Breaking in a new plot

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Scott/IL, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    The last 2 years, I've thought about adding in some small plots on our farm, but just haven't pulled the trigger. I have a 4 wheeler, but no implements to break up the soil.

    My plan was to mow/shred the grass and weeds that are in the areas now, and then come back and spray some Round-up.

    This is where I need the advice. What is the best way to break the soil up. Most of the ATV discs I have seen run $700-$1000, which is out of the price range. I thought about hauling a garden tiller down there, but not sure how long that would take.
     
  2. rockinchair

    rockinchair Die Hard Bowhunter

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    How big are the plots going to be?
     
  3. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    They won't be too big. As of now I only have 2 areas that I think I can do. One would be about 1 acre, while the other maybe a .5 acre.
     
  4. DEERSLAYER

    DEERSLAYER Weekend Warrior

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    Check with your local Soil Conservation district, QDMA branch, Pheasants Forever, NTWF, etc. They may have one you can use. Probably for a reasonable rental fee. Best to do it soon though so you can get it reserved for when you want it.
     
  5. Ben/PA

    Ben/PA Grizzled Veteran

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    Check for a local used farm implement yard. A small spring tooth harrow will work wonders. Usually they have parts of larger ones separate for homeowners and food plotters.

    If you need to "break" the ground initially, rent a rototiller. Might take a bit of sweat, but you can get small plots opened up for 60-70 bucks a day rental.
     
  6. DropTine249

    DropTine249 Weekend Warrior

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    Just use No-Plow seed. All that's required is seed-soil contact.
     
  7. Blackpintail

    Blackpintail Newb

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    You might want to talk to a local farmer to disc the ground, 1-2 acres would only take a few hours with a decent size set of discs. You will be fighting a walk behind tiller for a couple of days for the same area.
     
  8. leadoperator

    leadoperator Weekend Warrior

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    Make sure you do some ph testing to your soil before you plant or all of your hard work will be for nothing.
     
  9. Ben/PA

    Ben/PA Grizzled Veteran

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    I also wouldn't try to plant something demanding of the soil in the first year. Oats are a great starter. Lime every 6 months until you get the ph up, but oats don't need much, so you can still have a plot while you are improving the soil.
     
  10. DEERSLAYER

    DEERSLAYER Weekend Warrior

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    Many Gander Mountains also rent all in one atv food plot machines. Once you get your lime turned in (and ideally enough P & K to bring your soil fertility up to good levels) you can generally maintain it with inexpensive tools.

    Another thing you can do if you don't have any stumps, tree roots or large rocks is too rent a tractor tiller combo like a Kabota. I think this is the best option if you can do it because you can mix the soil so thoroughly. This is especially helpful when your soil requires more than the recommended amount of lime per acre per year (2 tons per acre top dressed or 4 tons disked in). I have put on 6 tons per acre and brought the PH up from 5.4 to 6.5 in less than a year. Less than two months after I worked in the lime (July) I planted rape, turnips, clover and numerous other items in a mix I made. By fall the rape had 24" leaves, the turnips were almost as big as a football and the clover underneath was a nice lush 8". I had one neighbor telling me he was seeing far more deer than he ever had in his forty years of living there and another neighbor that wasn't happy with me because the deer quit using his plots.

    I love this stuff!!! [​IMG]
     
  11. GregH

    GregH Legendary Woodsman

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    I had a guy offer to do mine for free with a 6' rototiller and a 45 hp tractor, because he "enjoys" doing it. I got pretty lucky there or I'd be using my walk behind.

    I gotta get me one of those tractors.
     
  12. nealmccullough

    nealmccullough BHOD Crew

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    I rent my rototiller from a place for about $100 a day. If you get up early you can do some serious damage.

    http://reddyrents.com/lawn.html

    My plots are not huge Maybe 50' to 100' max. These are more honey holes - not destination food plots. But, I don't have access to anything big. :)
     
  13. nealmccullough

    nealmccullough BHOD Crew

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    Hey Greg... send that "guy" over to Minnesota. I got some free work he can do. :)
     

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