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Author Topic: Putting in a small food plot  (Read 16247 times)

Offline curlewkiller

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2015, 01:28:51 PM »
I just planted about 5000 square feet of:

Deer & Elk Feeder Plus
Designed to attract deer and elk throughout the year. High in protein and palatability, this mix will attract and keep deer and elk coming back for more.

from Rainier Seeds in Davenport.

They say it needs 12 inches of rain a year.  I planted it at 4300 feet.  This is a test and messed up on laying down the seed.  It will be think in parts and sparse in others, if you know what I mean.  i will report back.
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Offline HUNTINCOUPLE

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2015, 01:38:00 PM »
I just planted about 5000 square feet of:

Deer & Elk Feeder Plus
Designed to attract deer and elk throughout the year. High in protein and palatability, this mix will attract and keep deer and elk coming back for more.

from Rainier Seeds in Davenport.

They say it needs 12 inches of rain a year.  I planted it at 4300 feet.  This is a test and messed up on laying down the seed.  It will be think in parts and sparse in others, if you know what I mean.  i will report back.



Please do keep an update. Will be quirous how it grows?  Those little clovers are looking real good! :tup:
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Offline MuleDeer

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2015, 07:06:00 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.

Jackelope is right about the soil sampling: should be done on every piece of ground before you invest any money.  Your local soil conservation office will run tests, as well as most seed suppliers like Whitetail Institute, Biologic, etc.  A test and a few tons of lime are MUCH cheaper than most seed, so it's in your best interest to give yourself and your foodplot every chance for success.
As far as geography goes, it can make a huge difference in what type of seeds to plant.  These days, seed mixes are so well engineered, that most of them require very specific conditions to thrive or even survive.  Average temp during the growing season, average rainfall, drainage on the plot, and more all come into consideration and should be looked at for maximum results.
Also matters if you're looking at annual or perennial food plot seed.  Annuals generally grow easier and are heartier, but you have to replant every year.  Perennials are tougher to manage, but last longer.  Take some time to research food plot management and options: it's a pretty fun subject and you can learn a lot to help your hunting success.
It's free to consult with most seed companies, and once the soil is treated, I'd talk with them. It's your best bet for the results you want down the road.
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Offline Chesapeake

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2015, 09:23:40 AM »
I've planted a few similar plots. I'd bet given the tree's and moss that the soil is low in nitrogen and acidic. I test my soil with one of the little packet of tablet kits you get at the farm and feed stores. Have had great luck so far with lawns, gardens, and food plots testing with those colored water kits.

I'd have hit it with a hand crank spreader with several bags of lime and then a bag or two of triple 16. Raked that in and hopefully had some rain melt it in, then plant it with the ladino, arrowleaf, and or red perennial clover seed you can buy at the feed/farm stores and lightly rake them in.

I've looked at lots of seed labels and it seems most of the grass and clover seed around these parts comes from the Willamette valley. I've had no luck with the chickory, alfalfa, and brassicas they blend in the back east whitetail seed blends. The Willamette valley seed you can buy at the feed store is way cheaper than the designer seed blends. Pasture mixes are even cheaper.

Clover will only last a few years and then you'll need to reseed. Crimson clover is pretty well an annual as is Alsike, if that's what you planted as a "white" clover. Also grasses and weeds will overtake your plot and you'll have to deal with that.

Everything, turkey, deer, elk, ect..... likes clover.



Offline cryder

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2015, 08:46:21 PM »
You want a 7 ph most forested areas is around 10 so you have to lower the ph to get this kind of foiledge to grow ,,,,,,,, just sayn ? ?
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Offline police women of America

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2015, 09:04:29 PM »
Put down your plants then add some Miracle Grow it could grow a tomato on concrete  :chuckle:
also rake the cleared areas before planting the seeds (even though I'm sure you already know that).
it should work out great!  :tup:
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2015, 01:18:27 PM »
Update:
Mixed results so far; thick in places but some spots have no growth at all but.  Overall it’s growing slower than I expected.  The soil is inconsistent and where there are rotting cedar trees in the mix it seems to retard the growth.  The deer have found it and have plucked a couple of spots clean. 


Offline h20hunter

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2015, 01:21:11 PM »
I'd say you can call that some early success.  :tup:
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2015, 03:00:02 PM »
Update:
Mixed results so far; thick in places but some spots have no growth at all but.  Overall it’s growing slower than I expected.  The soil is inconsistent and where there are rotting cedar trees in the mix it seems to retard the growth.  The deer have found it and have plucked a couple of spots clean.

I wonder if the acid added to the soil from the cedars is affecting the soil enough to hinder the seed from sprouting.
As cryder said....ph is too high.
 :dunno:
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2015, 03:31:25 PM »
Update:
Mixed results so far; thick in places but some spots have no growth at all but.  Overall it’s growing slower than I expected.  The soil is inconsistent and where there are rotting cedar trees in the mix it seems to retard the growth.  The deer have found it and have plucked a couple of spots clean.

I wonder if the acid added to the soil from the cedars is affecting the soil enough to hinder the seed from sprouting.
As cryder said....ph is too high.
 :dunno:

Maybe - I know that I put cedar bark in the flower beds to keeps the weeds in check.   :dunno:

Offline Chesapeake

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2015, 04:17:23 PM »
Acid is low PH, not high. Alkaline would be high. Cant say I've ever seen alkaline soil, but I don't go around testing lots of soil.

