First Time Food Plot ( Picture Heavy )

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Skywalker, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I have a 40 acre homestead where I do the majority of my hunting. I have owned the property for about 5 years. The first year, I hunted with little success. I passed on many opportunities for does, and saw some really nice bucks that just stayed out of range. The 2nd season, I was busy building our home, so I didn't get a lot of time in the woods. The 3rd season, I was luck enough to harvest 2 nice bucks off the property. One with a rifle and the other with my bow. Last season I was pretty selective and passed on a couple nice bucks, between 120 and 130, and missed on a great buck. This year, I have had the time, and finally was able to get enough implements to put in a food plot. I have never done this before, so I'm shooting from the hip on this. I kinda got a bit of a late start since I just purchased the implements a couple weeks ago. Here is a bit of a photo journal of my first food plot attempt:

    I did not have time to get a proper soil test, but I did check the Ph w. the Biologic Ph meter. Tested in several locations, and they all were over 6.5 ph, so I didn't feel any lime was necessary. This food plot sits in a low area that floods up in the springs, so I feel the soil is probably pretty fertile from all the sediment that gets left in it:

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    I brush hogged a little over 1/4 acre where I am putting the plot. Then I came back w. my box blade and scrapped all of the duff off the top of the soil. I put the scarriffs down just a little and that actually ripped up much of the grass roots, leaving mostly just exposed top soil:

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    I then tilled the ground with my new Buhler tiller. That thing is awsome:

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    After tilling, I let it dry out for the afternoon, then I came back and gave it a second round of tilling. This really broke the ground up

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    I let it sit overnight, and came back and tilled it once more. I don't know if this 3rd time was necessary, but I did it anyway:

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    I decided to plant Evolve Harvest MegaPlot. I also added in a 1 lb bag of BioLogic Brassicas. The package called for a firm seed bed. I don't have a cultipacker or roller, so I just used the tractor tires to firm up the seed bed. After I did that, I loosened the first inch of soil back up w. my tiller. Then I used a bag broadcaster to broadcast the seed over the plot:

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    The seed is supposed to be covered by 1/4" of soil, and I don't have a harrow or a cultipacker, so I just did the best I could and made my own. I used a couple log chains, a 5' ladder from a ladder stand, and 2 50lb bags of cattle salt(which were later used for my salt licks). I feel like this did an adequate job:

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    I completely forgot to take pictures of the final product as I was tired and hungry by that point. Now It's all in mother natures hand and we will see the results. This was basically a test run and a learning experience. I will have a proper soil test done before I put the plot back in next year. I will post pictures of the progress and hopefully a couple pay off shots once the season gets under way. I'd appreciate any feedback too.
     
  2. MD hunter

    MD hunter Weekend Warrior

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    how do you like the bobcat tractor? and very nice job. i have heard mixed reviews on the biologic tester :(
     
  3. rybec2

    rybec2 Weekend Warrior

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    Looks like a great little plot..I would get a real soil test done it only cost about 12 bucks those little testers tend not to be very accurate.with a good soil test you will get your PH with lime amounts and any fert that need to be added for any specific plot (PLANTS) you want.MY 2 CENTS !!!!
     
  4. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I really do like my tractor a lot. It is a 30 hp w. hydrostat. It has done just about everything I have asked it to do.

    I will get a soil test done for next year, but I had just ran into a sweetheart of a deal on the implements, and didn't feel like I would have time to wait for the results of a soil test this year. I figured I wasn't going to be out too much money if it doesn't turn out, and I will have a baseline of what to expect and do better for my plots next year.
     
  5. ILLbowhunter

    ILLbowhunter Weekend Warrior

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    That's a good looking plot there! Those are some nice toys you have too. Should be a sweet little spot this season.
     
  6. gutone4me

    gutone4me Grizzled Veteran

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    Awesome work on your 1st plot ! ! Those tillers kick a$$ ! !
     
