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Author Topic: Food Plot help!  (Read 702 times)

Offline gobblerchaser89

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Food Plot help!
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:31:48 AM »
I am wanting to plant something for a food plot that I can hunt fall turkey and deer over its in a small area as well. I have never done one before and know zero about the subject. Any help from people that have knowledge on the subject would be greatly appreciated. I live in southeast Kansas if that helps.

Offline BKnisley

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 10:40:53 AM »
Chaser,

    There is a lot of help available online from mossy oak, whitetail institute, realtree...etc. Without diving too much into agricultural complexities I would suggest sending in a soil sample to an extension office. You'll have an idea of what you might need to do to to the soil to maximize your seed growth, such as adding fertilizer, or adjusting your ph. Mossy oak and Whitetail institute will do this as well.

    A lot depends on if you have the equipment to work the ground, and how big of an area you'll intend to work. You'll need to kill old growth first with round-up. This can be done with a tiny tow behind sprayer on a lawn tractor...again depends on how big of an area your talking. A lot of people have success planting strips...and do it spraying round up by hand, and breaking the ground with a 4 wheeler and smaller disc. You could even do it with a small roto-tiller or cultivator.

    I prep mine with a cultipacker after I disc, then plant, then re-roll the seed with a packer. If you're looking at a no till seed you'll just need to spray the area first to kill old growth, then broadcast your seed in the winter...the seed will fall into the frost cracks in the soil and "plant itself".

    Don't forget a good spray to keep the weeds down in your plot. I would go with whatever your seed blend recommends. Thinking in terms of seasonal needs helps too. You could plant two sections that mature at different times so there is always something there the majority of the season.

     Clover, red or white, would be a good choice for deer or turkey (lots of bugs in the clover).
     Chufa is a sedge and turkey will eat the tubers...but if you've got pigs they'll do the same.
     Soybeans would be another option as well.

Don't forget about planting berries or mast producing trees. Deer love apples, persimmons, chesnuts, and acorns. A lot of people say what you do to help deer will do the same for turkeys too...I would agree. Here in my little corner of Ohio deer will literally watch the Black Arkansas apple trees drop fruit. Half the fun is finding something they enjoy.

Let me know if you need anything else. It's a big topic to cover, but it's addicting when you start to see your hard work paying off.

Brandon K

Offline limbhanger777

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 11:24:34 AM »
Late summer/early fall I planted a clover/chicory blend and both the deer and turkey seem to use it a lot, but I'm in NY so it may different in Kansas.

Offline g8rvet

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 12:57:39 PM »
Your extension agent will be well versed in what grows well in your area and can teach you about your planting options. 
Ducks, turkey, redfish.  Who has time for golf?

Offline gobblerchaser89

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 02:28:16 PM »
Chaser,

    There is a lot of help available online from mossy oak, whitetail institute, realtree...etc. Without diving too much into agricultural complexities I would suggest sending in a soil sample to an extension office. You'll have an idea of what you might need to do to to the soil to maximize your seed growth, such as adding fertilizer, or adjusting your ph. Mossy oak and Whitetail institute will do this as well.

    A lot depends on if you have the equipment to work the ground, and how big of an area you'll intend to work. You'll need to kill old growth first with round-up. This can be done with a tiny tow behind sprayer on a lawn tractor...again depends on how big of an area your talking. A lot of people have success planting strips...and do it spraying round up by hand, and breaking the ground with a 4 wheeler and smaller disc. You could even do it with a small roto-tiller or cultivator.

    I prep mine with a cultipacker after I disc, then plant, then re-roll the seed with a packer. If you're looking at a no till seed you'll just need to spray the area first to kill old growth, then broadcast your seed in the winter...the seed will fall into the frost cracks in the soil and "plant itself".

    Don't forget a good spray to keep the weeds down in your plot. I would go with whatever your seed blend recommends. Thinking in terms of seasonal needs helps too. You could plant two sections that mature at different times so there is always something there the majority of the season.

     Clover, red or white, would be a good choice for deer or turkey (lots of bugs in the clover).
     Chufa is a sedge and turkey will eat the tubers...but if you've got pigs they'll do the same.
     Soybeans would be another option as well.

Don't forget about planting berries or mast producing trees. Deer love apples, persimmons, chesnuts, and acorns. A lot of people say what you do to help deer will do the same for turkeys too...I would agree. Here in my little corner of Ohio deer will literally watch the Black Arkansas apple trees drop fruit. Half the fun is finding something they enjoy.

Let me know if you need anything else. It's a big topic to cover, but it's addicting when you start to see your hard work paying off.

Brandon K

Brandon K,
Thank you very much for your information. The area I will be doing is probably a total of 1/2 acre it was a place where the loggers made probably a 50 yard trail up in the woods with maybe a 50yd by 25yd area clearing in the woods. I plan on doing the trail as well just so I have more area with it and it is wide and cleaned. I have a rear tine tiller I plan on doing myself with. I know it will take time but Im pretty pumped to get to do it.

Offline bbcoach

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 03:42:31 PM »
Brandon is Spot on with his advice.  PH is the key to growing a quality food plot.  A soil test is a MUST.  If this area was recently logged, your PH will probably be around 4.5.  You'll need to bring that up to around 6.5, which will require lime.  The soil test recommendations will give you how much to apply per acre for what you want to grow.  I would get the soil test done ASAP and the recommended lime down ASAP.  AG lime takes about 6 months to neutralize the soil.  My recommendations would be to spray the plot with roundup after green up, apply your lime and wait until August or September to plant.  Deer and turkeys will eat clover and cereal grains (oats, winter wheat and winter rye) well.  Your local county extension agent can recommend what will grow in your area and when to plant.  My advice to you is take it slow, get your soil tested and amended and plant this fall after your lime has done it's job.  Good luck and check back with questions.

Offline BKnisley

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 09:02:34 PM »
PH is the key to growing a quality food plot.  A soil test is a MUST.  If this area was recently logged, your PH will probably be around 4.5.  You'll need to bring that up to around 6.5, which will require lime.  The soil test recommendations will give you how much to apply per acre for what you want to grow.  I would get the soil test done ASAP and the recommended lime down ASAP.  AG lime takes about 6 months to neutralize the soil.  My recommendations would be to spray the plot with roundup after green up, apply your lime and wait until August or September to plant.  Deer and turkeys will eat clover and cereal grains (oats, winter wheat and winter rye) well.  Your local county extension agent can recommend what will grow in your area and when to plant.  My advice to you is take it slow, get your soil tested and amended and plant this fall after your lime has done it's job.  Good luck and check back with questions.

This X a billion. Soil prep is king for growth.

Happy to help chaser! Sounds like your set with equipment. Send pictures when your stand is up!

Offline Manoflaw

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 07:31:14 PM »
Chufa works well, if it will grow where you are.

Offline TauntoHawk

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Re: Food Plot help!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 12:19:22 PM »
My go to for small food plots, especially in wooded or partial shade areas that hasn’t been cultivated before would be Rye Grain, Spring Oats, and an annual Clover. Planted in the fall it will carry you from deer season into spring like a champ, it’s about as easy to grow as you can find, handles browse pressure, and deer and turkey are always hanging out in it. If you want to maximize the space all year you can plant buckwheat post turkey season which will continue to feed deer and turkey (fawns/poults) it also keeps weeds suppressed and acts as a soil builder through the summer. Re-plant using tile or no tile methods your fall blend.