the plot this year, but want to get it plowed up so I can plan out where to put the trees since it'd be nice to get those in this summer. I grew up hunting a swamp so we never dealt with food plots, it's all new to me.

Thanks in advance for the input!

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 66 Posts
7/21/19 @ 9:00 AM
sloshkosh
sloshkosh
USER since 3/30/04

Unfortunately non frost seeded clover or fall seeded clover tends to do exactly what you mentioned....curl up in the heat do to a poor root system.   


I went against my own thoughts and planted some clover in may as well.   Its a .25 acre field and i added 20 lbs of winter rye as a cover crop.    The rye got tall asap and shielded the little clover shoots which held moisture longer in the morning.   After it was 6 weeks old the clover really started growing and i mowed it as high as possible with a riding mower.    Rye is now dead or dying.   Clover is striving.  


I like the recommendation on just spraying weeds with round up, waiting a week until theres some dead brown thatch to hold moisture and simply spreading clover into that thatch layer.     Now you do not plow up new dormant weed seeds that will sprout with your new clover.    

New plot breakdown.   Plowed 20 year old set a side grass that was basically like breaking up sod.    After several weeks of dragging then letting dry and die then repeat I had a couple inches of thatch and dirt to work with.    I threw down 5 lbs of crimson clover that I got for 8$ at a co op.   Threw partial bag of old winter rye on it for a cover crop.   The plan was to break up the soil add some nitrogen and made a easily workable field for fall turnips.    The field is so nice thick and tall right now I am going to have a hard time cutting it down.   




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7/19/19 @ 2:22 PM
Quester
Quester
USER since 1/28/07

I found the best thing for clover is after you spray weed killer on your plot is to NOT till it up again!

This tilling after you killed the weeds only brings up old dormant weed seeds and I have made that same mistake.

Broadcast the seed over the plot and just roll or culipack it and it will do fine!


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7/19/19 @ 12:39 PM
Junkie4Ice
Junkie4Ice
USER since 12/19/11

yama - what seed mix did you use? Seems odd to have that much weed growth even after using round up. I didn't use any round up and weed growth has been minimal, maybe the mix was heavy on the cover crop? Rape grass can block out sun if too thick.

So I decided to ignore sloshkosh's suggestion even though i knew he was right... Planted clover mid june and it did well until this heat kicked in and it stunted out at ~4". But the boys have been loving it so i'll need to replant next month anyways, they'll have it mowed down to nothing. Fun to experiment with different crops anyways!

Edited on 7/19/19 12:40 PM
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7/18/19 @ 1:12 PM
yamatroller
yamatroller
USER since 5/7/06
I would like to hear a couple opinions on my food plot problem. I  planted my 2 plots early right after things warmed up and the weeds were growing good. I sprayed twice with Round-up and there was not a weed left growing, worked up the soil, dragged with a cyclone fence a few times to pack down a bit. I broadcasted the seed like I have done in the past and we got a rain a few days later which should have wash the seed in. The seed used was supposed to be mostly clover in one plot and clover and alfalfa in the other plot. Well now the plots are probably 80% weeds with some turnips that were mixed in and hardly any clover or alfalfa at all. I got a feeling the rain may have buried some of the seed to deep and the weed seeds were always in the soil??. I doubt I can save the plots anymore and am probably going to have to start over really soon. The plots are both about 1/4 of an acre in size and any opinions or tips would be appreciated!!

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7/17/19 @ 5:57 PM
griff n
griff n
USER since 6/17/11
Anyone ever put in perennial rye. If so what was your opinion. Did it last a few years?

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7/11/19 @ 8:49 AM
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

Saving a lot of time this year . Half my land has been underwater for about a year now . I still may get a smaller plot in yet .

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5/22/19 @ 1:09 PM
sloshkosh
sloshkosh
USER since 3/30/04

Frost seeding clover 2 months ago or waiting until August to plant clover with a cover crop of oats peas and rye are your best options.     

Planting clover right now stands for a high risk of 1 month old plants with small roots getting cooked in the july sun and typical drought.    

Thats my opinion if u are trying to establish a perrenial clover only plot.   




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5/22/19 @ 9:38 AM
Junkie4Ice
Junkie4Ice
USER since 12/19/11

So how early is too early to get some clovers going this summer? Getting the itch already and going to be widening some shooting lanes and dragging the new plot this weekend to keep the weed growth down. I'll plant brassicas late summer but would like to get some clovers going and a camera out. As long as I trim the clovers throughout summer I should be able to plant within the next few weeks eh?

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5/22/19 @ 7:19 AM
sloshkosh
sloshkosh
USER since 3/30/04

BTW if you dont do anything with the rye it will get to about 3 feet tall ry out and die around the 4th of July.    It will be dead but alot of trash to clean up.   




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5/16/19 @ 9:53 PM
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

Both of my plot areas are wet . The one is under water  , the other doesn't have standing water  but I wouldn't trust it to a 4 wheeler  ..

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 66 Posts