First Attempt at a Food Plot

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by sycamoretwitch, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    86919_650_457.jpg

    This is a photo of my food plot during the tilling process 2 weeks ago. I am planning on planting fall soy beans. To this point I feel like I have made all the right moves. I have been patient in planting this plot due to the extreme drought we are experiencing here in Indiana.

    A month ago I sprayed highly concentrated roundup/water mixture. 2 weeks ago I tilled up the quarter of an acre food plot. This past weekend I put down 12 12 12 fertilizer and lime. In the last 2 weeks we have had less than a half inch of rain - we are getting some dew at nights.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Is the first weekend in August too late for fall beans? How long can/should I wait before planting? I am kinda waiting on the forecast to change, but historically we don't get a lot of rain in the month of August in Indiana so my hands are tied.


    2. What is the best way for me to get the beans an inch or so below soil? It has been suggested to me to put a piece of chain linked fence behind a 4 wheeler and drag it. Will this work? Good idea? Bad idea? Better ideas?

    I am struggling with the 2 questions above - I don't want to make a mistake at this point in the process that will cost me a food plot. If nature doesn't cooperate then that's just the way it goes, we can't do anything about that - but I want to do everything in MY power to make sure it is successful.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you all!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  2. CrabClawDude

    CrabClawDude Weekend Warrior

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    Im not no expert but I would go with brassicas or something along those lines for a plot that size and this time of year! Id also imagine beans would need to have been planted a month or two ago and besides that in a plot that small I wouldnt waste money on the beans as they would be wiped out before they even got mature! Jus my .02
     
  3. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thank you! My understanding is that beans, if planted 8 weeks prior to first frost would survive. Beans are said to be very durable and can withstand some stress - multiple days of temps below 32F would wipe out the beans. That said, we don't see those kind of temps in my part of the state (Terre Haute, IN) until mid November. Rarely do we have any sub 32F temps in October.

    My thought with the beans is that they would reach maturity in mid October - if everything is done correctly. This is important because they will probably be the ONLY beans in the neighborhood at that point in the calendar year. I expect that farmers will harvest most beans by late September.

    That is my justification - but not sure if it makes any sense.
     
  4. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Bump I guess...
     
  5. shawnuk2k

    shawnuk2k Newb

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    well.. honestly i have planted beans this year and a a plot that size will not make it unless u put up some kind of support for them to make it. grazing will be an issue depending on population of the herd. we put out about 12 acres spread out over 600 acres and one of my acre and half plot didnt make it. they ate up everything. so i would use something for the fall time of the year that will take to heavy grazing.
     
  6. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This is great advice - thank you very much for your response! A lot of food plot experts on here, was hopeful I would get a better response.

    That said, does anyone have any suggestions on what I should use besides beans that can withstand the current drought conditions and will with stand a heavy graze.

    Thanks all
     
  7. jake_

    jake_ Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Nice little spot you got there.
    I understand your idea on beans, but that would be just forage for a few months and get wiped out quick, no pods and basically the winter hits you are left with nothing. Thing to think about beans on a small scale is other animals eating it like chipmunks/groundhogs.

    Couple routes I think you can go.

    Get your plot sprayed with round up if anything more comes up/ more lime(if need be) and worked up one more time. Plant some Winter rye/peas/radish in the end of August.

    Or you can get some brassicas in now and pray for rain.
     
  8. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Good advice, so you think I should spray it one more time for weeds, even after putting lime and 12 12 12 in the food plot about a week and half ago now? If I spray it again then I need to till it up again?

    Thanks for the help - very much appreciated!
     
  9. Treehopper

    Treehopper Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I would go with a mix of clover and brassicas. I agree to small for the beans.
     
  10. shawnuk2k

    shawnuk2k Newb

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    yea like i said i made the mistake of putting out 2 acres and they ate it up... i thought that they would utilize other plots, but they havent found them yet, which they are growing with pods on them, but my area s just gone... heavy grazing. i think that im gonna go with a clover and brassicas and maybe some kind of wheat and rape.. maybe even winter peas!!!
     
  11. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Well thanks for the help guys - I've decided NOT to plant beans in this little quarter of an acre food plot. Now just trying to decide what to plant. Still no rain - a little pop up thunder shower here and their but not much in the way of steady rain n the forecast. Going to be difficult for me to establish a health plot I would guess. We shall see.
     
