Need help with food plot timeline please

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Mitch, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Mitch

    Mitch Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    I’ve tinkered with very small plots just to kind of get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. After this bow season, I want to begin work on an area that’s 1 acre in which I’m going to plant. The first thing I’m going to do is lime. Soil tests show I’m right where I wanna be.
    Can you guys help me with what I should be doing and at what time of the season I should be doing it? I have an active water line that’s about 220 yards away so this plot and my young trees will get water.
    Behind this deer is the area I’m focusing on. For the spring I was thinking about lab lab, milo, sunflowers and soybeans. Fall mix including wheat, rye, oats, turnips, clover and alfalfa.[​IMG]


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  2. FarmerD

    FarmerD Active Member

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    If you plan to fence that 1 acre off, then lab lab, milo, sunflowers and soybeans, would have a chance, otherwise, I think the deer would be all over the soybeans and sunflowers. When a soybean or sunflower gets nipped off below the first 2 leaves, it does not regrow.

    Since lime takes 6 months or more to "work", I'd get that going ASAP and worked in to the top 4-6" of soil and focus on a fall planting, in 2018. However in the meantime, you could plant oats in early to mid April, which will do a little feeding and help improve your soil. Alfalfa can be a little hard to grow, sometimes and does like a ph above 6.5, but the deer do like it. I'd suggest planting 1/3 of your plot in alfalfa, maybe in late August and keep that as a perennial planting.

    I'd look at your shadier 1/3 of an acre and plant a mix of perennial white and medium red clover, with a nurse crop of cereal rye and or oats and wheat. Then the last 1/3 more cereal grain and brassica's.

    Get a handle on good weed control where your alfalfa and perennial clover will be and that will pay dividends in the future.

    Just my thoughts ..... more people closer to your area, will likely have some other thoughts.
     
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  3. FarmerD

    FarmerD Active Member

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  4. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    If you're dealing with just 1 acre I'd forego the summer plots. Get your soil amended to where it needs to be now. If lime is needed then get it down as soon as possible. Bush hog it during the spring and summer. Around middle of August nuke it with gly. If you can plow the dead stuff under in early to mid September then do so. Sometime in early October with rain in the forecast plant perennial clover with winter wheat as a nurse crop. Terminate the wheat the following spring and you will have a low maintenance plot of clover that will produce lots of food and feed deer for several years.
     
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  5. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    You don't show your soil readings so doing some guessing here. Decisions can involve how your Ph, OM, and CEC stand. For new plot area, I would spend couple years doing a annual clover and grain, oats, and winter peas planting then rotated following year with brassica mix of DER, turnips, and PTT. During this time you can get the soils up to speed and then.... go with perennial clovers and the alfalfa if you want. Less weeds, better growth, less maintenance. I certainly wouldn't start with alfalfa unless you have amazing soil, and I have alfalfa food plots. Good luck.
     
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  6. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    If the tests say that your soil is right with lime, I wouldn't spend the money on it. Frost seed clover and maybe some chicory in mid-late February and then go back once the soil warms up and overseed a mix of buckwheat and spring oats. This will give the deer something to eat on and help the soil until you plant your fall mix. The oats will probably be dead by July, but it will have given green growth for the deer and turkeys and seeds for the turkey and quail if you have any. The buckwheat will give the deer and bees something to eat and can possibly reseed for a couple of crops during the summer, if you time your mowing just right. All of it together will possibly keep the clover shaded and growing during the hottest months. Hopefully, all of it together will give you and the wildlife some happiness.
     
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  7. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the others that a spring and fall crop may be too much to start with, and one acre of soybeans will get wiped out instantly. If I have almost bare dirt over winter I like getting something growing asap in the spring. Timeline for Pennsylvania is to drill a small grain nurse crop like oats and topseed clover &chicory about march fifteen, the oats will ripen about midsummer and disappear, at which point you should have a great stand of clover, that at some point before fall planting may need to be sprayed for grass control. This clover then becomes your base crop for your fall plot, you then broadcast your brassicas into the clover about middle of July, and mow the clover right after you're done seeding. Then broadcast oats, wheat and rye into it on labor day. Next year do it all over again. Mow in the summer as needed to help with weed control.
     
