Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

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bigbuckhughes
 
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Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby bigbuckhughes » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:50 am

I have about a three acre cherry orchard that is now defunct.  Trees are all dead and land is over grown with weeds, briars, orchard grass, etc.  Have been contemplating mowing to about a 4 " hieght and broadcasting some sort of seed on top of where I mow.  Would also use fertilizer and lime.  I have no farm equipment.  Would this work?  Would the seed germinate by just top dressing?  What type of seed would be beneficial to draw in deer?

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JPH
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby JPH » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:08 am

At a minimum I would clear the ground w/ Roundp or burning and break the soil by hand or garden tiller.

After a few hours of this you'll most likely want to find a friend or a farmer with a small disc or something. [:D]

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vipermann7
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby vipermann7 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:10 am

im not real knowledgeable on this particular topic, but i have also tried to grow food plots in areas where i did not have equipment to use. i was fairly disappointed in the results, but i did get some germination. i used some no-till seed, i dont remember what the brand was, but it was some sort of clover blend i think, and it designed to plant in places where you cant get equipment or if you dont have any to use. spray the heck out of the spot with round-up first if you can. killing the weeds down is especially important if you cant do any tilling or plowing.
also, if you wait until later in the growing season, that may help. weed competition seems way harsher in the spring. i actually had better luck waiting until later in the summer, like july or even august, assuming there is enough rain or moisture available. so i would kill the current growth down with weed killer, mow it, and use some no-till seed designed for areas that you cant plow or dig up. you'll get some growth. dont expect a lush, completely weed-free plot, but some growth is better than nothing. i always feel that planting food plots is worth the effort, even if it doesnt come in as full as you would like. good luck. oh, also, if you spray, just be careful not to spray TOO much, i did that once too. burned the soil, had myself a real nice 1/2 acre sand box all summer.

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PrairieShadow
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby PrairieShadow » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:56 am

If tried this also with minimal results. I believe the key is proper ground prep before planting such as fertilizer and lime. Alot of seed is supposed to be top sown. just use a roller to make sure you have good seed/ground contact.
 
Also you will need more than just mowing the grass. get a tiller out there and turn the ground black but make sure all the weeds are dead before doing this or you are essentially planting weeds as the tiller burrys the weed seeds.
Hunting isn't a matter of Life or Death
Its MUCH more important than that!

msbadger
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby msbadger » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:31 am

With out knowing soil requirements it's hard to say what will grow.....problem with just spreading lime on surface is that you HAVE to have particle to partical soil contact for it to lower the PH....and lime unlike fertalizers does not move through the soil readily....thus it needs to be tilled in to the top few inches of soil....it also takes time to fully work...upto 6mos if your using Ag lime but lasts for several years....if using "quick" lime it works faster BUT then you need to reapply yearly to maintain the PH...Now that being an old cherry orchard ...you can bet the PH is on the high side......I always start all plots in buckwheat....but that needs to be tilled in I use a rotertiller on most of my plots ...takes time and sweat but works well...buckwheat will tolerate lower PH bring deer in like crazy and in the fall when lime has been working all summer ...over seed the buckwheat with turnips...I do this a couple of years then know weed cycle is some what broken....I respray with killer and plant clover/chickory/burnett.....Good luck.......OR/and remove old cherry trees and plant apples.... pears....persimmon....chestnuts....hazelnut trees.....cover crop rows with clover

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:21 pm

Just mowing isn't going to do you a whole lot of good.  You might try using Roundup followed with a burn.  Also, cut the cherry trees, you might get some re-growth out of the rootstock.
 
Whatever you do, before you throw down seed, you'll want to get to bare ground.  Leaving 4 inches of grass is just too much to expect to get much germination from your seeds.
 
Stick with clover seed, it can be somewhat aggressive itself, plus you don't really need to get the seeds covered, just in contact with the soil. 
 
At the very least, mow and then roundup if you're not comfortable burning.  You want to try to eliminate as much competition as possible.
 
 
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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reeper0697
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby reeper0697 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:28 am

I know it can be hard to get your hands on some equipment but if you're going to invest the money you might as well do it right so you arent wasting $$$. I recommend roundup or a weedkiller like many others have said b/c my uncle learned the hard way if you dont the weeds come right back up. There are many good articles and videos out there to help you out. good luck and grow em' big!

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FlDeerman
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby FlDeerman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:16 pm

What about winter rye and clover after mowing and and round-up?

msbadger
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby msbadger » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:38 am

FID.....If you do a kill good enough to be able to rake off thatch and get bare ground....there are some clovers that will handle a higher PH...and rye grass is differant than winter rye so PH may still be a factor....what I've done is GOOGLE....put in clovers for acid or poor soils and winter rye in acid soil?....For money....and time...all I can say is do it right the first time and you'll be a happy hunter.....One GOOD smaller plot is better than a big poor plot.....just fertalizing and liming berry patches will attract deer....liming sweetens not just the soil but taste of plants the deer eat....sweeten it up and they'll eat it up...[;)]   Good Luck

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Food plot idea. Seeking opinion/advice

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:38 am

ORIGINAL: FlDeerman

What about winter rye and clover after mowing and and round-up?

You need to get to bare ground, seed sitting on top of thatch won't sprout, or if it does, it won't grow.  If possible burn off the dead grass - if you can't burn maybe rent a rototiller or at minimum get a good rake with sturdy teeth and prepare yourself for an afternoon workout.
 
You can get by without the lime or fertilizer, you won't get the same results, but you can do it.  The lime does need to be worked into the soil for best results, so once you get the thatch removed you'll need to rake the lime in as well.  Most lime won't do much for your soil immediately, it usually takes about six months, so start early if possible.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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