sandy food plots

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Jacob Neubauer, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Jacob Neubauer

    Jacob Neubauer Newb

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    I live in WI and by me it is very sandy. What do y'all recommend for a food plot. I am planning it to be less than a acre. I have all of the equipment but just looking for recommendation for what to put in the ground.
     
  2. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Clover should work, do a soil test but in sand add plenty of lime.
     
  3. DVO

    DVO Weekend Warrior

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    I don't think clover grows very well in sandy soil. I think it needs a heavier soil with more moisture.

    My deer camp in in an area that is all sandy soil and there is not one single clover plant within 10 miles of my camp since its all sand.
     
  4. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    I live on the Great Anoka sand plain created by the Mississippi when the ice age was melting out. Needless to say I live in the sand. I have upland and lowland food plots. The upland plot is planted in a oak savanna and it is a balance to get clover to grow well. Too much shade from the trees and the clover is stunted, too open and it bakes out in July. I irrigate my upland plot and with just the right amount of shade the clover and alfalfa grow well enough to have to be mowed on occasion even with the deer eating it.
     
  5. 130Woodman

    130Woodman Grizzled Veteran

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    What Sota, said I have the same issue but I got tired of spending all that money on fertilizer so I bought 2 pallets of potting soil and spread it out over the sand and I haven't had to fertilize in over 5 years. I only did about a half an acre and it was a lot of work but the savings and the way the crop comes up made it worth it
     
  6. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Here's an interesting article I found doing research for food plots in the far north from my area. The author mimics what I was thinking of suggesting so I figure it's easier and more reliable from someone who made it work. The problem with sand is it doesn't hold water and nutrients very well due to no soil organic matter so SOM has to be built. It's the same problem in principle to all poor soils no matter why they are poor but the mechanics are different due to the large soil particle size (soil type). It can be argued that those starting with sand, in many ways, are more blessed than those starting with pure clay because of water infiltration and soil compaction issues. If I had to start from zero and build SOM, I think I'd prefer to start with sand as long as the area had decent annual rain.

    Anywho, here's the article:
    Food Plots in Sandy Soil
     
  7. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Be glad that you don't have to fight the clay that we have. As has been well stated, you have a lot of work ahead of you but it is so much fun to see the results/success. Contact your local SCS (Soil Conservation Service) and ask them for advice. Soil tests and then a plan for where you can see your best, quickest success. Let the fun begin!
     
  8. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    SCS has been renamed here for a long time to FSA (Farm Service Agency) and NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), I'd label them BOC for Boobs on Call. They are good to supply a "free" service but from my experience it's about as useful and practical as corn cob toilet paper. They're bad to offer "Free help" and get you tied into long term contracts in exchange for cost share that amounts to control of your land for a decade or more. I wish folks would be more weary of those services. Some programs are okay options in certain circumstances and certain people but there's better info out there for free from what I've experienced here.
     
  9. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    You are correct CM. I always resort to the old names without thinking and yes I would NEVER get tied in with them again (sad story. When I was just 23 years old and had just bought some land that I needed to tile and drain, another neighbor suggested that they (SCS/FSA) could help me pay for the work if I asked them. Being young and needing money I agreed to do it their way with some of their money. When the tiling was done, it cost me more and I had to pay to have it redone the right way 5 years later!) but I have found that some of their staff can actually have some good advice on soils and they provide free soil testing around here.
     
  10. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    My upland plot is about 5 years old, I finally did a soil test last spring. Granted I have been adding lyme and put winter wheat in as a first crop and have a berm of horse manure compost around the plot, but the soil test showed the only thing I need to add was potash because I was adding alfalfa last spring. Being able to irrigate does make a huge difference.
     
  11. Jacob Neubauer

    Jacob Neubauer Newb

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    the area I plan to seed it about 1/4 sand but is surrounded with wet soil all around it so it has nutrient. Have you even had any luck with buck forage oats and did they eat it early and late season?
     
  12. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't recall ever using buck forage oats specifically. We had a plot of oats years back when I started food plotting but I didn't pay as much attention to details like that back in that day. We killed some deer off it is about all I recall and I know the deer hit them late when it set grain on it. Changed over to mostly winter wheat since but I have a local company that is carrying food plot seed and I'm in their system as a wholesale producer from my days of truck patching. I see they are carrying the buck forage oats so I've been thinking I'd try some again this fall.

    Now that I think about it, I did have some in the fall/winter/spring of 2014/2015 but they were in an 8 species mix and were on the light side. The cereal rye pretty much dominated the oats but I do recall seeing a few heads in there when I sprayed it out last summer. I still have no idea if or when deer picked specifically the oats out of it. I saw deer grazing that plot a lot though the entire season right up until I sprayed and drilled through it.
     

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