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Thread: fall plots?

  1. #1
    Senior Member mrbb's Avatar
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    fall plots?

    OK anyone planning to do any fall food plots?
    and if so what and when do you plan to start and plant

    I am going to burning down about 4 acres of 6 yr old clover soon, as soon as the weather allows, then doing a good disc over it, and then waiting a week to re spray, then 2 days later planting
    I will be planting a mix of things. from some Brassicia's, turnips, and chicory, and even some oats, and then tossing several clover types, just allow for some better greens in the spring
    with luck, I am hoping to have it all done by the tmiddle of Aug.
    if weather again allows

    the lands I hunt will be getting timbered , starting in Late Aug, so trying to build up some plots as far away from the timbering as I can, going to be a odd early season for me with them there for sure, and they claim they will be there till Nov, 3 months of disruption
    But hey, it really needs to be done, just wish they would have done it in Jan/feb./march, and not like planned!

  2. #2
    Senior Member 00buck's Avatar
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    gonna try the roll out food plot i keep seeing really dont have equipment to do food plots so this looks like best option

  3. #3
    Senior Member mrbb's Avatar
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    well I guess that stuff can work, but seems to me like a lot would be needed to make a plot that would last from browsing
    food plots can be done with some simple tools, with just some harder work
    I started doing them with just a rake and a shovel
    and then a walk behind tiller, and then the ATv , and now a tractor
    but a small sprayer can be had for like 10 bucks, , might have to fill it a few times, but getting started isn't a ton of cash, or tools needed
    just will power and some hrs of work
    but even big plots, take time and work, But a good take, is always such a welcome sight come hunting season

  4. #4
    Senior Member 00buck's Avatar
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    well i was wondering i dont want to cut down any trees right now but have small field in your opinion how big should first plot be and when should i start it i have a feeder in woods and feeder on field edge around a quarter ac. woods

  5. #5
    Senior Member mrbb's Avatar
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    well a 1/4 acre is a nice sized food plot
    a food plot can be any size, the smaller , well , you have to worry about them eating it faster than it can grow, but it will still work to draw deer to it, just like a pile of corn,
    when corn is gone they still look for it there,
    what and how big , is really up to you, and your soil
    and what will grow best there as is
    best plans are to look NOW that leaves are full on tree's and see how much sun light that field gets
    next would be to go and take some sil in a bunch of spots in the field
    and mix it all together and have a soil test done on it(cost about 10 bucks for a soil test)
    this is one of the most important parts of a food plot
    as it will tell you what your soil type is and what the PH is
    pending WHO does the testing, many places will even recommend a seed for your soil type
    IF not NOT
    the soil PH will for sure tell you what/how big you can afford to go
    90% of all food plot seeds will grow SOME in poor soil
    but to get a good long lasting plot, you really want to get the Ph up to 6-6.5 or so
    so a soil test will tell you how much or little lime it needs to get there, plus it if you tell them what seed you want to plant, how much fertilizer is needed
    sounds a little confusing, but its really simple
    your budget will then tell you how big, based on the soils needs
    for a cheaper first plot, you can skip brand name seeds
    most country feed stores in rural area's sell seeds by the Lb, like clover, rape, chicory, turnips, and the likes
    for feed plots, summer time food, and spring, Clover is a great plot, it will last for 6-7 yrs or more if taken care of, but it looses its draw as frosts come, so its not the best hunting plot
    feeds like Brasicia's, turnips, Rape, winter hardy oats, make for better hunting plots, as they come into there prime as frosts hits, and stand taller once snow falls, making easier and more attractive plants in hunting season till there gonein Jan feb or ?? pending how much you plant

    the honest rule of thumb is this, plant a plot the size your budget allows, and do it right, add corect lime, and correct fertilizer, and seed amounts
    a smaller plot planted well, will out grow a half assed one
    something to think about
    if you have any farmers in your area, right now is a slower time of yr, and many will for a reasonable fee, come and spray your site with round up, disc it, and even plant it
    old rule , you never know till you ask
    a farmer with a tractor can do a 1/4 acre site pretty fast, couple hrs to disc and plant at most
    need a week or so after applying the round up
    Cheap Forage rape seeds would be a good fall planting, need about 5 lbs, which at my local Agway would be avout 15 bucks in seed cost, ( a 50 lb bag is 60 bucks and will plant about 7 acres)
    add in say 150 lbs of 10-10-10(about 45 bucks) and thats maybe high, on average its about 300 lbs an acre, so at just a 1/4 acre, you can maybe get away with less, again your soil sample will tell you this info!
    a half a gallon of round up, about 10 bucks, and what ever is needed in lime, if you have a bulk delevery guy about, and the field is open to be driven on, its about 40 bucks a ton spread, ON average a ton of lime will raise your PH one point(many claim a 1,000 lbs will, but not in my experience, lime really needs time to work in to change PH, and most bulk spread lime is of lower quality in lime)
    that's about a 100 bucks in seed/fert/lime
    minus getting somone to spray it down and then turn it over /Disc it, price on thsi will depend on your local farmers, and how grown up the field is(does it need to be brush hogged or just disked)
    add in another 150 bucks, and your at about 250 bucks for a good hunting fall plot! a ballpark figure
    again your budget will say if this is high or not, can you can cut back as needed
    exactly when you plant
    this will be decided on two things, one, all seeds have a growth rate, like a 90 day seed or a 45 day seed, and so on
    meaning you want to plant the seed so it will reach mature size before your normal frost dates in the area it will be planted
    I have seen Brassicia's with as low as 38 days, and as high as 90 + days
    so when you plant is by seed timing, and well when you actually have the time to plant!
    trust me, over the yrs I missed my window to plant due to getting busy in life, and planted weeks later than planned
    still worked out OK, not as great as it maybe should have been, but still worked to draw deer all hunting season!

