Fertilizer

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easports
 
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Fertilizer

Postby easports » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:18 am

I got a question regarding fertilizer. In one hunting area I’ve planted two food plots with mostly sucraseed. It’s looking pretty good (ankle high). If I hit the plot now with fertilizer 10-10-10 or 15-15-15, will that make the plants more palatable to the deer? I thought in some hunt show these guy were hunting a large plot and to help draw the deer closer to the bow stands they fertilized a section of the plot closer to the stand. Does that make sense? Any downside to fertilizing at this time?

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ranwin33
 
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Re: Fertilizer

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:08 pm

No downside to fertilizing now, other than you might be throwing your money away. Did you have a soil test done before planting, and if so what did it tell you.

As far as making the plants more palatable to deer, probably not. You might get some extra growth out of the rye with the nitrogen, but if you are in a colder climate, maybe not even that. If you get the extra growth the plants may be more attractive to deer, but not neccesarily more palatable.

Thing to remember about these hunting shows, those food plots are limed, limed, limed to a perfect pH and then they fertilize.

Depending upon your soil pH you may be better off adding lime and getting the calcium correct in your soil. It will create more palatable plants, but it will not happen overnight.
“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

easports
 
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Re: Fertilizer

Postby easports » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:29 am

ranwin33 wrote:No downside to fertilizing now, other than you might be throwing your money away. Did you have a soil test done before planting, and if so what did it tell you.

As far as making the plants more palatable to deer, probably not. You might get some extra growth out of the rye with the nitrogen, but if you are in a colder climate, maybe not even that. If you get the extra growth the plants may be more attractive to deer, but not neccesarily more palatable.

Thing to remember about these hunting shows, those food plots are limed, limed, limed to a perfect pH and then they fertilize.

Depending upon your soil pH you may be better off adding lime and getting the calcium correct in your soil. It will create more palatable plants, but it will not happen overnight.


Ranwin
Thanks for your input. I did a PH test last year and the soil did require lime. The PH level at that time was approx. 5.8. I've actually applied lime twice this year but don't know the specific PH number at this point. I may be close to 6.0 but I'm not sure. I’m in Northern Virginia so temps are still mid 60's to 70's during the day. I'm still want to hit the plot with some fertilizer that’s not to high in nitrogen....10/10/10. This way it will give the plant a boost. If I can get the plants to grow taller, heartier went the other food sources start to disappear in November my plots will be the place to feed.

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ranwin33
 
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Re: Fertilizer

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:26 am

It can take up to a year before lime begins to change your soil pH. Maybe have it checked again next spring to see how things are. More neutral pH also makes your fertilizer more effective. Anything you can do to give your plants a boost in comparison to others in the area should help to attract deer.

With the clover in your seed mix, you may be OK on the nitrogen and might want to look at a fertilizer with more P and K. But those types tend to be more expensive - so a basic triple 10 or 13 may be a better way to go.
“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

richtaber
 
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Re: Fertilizer

Postby richtaber » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:10 pm

Spreading chemical fertilizer at this time of year can be a waste of $. The nitrogen will either leach out of the soil or volatilize into the atmosphere. The phosphorus and potassium won't be lost as bad, but at this time of year they really will not be taken up by plants too much as the plants have stopped photosynthesizing. Fertilize in the spring/summer when plants are active and taking up nutrients.
Central NY Hillbilly; I am a farmer, forester, and educator and love to study the biology of deer.

easports
 
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Re: Fertilizer

Postby easports » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:51 pm

richtaber wrote:Spreading chemical fertilizer at this time of year can be a waste of $. The nitrogen will either leach out of the soil or volatilize into the atmosphere. The phosphorus and potassium won't be lost as bad, but at this time of year they really will not be taken up by plants too much as the plants have stopped photosynthesizing. Fertilize in the spring/summer when plants are active and taking up nutrients.



Does this process where the plant stops photosynthesizing happen when the air temps starts to drop below a certain degree? Out temps are still in the mid 60 to the low 70's.

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ranwin33
 
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Re: Fertilizer

Postby ranwin33 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:21 am

You will be fine until the first heavy frosts hit.
“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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