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Author Topic: Putting in a small food plot  (Read 12814 times)

Offline CP

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Putting in a small food plot
« on: May 06, 2015, 07:33:56 AM »
I’ve never done before but I’m considering cleaning up this logged off piece of land and planting it in clover or something that might attract the local wildlife.  This opening gets several hours of sunshine daily, not sure how good the soil is.  I’m no farmer but how hard could it be? 

Online Jonathan_S

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 07:37:54 AM »
You'll want to know what kind of soil you have.  Check around for a place/person who might do a cheap PH test.  Secondly read up on drainage requirements and sun requirements.

Of course none of this is necessary but it'd help you pick the right plant(s) for better results.
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Offline kodiak 907

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 07:56:00 AM »
Cheap and easy way to do it:
Transplant some young alders along the edges, and maybe a few vine maples. Throw some clover mix in the middle and hang a couple bird feeders. 

We tried that at my buddy's property and he had quite a few critters hanging around all year.

Good luck
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Offline grundy53

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 08:11:09 AM »
Plant clover. It doesn't need much sun and grows good. The deer love it. I have a similar small clearing on my property. I planted clover, barley, turnips, beets, and a cover crop mix. It's all growing good.
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Offline HUNTINCOUPLE

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 08:56:20 AM »
Clover is your friend. Some elbow grease and you will have a nice plot soon. :tup:
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Offline LeviD1

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 10:50:41 AM »
If your able to till it up good that would make your plot even happier. I just cleared out a plot this year and got it planted with a alfalfa,  chickory, clover mix just over 2 weeks and its starting to sprout! Im real excited. I removed hundreds of small pine trees where i put mine so I added a ton of lime before tilling for about an acre of plot. I bought my stuff from whitetail institute. I needed heat and drought tolerant.

Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2015, 11:37:05 AM »
I can get in there with the ATV but I don’t have any tilling implements.  I’ll try rigging up some kind of drag to bust up the soil.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2015, 11:39:44 AM »
http://www.plantbiologic.com/t-soil.aspx

Check this out. My buddy went this route in Pennsylvania and has food plots growing like mad with deer, turkeys and pheasants in them all the time.
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Offline LeviD1

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 04:26:08 PM »
Pennsylvania could be a whole lot different than where you want to plant. Whatever you buy call then first and make sure you get their recommendation on what till do best bases on conditions it needs to grow in. Water, sunlight, temps etc.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2015, 07:23:43 PM »
Pennsylvania could be a whole lot different than where you want to plant. Whatever you buy call then first and make sure you get their recommendation on what till do best bases on conditions it needs to grow in. Water, sunlight, temps etc.

You send in a soil sample. They analyze it and tell you/sell you the seed mix they deem proper for the soil. It doesn't matter geographically where you are. They'll determine what's right based on the soil sample you send in to them.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2015, 11:51:54 PM »
Sounds like a fun project if you have extra time on your hands.  I like the idea of planting brush around the periphery.  I'd use Elderberry, vine maple, and maybe salmonberry.  Does will probably/eventually use the brush areas for bedding or staging before entering the plot.

 I would also spend a lot of time drawing out plans that illustrate what you feel would provide the best arrangement of brush/cover for animals using your plot, and also identify your potential tree stands and angles for maximum sun exposure for the actual crops.

NW conifer soils are notoriously acidic.  I'm sure you're going to want to lime the soil.  You may be able to get a local farmer to till it for you for a few dollars, if there was one close-by. 

Two years ago, I tried spraying herbicide on a forest opening, hand liming without any tilling prior to spreading clover seed over about a quarter acre.  I got a moderate amount of growth before native weeds and grasses seeded in an outperformed the clover.  I gave up, planted an apple tree, and let the weeds grow.  No more work!
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2015, 11:46:35 AM »
Phase 1 of the cleanup.  I’ve got a lot of wood; branches, stumps, half rotten logs, etc to deal with.  Anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of these piles? 


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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 11:53:36 AM »
Can you wood chip them?  If not...low temp burn them or bury them.  If none of those options, then scatter around the trees on the perimeter.

Offline kodiak 907

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 12:06:46 PM »
Looks like some good progress so far, keep the updates coming. :tup:
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 12:32:43 PM »
Can you wood chip them?  If not...low temp burn them or bury them.  If none of those options, then scatter around the trees on the perimeter.