  7. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I absolutely love it. I got a sweetheart of a deal too. I bought a 1954 Allis Chalmers WD-45, the 5' Buhler Farm King Tiller, a 5' King Kutter box blade, a 6' King Kutter scraper blade, all barely used. Plus I also got a 6' 3pt disk, a homemade single gang disk and an old 2 bottom plow. All for $2900. I don't have any use for the tractor, so I'm probably going to sell it and keep the implements. I just couldn't pass up on the deal.
     
  8. gutone4me

    gutone4me Grizzled Veteran

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    That is a great deal you will end up with the implements for free ! ! ! I have a 42 inch tiller on my Kubota they make an awesome seed bed ! !
     
  9. buckeyehntr5

    buckeyehntr5 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Looks awesome!
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    We've had plenty of rain in the last week, so hopefully I will be seeing some growth soon. Here's a couple pictures I took out of a new stand we put up.

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  11. KS Tim08

    KS Tim08 Weekend Warrior

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    Looks like you did a great job, good luck hunting on it this fall.
     
  12. kskcheche

    kskcheche Weekend Warrior

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    Did you spray roundup to kill off the grass? Also I would of used the disc or the plow a few times to work the ground deep. That tiller only goes so deep. We use a chainlink fence wrapped around tractor weights when we broadcast. Easily pulled behind an atv.
    We roll, seed/drag, and spay all with the atv. The tractor is only used to work the ground.

    The plot does look nice but time will tell how nice it stays. Next thing I would do is put out a 2' or 3' diameter circle fence. That will help you judge if the deer/wildlife is hammering it or not.

    When you go to sell the tractor, head over to a local tractor pull with pictures or even the tractor itself. Those AC fans go nuts over anything orange. Maybe after that you might decide to keep it :tu:
     
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I went out to swap the card in my trail cam, so I swung by the plot and took some picture. I planted last Tuesday evening. Things are looking pretty good so far. I can see lots of oats and turnips coming up. You can see that I am getting some better growth down in the bottom, and less growth up on the hill. I actually was expecting the opposite since the bottom gets less light due to the canopy.

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  14. gutone4me

    gutone4me Grizzled Veteran

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    Looks great ! You will be just fine with the tiller !
     
  15. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I agree. If you go more than 6 or 8 inches, you are into clay around here anyway.
     
  16. kskcheche

    kskcheche Weekend Warrior

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    If you ever plant any deep rooted vegitation like soybeans I would definitely disc or plow, that clay layer needs broken up. But location does make the world of difference for everything. Northern edge of the ozarks here, for the most part clay isnt an issue... ROCKS ARE! Also located near a creek that runs all year and has a pretty good flood stage in areas, those lucky ones with fields near it are blessed with that black-gold, river-bottom dirt. The next best thing you could do is ask the nearest farmer how he prepares his fields or ask for some advice on how to plant yours. Being local they would know better than anyone on here what works and what doesnt in your area.
    Also, have a look at this site to find your local soil testing lab
    http://www.swcd.mo.gov/
     
  17. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    This food plot actually is located within 40 yards of a large creek that floods up a few times a year. That is part of the reason I felt that I would be ok for this first plot without the soil test. I doubt I'll really ever need to plant any Soybeans or corn. My 40 acres are surrounded by crop fields on 3 out of the 4 sides. This year, I have bean on all three sides. I have other stand locations that are set up to take advantage of those food sources. I'm just a bit concerned about what happens when they turn off the bean, and am hoping this plot will fill the void.
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    Well, I got out to check this on Wednesday, but am just getting a chance to post the pictures. So basically this is 2 weeks and 1 day since planting. It looks like it's coming in pretty good. We have had plenty of rain in the last couple weeks. Enough, I was afraid my creek was going to come up and wipe out a lot of my work. I got lucky, and the creek stayed in her banks. I think it looks pretty decent for 2 weeks worth of growth, but I'm no expert.

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    I tossed a bag of salt out here. looks like they found it.
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  19. Sticknstringarchery

    Sticknstringarchery Grizzled Veteran

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    That plot looks great. We just finished the last one today. We are hoping and praying for rain. There was a chance of it today and it looked like it was going to pour but, never did. I hope we get some soon. Yours looks great though.
     
  20. MD hunter

    MD hunter Weekend Warrior

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    wasn't there just a hurricane in NC
     

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