Sitka Mountain Gear
Hay Field to Food Plot- what to plant?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Hunt98 01-Jul-20
olebuck 01-Jul-20
happygolucky 01-Jul-20
35-Acre 01-Jul-20
Hunt98 01-Jul-20
From: Hunt98
I have a rectangular shaped hay field less then an acre) that I want to convert to a food plot. It runs north and south. Trees surround the field so it does get full sun.

What would you suggest on planting on a first year food plot that does not get full sun?

From: olebuck
summer plot or winter plot?

where are you located ?

From: happygolucky
Have you done a soil sample test?

Given the timing, I am assuming this will be a fall plot and that any soil amendments would not be done save for maybe some fertilizer. I would recommend a combination including an annual clover, oats, and winter rye. This is part of the late Paul Knox's Lickcreek fall mix but it excludes AWP and radishes as I could not recommend those without knowing if the soil could handle it. The winter rye will come back next spring to help hold weeds at bay.

From: 35-Acre

35-Acre's embedded Photo
35-Acre's embedded Photo
35-Acre's embedded Photo
35-Acre's embedded Photo
My best year was my first year because the deer weren't in there eating everything as soon as it germinated. But there is a right way to do everything and then there is.... how I did it (which was awesome too). The eventual goal was ot have that magazine-quality plot - what a dumb idea! But I didn't know it at the time.

At this point, over the years, I feel like I've tried so many different seeds all using T&M (I don't have heavy equipment). Aliske Clover, Barley, Brassica, Buckwehat, Crimson Clover, Egyptian Wheat, Oats, Purple Top Turnips, Rye, Winter Wheat and that list goes on and on.

So, my first year I didn't do a soil test and I didn't have much knowledge on any of this. I started with some store-bought "deer seed" with a similar mix to what you mentioned from a big name company for under $100 and went after it. At the time, I knew enough to mix lime and some general purpose fertilizer into the soil when I planted, so I had bought 10-10-10, pelletized lawn lime and a drag harrow rake for my ATV. I even just threw the seed by hand - I mean how hard can it be??

I laid out my "field" like a small gardener, making places where I would plant certain things - clovers and oats and so on. My Purple Top Turnips (PPT) came in AWESOME! They were on top of the soil and the size of softballs! The deer eventually came in and hammered them once the snow fell.

Then there are years worth of lessons - some I'm still not learning (maybe):

ALWAYS roll over the seed to get better seed-to-soil contact.

ALWAYS put down a general purpose fertilizer and lime when planting.

You can get seed WAY cheaper when not buying the "big name bags" from the sporting goods store.

The magazine photo is stupid! Stop trying to get that.

Plant heavy with oats, rye, etc.

Don't plant heavy with turnips and brassicas, etc.

Horse feed (rolled oats) is REALLY cheap and plants/grows really well!

From: Hunt98
To answer a few questions: Central Minnesota

No soil test... but 5.5 ph in other plots that I have

Mid fall to early winter season

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