  12. jake_

    jake_ Die Hard Bowhunter

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    As far as spraying it one more time , it all depends on what weeds come up if any. Not sure if you have a little 1 gallon spot sprayer but that works for me instead of me loading up my 4 wheeler sprayer.

    Tilling, depends on what you want to plant and how soft the soil is.

    You still got time to get some rye/peas/ maybe add radish mix in. That can be planted About a month before your first killing frost.
    So figure out what you want to plant and we can give you suggestions on how to plant it.

    (If it was me, I would spot spray any weeds with in the next few weeks. Then till it up later part of August. Then plant some winter rye/ peas. Pack that down and broadcast some radishes or some other brassicas. The brassicas wont get that big as planted in July, but there will be something there. Fertilizer, I would have waited till before planting, but you will be fine. Then pray for rain. )
     
  13. ICALL2MUCH

    ICALL2MUCH Weekend Warrior

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    You'll want a mix of brassicas and clover. IMO, that is the only option. Maybe some wheat.

    On a plot that small, I'd think you'd be throwing $ out the window with anything else. And it'll be just as attractive!
     
  14. jake_

    jake_ Die Hard Bowhunter

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    My thought on the clover now, being so hot and dry, is that it wont amount to much this year. The following year yes.

    Clover is great to have on small plots like this. The original poster has figure out if he wants something there next year(clover) or wants to keep doing fall plantings.

    I would do the rye/pea/brassica mix this year. Next year the rye is the first thing that is green.Depending on your deer population it might get wiped out it might not. Better then having nothing there. Then check your soil again, follow that up with some buckwheat, till that under and do the rye/pea mix again but this time mix in your clovers. That is if he wants a long term clover plot.

    You are basically learning that there are a ''few'' different ways of going about food plotting. At time information overload. But you just have to figure out what you want to do and what you have available for land/equipment to do so. Also experiment with what works good on your piece of ground.
    As you can see there are good people out there in the food plot forum world willing to share info and help with any ?'s you might have.
     
  15. shawnuk2k

    shawnuk2k Newb

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    thats the dilema that im at Jake. i put out beans and got wiped out. and now i wanna do a fall planting and well if i put out clover for fall, it would return in the summer when i would wanna put something out for the spring and summer time plots. so now i need to decide if i plant clover, do i wanna break my ground again to plant something else in the summer...lol... choices
     
  16. jake_

    jake_ Die Hard Bowhunter

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    ^Exactly, I am in the same boat. Many ways to go about it.

    There are annual clovers out there also to think about.

    My best advise is to mix it up, see what works in your area. Read up on the forums, ask ?'s and pray for rain.
     
  17. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Great advice all around fellas! Thank so much!

    I think that I am going to go the brassica route:

    http://store.evolved.com/home/products/harvest/annuals/shotplot.aspx

    Just see how it plays out for me. Then looking forward to next year I am going to plant clover in this plot - depending on how the Brassica mix goes this year, I might do the same as this year and just hold out until the late summer to plant. If it doesn't go well I will probably get in early and get some clover down.

    Going to make a second food plot - a little bigger this time - hopefully a full acre and give the beans a try. I am stuck on the beans because they are free - someone is going to give them to me if I want to plant them. I hate passing up a free food plot!
     
  18. jake_

    jake_ Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Are the beans round up ready?

    If so you next year you could plant the beans come spring. Spray for weeds a few times over the summer, and broadcast some brassicas in the plot end of July. Chances are there wont be beans left, but with spraying round up you will have a good weedfree seedbed to work with and something for the deer to munch on early summer, plus beans fix a little bit of nitrogen :).

    Regardless, keep us updated and got any ?'s ask away.
     
  19. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Just an update:

    We got some much, much needed rain on Wednesday of last week. The brassica and rape mix that I ordered from evolved was not in yet and I needed to plant on Thursday after work. Stopped by the local co-op and picked up some oats, turnips and clover mix - went ahead and got those down on Thursday. We proceeded to get some light rain on Friday and have had some scattered rain showers over the past 3 days. Seems that I got them down in perfect timing as the temp. and sun has been limited over the past couple of days!

    Now just hope for the best! Thanks for all the help guys - I will post a picture here in a few weeks!
     
  20. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    Sounds like you hit it right, that should be a good mix, for a good fall attraction! can't wait to see pictures!
     

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