Burning probably isn’t an option.  Since the Taylor Bridge fire any plume of smoke gets a lot of attention.

I do have a 3” chipper that can handle some of this stuff; I might give that a try this weekend and see how it goes.


Offline HUNTINCOUPLE

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2015, 12:35:32 PM »
Looking good!  :tup:
Slap some bacon on a biscut and lets go, were burrnin daylight!

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Offline LeviD1

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2015, 04:10:43 PM »
Any bigger solid stumps you probably will have to leave. I have a couple I couldnt get out with a bobcat. Just poor mineral on the stump or some other attracting maybe and the deer will eat it away eventually   :tup:

Offline raydog

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2015, 06:10:41 PM »
Phase 1 of the cleanup.  I’ve got a lot of wood; branches, stumps, half rotten logs, etc to deal with.  Anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of these piles?
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 11:20:17 PM »
A small tractor could push that slash into the forest in about 10 minutes.  If that is not an option, I'd throw the stuff one piece at a time towards the closest treeline - and hopefully under the trees on the second round of throws.  I'd strive to get all that stuff under just a few of those trees so you maximize the amount of area the animals could enter the plot. Don't create piles so large though that you now have a fuel source so large that a fire could jump into the crowns of the trees from the ground.  (perhaps prune those firs up a bit in that area).

An easier solution might be to just surround that single central tree with a narrow ring of slash.

 An hour or two should get that  stuff out of the way for you.  Have fun!
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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2015, 06:39:03 AM »
What about those throw n go bags at wall mart , are they any good ? Ive got a hill with some cleared spots between big bushes, was thinking about some planting in there. My p.h. testing came out high so ill just spot plant with some soil from the local lowes place and plant in that ,but anybody try those bags before ?
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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2015, 06:58:49 AM »
Use the limbs to block where you don't want the deer to enter the plot, leaving the best entrances open with great shot angles.  Place them strategically to force the deer to turn one way or another to feed giving you broadside shots instead of the deer feeding having directly away or straight at you.
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Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2015, 07:33:23 AM »
Any quail around?  The pile looks like a nest site.  Yes on the clover idea, mix a half dozen varieties.  Most is grown in Oregon, get it locally and it will not need a third mortgage.  You might need lime to increase pH.  If you do not soil test just give it a try, it might be fine.  Locate a mineral feeder some where on the edge, Northwest beef from Wolfkill in Stanwood is very good and a fraction of the cost of specialty stuff. Clover likes firm seed beds and shallow planting.  Broadcast it, harrow it, flex harrow would be best, and with a little rain it will be fine.

Offline Wolfdog2314

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2015, 03:50:52 PM »
What about those throw n go bags at wall mart , are they any good ? Ive got a hill with some cleared spots between big bushes, was thinking about some planting in there. My p.h. testing came out high so ill just spot plant with some soil from the local lowes place and plant in that ,but anybody try those bags before ?

Id go with something different. Most of those are made up of all rye grass that's basically can grow on concrete so people think it works amazing. I tried it once. Blacktail didn't touch it. It grew well and fast but as soon as it was grown it almost immediately died.

I'd go the clover route for sure. That's what I'm gonna do. I've been packing in 25lbs of lime for during each trail camera check. I'm gonna use one of those hand twist tiller tools and a metal rake. Get a half acre sized spot done up a couple miles back. At the very least it's a good time and fresh air in the woods!

Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2015, 12:16:38 PM »
I got this small section planted this weekend.  2 types of clover, crimson and white – need some rain now to get it started.

I tossed some crimson seed on the ground a couple of weeks ago as a test patch and it’s sprouting -


Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2015, 05:19:13 PM »
Any quail around?  The pile looks like a nest site.  Yes on the clover idea, mix a half dozen varieties.  Most is grown in Oregon, get it locally and it will not need a third mortgage.  You might need lime to increase pH.  If you do not soil test just give it a try, it might be fine.  Locate a mineral feeder some where on the edge, Northwest beef from Wolfkill in Stanwood is very good and a fraction of the cost of specialty stuff. Clover likes firm seed beds and shallow planting.  Broadcast it, harrow it, flex harrow would be best, and with a little rain it will be fine.

No quail unfortunately, not many deer either I’ve just seen a few doe and one turkey in this area.  I think the turkey got eaten by the coyotes.  I’m hoping a food source will bring in some more animals.

 

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