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New to food plots
I've never have planted a food plot and was going to start a couple in the spring. I have some old fields I was going to plant them in. My question is how to get a plot started in the spring since its new ground full of weeds and seeds. I have read wait till everything greens up in the spring then spray herbicide then till/plow and plant. Others say wait till summer mow the weeds before they seed then spray herbicide and plant in late summer/early fall. I'm looking to plant mainly clover and chicory and would like to get something in the ground this spring but don't want to be fighting weeds from the start. I also have a field I'm considering planting sunn hemp in spring and rotating brassica into it in the fall I think the sunn hemp will compete with any weeds very well do to its height. I also read planting oats with clover in late summer gives great results. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I would probably give up on planting this spring. Wait until new growth, spray, disk after several weeks, wait for new growth, spray then harrow. Plant early fall with grains and perennial clover and chicory. Next spring the clover and chicory should take over.
Spray gly this spring once ground temps are in the 50s or higher. 1 or 2 weeks later broadcast buckwheat or sunn hemp and mow the dead vegetation over the seed. Walk away until fall. Do the same thing in the fall with your mix of clover and oats (I'm partial to winter wheat and winter rye as well for a nurse crop). Clover tends to be a lot less weedy if planted in the fall instead of spring.
The above posts are great also. But if you're worried about weeds know that every time you till you open up the seed bank again.
Thanks for the responses I think you guys are probably right it's best to wait to plant the clover in the fall with a nurse crop. I plan on liming as soon as the weather cooperates. A fall planting should give the lime more time to work also. I think I may do both sunn hemp and buckwheat just to see which one work best for me. I assume if I use oats for a nurse crop it just dies off in the winter and the clover takes over in the spring?
Yes, the nurse crop will self terminate the following summer. I like awnless wheat. The deer readily eat the heads in July. It's a good midsummer grain source. Some people will mow or spray a selective herbicide to kill it earlier though.
I can’t add to what catscratch advised except to say I hate people who don’t have hogs. They can throw and mow and I can’t. It ain’t fair !
Depends on if you have the time and from your pics I think you do.
Try this with at least one plot: Till it, let it start to grow and then spray. Let it sit and repeat this at least once over the summer. Basically you are doing a summer fallow. Idea is to let as many weed seeds germinate as possible and then kill then off with tilling and spray.
Get your food plot going the next spring.
Sorry Drycreek, if there was only a way for me to help your hog problem. ;)
Just joking. I hate that it's a problem for you. I dread the day that we get pigs. I know they've been close but the state has done a good job of eradicating them when they cross the boarder.
LKH that's something I thought about too. I was going to lime it and lightly till it to work the lime in then let it sit and spray later when it starts growing back.I guess I have a couple of options and the amount of plots I put in really depends on where I can get a lime truck into. Hopefully at least two or three maybe more
I'd be hesitant to destroy old field and replace it with a food plot. Old field is some of the best deer habitat around. Could be a great idea, could be the worst idea, hard to know without more information on your situation. I'm guessing Pat won't mind if I suggest the following forums as they are mainly habitat/food plot, not so much archery. The Deer Hunter Forum and Habitat-Talk are the best places on the internet to find info on food plots and habitat in general. Good luck!
I totally agree about old fields being good habit. But where I want to plant is almost all power line right of way so it has to be maintained. I'll look into the forums you mentioned.
Have you had a soil test, do you KNOW that you need lime?
Yes I did a soil test. I definitely need lime. The Average pH was 5.2
Ok, that makes sense. If you don't maintain the power line they'll be killing off the "old field" every few years anyway. I'd stick with adding lime, cereal grain and annual clover until your PH improves. A summer rotation of Buckwheat can do wonders for your soil as well.
It's surprising how mowing can be very beneficial if done at the right time. You want to allow enough time remaining in the crop year to get regrowth.
Is buckwheat supposed to be mowed while it's growing or do you just let it go? I know clover benefits from mowing.
I just let buckwheat go, but I don't mow my clover plots much either. It does good but will eventually get a lot of grass due to nitrogen. I broadcast cereals in my clover every fall to help with that.
I’m gonna chime back in on the buckwheat. I just discovered, (with some help), the benefits of buckwheat this past year. It is a really good weed suppressor when planted in the spring because it grows so fast nothing can keep up, and it shades everything else out. For me that eliminates gly in the fall planting. It also adds nicely to your organic matter and that’s always a good thing.
Is everyone mowing it down when it flowers or letting it go until they are ready for their fall plantings?
I think you'll find that many foot plotters are doing many different things. I haven't sprayed or tilled my plots at all yet. Broadcast seed, mow and walk away. I created several new plots last March. In March I broadcast MRC and WR. In May, I added Buckwheat. In September, I added all of my fall seed and mowed over the top of it.
If you never planted food plot I would advise you to check what are the forage that deer really love to eat. There are various sources in internet one is what to bait deer. I found some couple of deer baits that's really works. One is peanut butter. And Its works amazing for more deer baiting info click on the link:
Bill Winke has some great videos on how he starts what he calls "poor man food plots." Spray gly, let it die, come back and burn it, and basically as it's smoldering you toss your clover seed. Hopefully timed before rain. Aside from the brush clearing it's basically a two trip deal and seems to work pretty darn good.