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  8. Mitch

    Mitch Active Member

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    You spray first, then broadcast, then mow correct? At what stage do you introduce the harrow?
     
  9. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Harrowing first helps new seedings get established by turning up some bare dirt. So you would harrow before you plant if necessary. If you have a tall thick stand of dead grain or grass to broadcast seed into and then mow you probably won't need to disc or harrow at all. In fact that stuff will just choke your harrow. But if your existing vegetation is low and or light you will want to disc or harrow right before seeding. If you have a lot of bare dirt it also helps to roll or cultipack the soil right after broadcasting seed. You can spray first, wait several weeks for the spray to kill stuff, and then harrow and plant. Or, a less popular method, harrow, wait two weeks for the plants that are left and still alive to get some new growth, then spray and plant. Depending on conditions you may need to harrow the second time. Spray, harrow and plant all in the same day also works but won't be as effective as spraying and waiting two weeks to harrow and plant.
     
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  10. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to plant in the warm season, mow it in April then spray it with glyphosate once the stuff starts greening up. Then plant buckwheat. It is an EXCELLENT soil builder. You can let it bloom, disk it in, spray the weeds that come up, and then plant another round of buckwheat. Then in August repeat, but plant you a plot of rye and wheat instead of buckwheat. Grow that one cool season then your ground should be ready for whatever you want to do---plus you'll feed the deer in the process. Here's a plot I did just like that this year. Next year I'll put clovers in it along with wheat.
    Back Plot 12-2-17.JPG
     
  11. Mitch

    Mitch Active Member

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    Location:
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    Instead of the 2nd round of buckwheat what about lab lab? Or iron and clay peas?


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  12. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    It's just a waste for no longer than you'll benefit. And buckwheat is cheap. I guess you could mix iron clay peas with it but I'd hate to plant those then plow them in in 45 to 60 days.
     
  13. Mitch

    Mitch Active Member

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    Location:
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    I have a feeling the deer would take care of the iron and clay peas.
    A good friend swears by lab lab. He highly suggested I plant it but I’m not so sure this being the first time I will have planted in this location. Everything I’ve read says buckwheat is the way to go for first time locations, creates a great canopy.
    I’m thinking once it canopy’s, I’m going to seed with something for the summer then smash it down with my cultipacker.
    Yes, no, maybe so?


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  14. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I can give you good food plot advice, but it's for Pennsylvania. I'd rather someone from Oklahoma give some input. We plant fall plots from mid July on, but those okie guys talk about waiting till later because of lack of rain in August...
    And lablab is a southern crop that I've never seen in this area. Growing stuff from area to area is exactly the same in some ways, yet totally different in others.
     
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  15. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    You can get multiple crops out of buckwheat if you time your cutting just right and it should carry you through the summer. How big is the plot(s) he planted in lablab? Did he plant a 1 acre plot and it withstand the browsing? Did he plant 2 acres or more and it handle the browsing? How many deer does he have, compared to you? If your deer do like ours do, the buckwheat will get some pretty heavy browsing and you will have to replant. We planted it in a logging road that was approx 1/4 acre and it got hammered pretty hard about the time it started to flower. It left us with nothing growing and by the time we got free time to go and plant again, the loggers had decided to come back.
     
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  16. Mitch

    Mitch Active Member

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    Location:
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    The problem he has is lack of moisture. I won’t have that issue because I’m going to be able to irrigate. Lab lab is pretty expensive, high in protein, but expensive and I’m not sure I wanna add that to my costs. Once I know more of what I’m doing maybe I’ll want to add that in. My deer density isn’t real high. But I’m hoping that changes


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  17. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Wait til you get your soil right before buying high dollar seeds.
     
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  18. Mitch

    Mitch Active Member

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