  6. #6
    Senior Member 00buck's Avatar
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    well field is actually mowed to like a lawn length right now and the farmer is next door getting ready to turn up field since he just harvested the winter wheat maybe i should talk to him but here is the real question the property that i have has will and already have corn planted and soy beans and the farmer is going to plant the field they just harvested with beans or wheat again when i talked to him earlier in the year will the food plot be beneficial to me during the season or not i have 2 fulltime feeders running year round and minerals year round also and 15 apple trees on property that are mature and deer eat them till they are gone

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrbb's Avatar
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    well if its mowed to almost lawn like, that will make planting it very easy
    and will a food plot help, if you have lots of corn beans about you, YES
    all food plots help
    think of it like this, if you plant a fall plot of say turnips, Brassicia, Rape
    , well this stuff pulls deer like crazy, all the more so when a few frosts gets to it, turns them sweet
    and your deer have been eating beans and corn for weks
    its a new food source, maybe closer to cover water for them, if you ate the same thing for weeks, you will be glad to have a new food source
    second, corn and beans will be harvested come late oct mid nov in most places , then what, where do your deer go, having a standing plot of Good food after harvest of crops is a major draw to your property
    NOW if you decided to plant something like clover, or chicory, well, again, it is a new food source, one that actually makes better protien than corn and beans
    it will not be a huge draw after heavy frosts, well the clover will not for sure as it will pucker up, the chicory will hold its own , BUT it will re grow come spring time, LONG before a farmer plants anything
    thus giving your deer a jump on food and protien in spring time, making a healthier herd /hevier weight gains come spring, which can maybe lead to bigger racks come fall
    deer are what they eat to a point!
    having a food plot on your property makes your property more attractive to wildlife in general
    will it be a 100% all gains
    well NO
    having a food plot is like having an open feeder, deer learn if pressured, to visit it in safest hours, as the food is there for eating 24/7
    BUT it will draw deer as long as its there
    meaning come fall rut, doe's will hit a food plot , bucks will follow, and rape/turnips/brassicia, is a better food source come winter time too, provides deer with better intake than just corn , making surviving winter easier on them, and again, making deer come into spring with a better heads up
    so yes, I believe a food plot is always a plus for a property

    I have 50+ acres of corn and 5 + acres or so of beans right now, and I am still planting fall food plots
    and I expect to kill my buck in a fall food plot, or hope to anyways LOl

  8. #8
    Senior Member 00buck's Avatar
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    ok so i think i am going to put in a small fall food plot what do you recommend as far as seed and when do i need to have it in by i will be planting it in central ohio morrow county if that helps at all first time for a plot any advice to make it easier would be nice

  9. #9
    Senior Member mrbb's Avatar
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    well advice again is , get a soil test
    then decide how much $$ you want to spend
    that will help a lot on the what and how
    as for seeds, or what type of seed to plant
    well again, that can be decided with the soil test, and or your budget
    as
    lets say, you plant "X" seed, and your soil is ready NOW for it
    as to wanting to plant"Z" and it means you need to add tons of fertilizer and lime
    and then also, consider, do you want to plant something that will be just for THIS fall, or do you want to plant something that will grow for a few yrs
    if your budget allows to plant what ever you want, when ever
    then, you have to ask yourself , what crops are not the norm in your area
    thus making your lands more attractive to deer in hunting season
    a simple Fall plot that is very easy and not so costly will be forage rape seed, will need pending seed variety between 50-90 days before heavy frosts
    tips,
    burn down the site NOW, get that sil test done NOW, and as soon as you get results back, add that lime, even if its before you turn it over, but AFTER you spray it

    then when you turn it over you will mix that lime , as lime takes time to work , and has to make contact with soil to work
    there are many different types of rape/brassicia
    all are great fall food plots
    the one's that make bulbs/turnips, can double the food a plot can make, as to just greens, and they will also hold deer longer once they eat the tops off!

    SHot Plot from evolved habitat, and many of the other brnad names all are good seeds, and all will tell you how many days they need to grow before a frost
    CHEAP no brand name seeds from your local Ag store will work too, as for forage rape(no bulp on most of these) or turnips, and what variety they have/can get
    many sell by the lb
    most brand names also sell smaller 1 lb bags too, you can also get a a bag or 2 of different seeds and mix them
    giving a couple different types for deer to pick through
    you can add and mix all types of seeds, add some clover, or chicory to a brassicia plot or??
    sky's the limit
    sorry if this isn't what you want, But I don't live in Ohio, so, not exactly sure where your at or your frost dates
    but feel free to ask me anything, I'm glad to help if I can!

  10. #10
    Member JMax510's Avatar
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    I'm going all out in food plots this year. I have about 40 acres tillable on my farm which I rent to a local farmer. I have him do the majority of my planting in exchange for him getting to farm the rest. I had him plant 6 acres of corn for me last year but the field didn't amount to much because the deer grazed it off before it even had a chance to grow. This year after he planted the 6 acre field in corn I put an electric fence around it. I couldn't believe the results. I never thought 2 fences 30" high would keep deer out but it did! We received some good rain this year and the corn looks really good.

    The farmer had 12 acres of winter wheat planted which he recently took off and I'm having him plant that field in clover and radishes as cover crop for the winter. I also am planting about 2 acres in buck forage oats. I had excellent success with the bfo last year. Also this year I planted 26 Realtree Dunstan Chestnuts from Walmart. They've grown about 2 feet since I planted them.

    Foodplots and habitat improvements is a lot of work, time and money but is rewarding. My neighboring farmers are all brown and down hunters so I try to give the deer everything they could want on my property.

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