Cedar tree's drop a lot of limb ends creating acid soil due to the tannins in cedars.

I'd go lime (an alkaline) to neutralize the acid and bring the soil more toward a 7 ph and then add fertilizer.

Guess I already said that in this thread.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2015, 04:19:58 PM »
If you get more serious do soil tests and add soil amendments like sulfur according to the results.   The problem with PH above 7ish is the plants can't draw potassium and phosphorous and manganese and die off.  You don't want anything over 7 or under 6 generally,  6 is 10 times more acidic than 7 and 100 times more acidic than 8.  Plants need a certain amount of acidity to utilize the minerals mentioned - depending on the plant.  You can plant in around cedar trees, but you'll need soil amendments to do it properly. 

Also just don't guess and spread out soil amendments as you can really change the soil wildly, it's like adding chemicals to a hot tub...little bit too much of this then a little bit too much of that.... and next thing you know you've got a cocktail of chemicals in your tub and you gotta drain and start all over. 



« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 04:34:12 PM by KFhunter »
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2015, 08:42:53 AM »
 It’s pretty much all dried up now.  Need rain soon or this is a bust.

Offline huntingbaldguy

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2015, 02:17:21 AM »
Can you take a drum in there and attach a garden hose to it and give it a little water?

Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2015, 08:43:50 AM »
I hauled some water in trash can on the ATV and watered with a bucket.  Too little, too late probably but we will see.  Still no rain in sight.


Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2015, 09:14:27 AM »
I hauled some water in trash can on the ATV and watered with a bucket.  Too little, too late probably but we will see.  Still no rain in sight.

Not too late, too early.  Clover is something to plant in the fall  :tup:  Give it another shot in October.  Broadcast some seed and judge the results next year.  Clover relies on a pretty significant root structure.
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2015, 09:39:29 AM »
I’ll do that. 

I thought getting it in early, as soon as the snow melted, was key.  If this crop doesn’t work I’ll try again for next year and be ready with soil tests, fertilizer and some means of irrigation.  Maybe switch clover varieties.  I see some natural clover patches nearby and they all seem to be arrowleaf. 

Offline Maverick

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2015, 06:01:56 PM »
tagging. great post!

Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2016, 12:27:25 PM »
Tough winter this year.  Several trees down - snapped off under snow load and high winds.   I'll have to clear them out and clean the plot up to try again.


Offline fishnfur

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2016, 10:02:36 AM »
At least you've got firewood to cook that elk with.

Perhaps just a bunch of apple trees would be best if the clearing gets direct sunlight.  You'll have to cage them for several years.  I had an elk clip the top of one of my 3 year-old apple trees at about the 6.5 foot level.  He smashed the chicken wire fencing and bent a T post getting up there to get that single bite.
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Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2016, 08:40:28 AM »
I like the apple tree suggestion.  Anyone have any recommendations as to what type would be best here?  It's at 2600 ft and gets a lot of snow most years.

I added some lime to soil just before a good rain so hopefully that helps.  I've ordered some Whitetail Institute Extreme - they claim to grow best in extreme conditions.  We'll see.

I'm obviously running behind schedule - too much to do and too little time to do it. 

 

« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 09:00:31 AM by CP »

Offline Special T

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2016, 09:57:19 AM »
I think an apple tree is gona be rough. Id shoot for wild rose or other semi natural bushes that seem to attract late season.
 Bucking up the wood and getting plants in the ground is what you really need.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2016, 11:37:02 PM »
I think the apples will be just fine, but you have to protect them for 3 - 4 years, and they need probably 6 - 8 hours of full sunlight per day.  Semi-dwarf should get big enough to get the majority of the limbs above the browse line.  Full size apple trees take many years before they start to fruit.   Deer seem to like the green varieties better than the reds.  I'd find a variety that ripens in late October.  Google it.

Another idea is a persimmon, which can grow over 30 feet tall, which allows them to get more sun than a lower growing apple tree.  Whitetail property owners in the mid-west and south often combine plantings of persimmon, apple and a hybrid chestnut.

http://www.chestnuthilloutdoors.com/store/c/19-Deer-Candy-Persimmon-Tree-Collection.aspx
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Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2016, 08:16:26 AM »
I like the apple tree suggestion.  Anyone have any recommendations as to what type would be best here?  It's at 2600 ft and gets a lot of snow most years.

I added some lime to soil just before a good rain so hopefully that helps.  I've ordered some Whitetail Institute Extreme - they claim to grow best in extreme conditions.  We'll see.

I'm obviously running behind schedule - too much to do and too little time to do it.
The small crab apples are good for high elevation/extreme climate swings.  I would try to match the fruit drop with the season you plan to hunt.  Best would be multiple varieties so you start getting apples as early as Sep and go even as late as early Nov, but that might be too many trees.  You would probably need multiple trees for pollination to actually get enough crop, or you can get one good rootstock for the conditions of your area and graft multiple branches to a single tree to get all the pollination and different fruiting times.

Offline CP

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Re: Putting in a small food plot
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2016, 01:41:28 PM »
Made some progress - 2 apple trees planted - a Pristine and a Honeycrisp:


 

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