This was my first year with my food plot. It was made in late August and I just tossed winter rye on it and hoped for the best. It currently has a lot of dead smaller sticks still standing and it is rough and uneven. I would really like to level it out and remove the dead sticks prior to planting anything else. Would you try to find a farmer to disk it and then I could drag it with an ATV to smooth it out or do you think a 4' rototiller on the back of a tractor would be best to get the ground loose so I can drag it smooth?
Am I over thinking this? In my mind, I need a nice level surface but right now, the deer have hammered the winter rye to the point it is only 2" tall but the containment fence shows 5-7" of growth.
Do you have plenty of topsoil? If not, do not disc or till it. On my farm in SC, i only have like 3" of topsoil. Even rye did terrible this year after spreading 1000lb of lime on 1/2 acre. Soil test in process now. I frost seeded durana clover back in february. It did awful and was full of weeds. Plant Durana clover in the fall. I am planting Buckwheat this spring using a no-till method, so my clover wont die. Its doing really good with the fall planting. Then you can broadcast clover and rye or wheat into the buckwheat , knock it down, and it will die after the first frost. Or you can knock it down and spray with Glyphosate too. Then the clover and other seed will have something to germinate under while growing. This is going to my hope for a lush plot next fall.
Those answers sound pretty good to me.If I did have good enough top soil I would till hopefully 1 time.Grant woods has some pretty good covercrop methods for food plots on not so great soil.Hows the hunting
I kill two birds with one stone. I plant trees that produce mast crops. While I wait for the trees to mature, I have cover habitat. Secure habitat is number one in keeping bucks on property and is often overlooked by those wanting well-rounded property. Deer will always find food as they are browsers. Food plots may seem appealing, but critical habitat should always be satisfied before working on dessert. My normal advice-put money and time into providing security. If the security cover is present, then by all means provide dessert.
Hey WITeacher... here's a woods plot I created with no TILL and no DRILL a drag harrow is used since it was created to loosen the thatch and then we blow that off with backpack blowers.
Fell trees (experience will tell you how many before you need to do step two) Delimb and bunk the trunks - repeat step one until done felling trees Get the limbs and trunk bunks out of the plot Get the stumps out (I went with a grinder instead of plow or dozer) on the plot Seed Lime (I know the ridge is hot based on the forest and being a strip spoil bank. Max application by agronomists is 2 Ton / acre per application)
1 Year later:
This summer 18months:
The full blog and more pics and how-to are at this link: https://theohiooutdoors.com/threads/stressless-ridgetop-spoil-food-plot-creation.26118/#post-715464
Find a 4ft piece of harrow and drag backwards if you have to and you should break up and level alot of it.But really if it doesn't cause issues in maintaining food plot I wouldn't try to fix all at once