Need some input on seed for a food plot

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Matt/TN, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Guys I'm kind of torn on what to do here and need some help. I'm running extremely behind and just got the go ahead to plant a year places a few weeks ago.

    Spot "A" is a place I've hunted for many years and has treated me very well over the years. I have a corner of the field that I have permission to plant now. It's probably about 80 yards by 50 yards. It doesn't have a lot of cover and isn't very secluded but it will definitely get hit at night and maybe dawn/dusk. I would like to plant a screen of sorghum or something along those lines but I believe I'm too late in the game for that. The field has had cows in it for several years up until now. It's going to be easy to work with good access. I don't have access to heavy equipment for either. Just rototiller, sprayer and hand spreader. I'll have it ready for seed within the next week.

    Spot B is part of a new 40 acres of steep mountain land I recently acquired. It has deer on it but is going to be hard to hunt. It was logged 12ish years ago so plenty of cover. It has a very nice secluded field. The downside is this property hasn't been maintained at all. I've spent about 20 hours clearing roads with a weedeater and blade. The field is no different. It's probably close to a 1/ or 3/4 of an acre. It's about 125-150yards long by 60 yards wide. I've sprayed it but I'm only going I be able to plant the back half this year because of how bad of shape it's in.
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    That's before and after weed killer.

    I'm going to cut and till it as soon as I can. I know the plot won't be perfect this year but I plan to get ahead of it next spring. I want to do the whole thing next year.

    My question is what should I plant being this late? I've been leading towards clover/chicory. I don't want to really do brassicas because the winters are mild until January and February. Spot A definitely needs to be more geared towards early season thru November

    Open to suggestions!




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  2. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Spot A

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  3. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    If it were me, I think I'd try a mix of winter oat, rape and ladino clover, maybe some crimson in it as well. That should be pretty quick and vigorous. I don't think you're anywhere near too late as long as you get going.
     
  4. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    I agree with Covey's assessment except I like Rye as my quick green with my clovers.
     
  5. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    I like rye as well but I think oats are a little more palatable to deer than rye but rye is vigorous.
     
  6. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    I have had better luck with rye coming in a little bit quicker than oats or winter wheat.
     
  7. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Covey I value your opinion on planting anything.

    I'll probably buy individual seed from the local Co-Op rather than food plot mixes unless someone has a good food plot mix that they recommend that's actually worth the price. Something that isn't 30% inert matter and various other weeds. I wouldn't be opposed to buying a mix and throwing in some extra Crimson or white ladino clover


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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  8. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I got the fence posts ran tonight in spot A just in case they decide to put cattle back in. I'm going to try to get it sprayed tomorrow.

    Will the Oats or winter wheat work as a cover crop too since it grows so quickly?


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  9. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    I wouldn't buy a mix either, it's easier and cheaper to buy individual components and mix it yourself. Elkguide is right, cereal rye does grow a little faster but any of those things is going to have time to emerge and provide a green cover by winter. Honestly the "grass component" is just in there to provide some fill for the clover to take the browse pressure off until it gets a root established. There are some benefits to a grass component in a mix but the main one is as a nurse crop for the legume, same for the rape. Most commercial mixes use rye grass as a filler and I feel it's nearly worthless as browse.

    Yes, any of the grass crops mentioned will work for quick cover. It's just that it won't do anything for you next year by itself. That's okay if you want to get creative with it next year though and do something other than clover or similar legume. I'm looking at sanfoil for some plots here next year.
     
  10. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Winter Rye is your friend.

    I run the "Lickcreek Mix" and get everything on the cheap from the local seed store. Rye, Oats, Red Clover, and Radish. The deer love it, and next spring spray the rye and you have a stand of red clover for the summer. It is absolutely my go to mix when breaking in new plots as well.

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  11. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    :tu: I just use white clover because I keep bees and they can't work red clover. Just so folks know why I usually use white clover vs red. Alfalfa is also good.
     
  12. mshm99

    mshm99 Newb

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    Mow and rake first. Then spray.Spraying tall stuff is not effective unless you drown the vegetation. Lick creek mix plus austran winter peas. Any clover you plant now won't really do any thing till next spring. Crimson is iffy if the winter is hard. Toss in some soybeans for an attention getter ,they will be gone by first frost. It is a little late but next year plant cowpeas around July 15.
     
  13. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Covey or anyone. What's going to be my best bet for breaking ground in the overgrown spot with little equipment


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  14. rajela

    rajela Weekend Warrior

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    If you can access the area with equipment then talk to your conservation office. They should do the disking for you for a small charge. You might see if there are some locals that will disk gardens and such for a fee. If there is a coop close ask them if they know anyone that does lite tractor work.
     
  15. rajela

    rajela Weekend Warrior

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    If they put cows back on the property you will be wasting your time. You will need a very well built 5 barbwire fence or electric to keep them out of a fresh green plot. I would add some annual rye grass not ceral rye to your mix and seed heavy with what mix you use to help choke out the weeds. You might also add some triticale..ask your local coop about the seed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  16. copperhead

    copperhead Grizzled Veteran

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    Matt,
    Do you have an ATV? I bought the Field Tuff cultivator this year and it worked great. I figured out though that I needed to rake the area first else all the dead stuff jambs up in the cultivator. I got a landscape rake and will find out this weekend if that works. If it does I think I have a good system for small plots now.
     
  17. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I unfortunately do not have an ATV. I'm going to ask around about getting someone to break the ground for me. If I could get it plowed, I wouldn't care to rototiller myself. This is the overgrown spot.

    The spot that had the cows is highly unlikely that any gets put back in there. I am putting some effort into getting a fence around it just in case. I believe I can find someone that can plow and disc it for me


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  18. JDouin

    JDouin Newb

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    Cereal rye/winter rye and your clover of choice. The clover won't do anything til next spring. As for right now, your best option is to get someone to work the ground to bare dirt for you. You'd be in way over your head without any equipment with all that fescue and tough weeds. If you can keep your clover mowed and sprayed with clethodim, you'll have a nice clover stand for 3-5 years.
     
  19. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Can you mow it? If so and you can't get it worked, I'd be okay with spraying it out, flinging the seed on it heavy and then mowing the vegetation short over the top of the seed. That stuff will grow in a truck bed with some moisture.
     
  20. Gator Dale

    Gator Dale Weekend Warrior

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    The boys here went to town and rented a Rototiller for the tractor and three passes it was sweet bed to seed on and vegetation was all chewed up
     

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