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Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 24
Deer Food Plots

Hello all, I am starting my first deer plot this year. not going so well so far. I bought some of the 'whitetail institute no plow' see and put in a spot about 15ft x 20ft is some cutover back a few months ago. Checked it out the other day, could not find where any had come up, even took a hand held spike tiller and went over the soil when i did it just so it would not just be sitting on top of the ground. So i was debating on tring a different type of seed, maybe something like techomate max attractant. Just wanted to know what others have been using for their plots?

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Joined: 07/17/2008
Posts: 30
Re: Deer Food Plots

What i would recommend is getting a ph level by taking a good sample of the dirt. Take a few samples from the whole area and mix it up. Take it too and test soil places (somewhere like a FS or a Farm store where you would by fertilizer. Ph levels have to be between 6.5 to 8.0 for clovers and other types of clovers and brassicas for them to survive and grow. To raise the ph levels you can add lime to get those levels you need. They are probably low now if its around woods like a 4 or 5. If you have cedars or pines around they will be a lot lower and you will need a lot of lime. I would suggest moving away from areas like that. You will have to spread a lot of lime and it takes at least six months to a year to boost those levels in the soil. Also use 6 6 6 fertilizer or 12 12 12 after the have sprouted and dont put to much down a little every other week works good until its healthy, you dont want to burn it up. Try planting turips or sweet beats late august they love them. You will have to plan them every year though. Dont waist your money on expensive seed if you dont have the ph level right. your wasiting your time Good Luck

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Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 24
Deer Food Plots

It use to be woods a few years ago, but is grown up cut over now. everything is 6 to 10 ft tall so i figured it would be good to establish a plot there now and keep working on it for the future. I am planning to put some turnips in with the mixture as I hear they are good for deer who like the greens then when it gets cold they will dig up the turnips themselves

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Joined: 07/17/2008
Posts: 30
Deer Food Plots

yeah it should you just need to take a soil sample and make sure you put lime down the help the ph level then wait and plant your clover in the spring plant some turnips and sugar beets now and you can even put some winter wheat or oats in to help them get attracted to the area now and then next year your ph levels will be high its very hard to keep the clover alive and healthy when you dont keep the levels of ph up give it a try

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Location: Kingston, MI
Joined: 01/16/2007
Posts: 648
Deer Food Plots

I'm with stickers. Make sure you get a soil test to figure out how to fertilize it 1st. You'll need to either lime it or put down some manure. You should get a recommendation when you get your test results.

Lastly, don't waste your money on the high dollar seeds. Most farm seed stores will carry what you want. If you want a mixture, you can buy them a lot chaeper if you mix them yourself.

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Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
Deer Food Plots

I always assumed clover was a harder plant. I didn't realize you needed to put in as much work as a flower garden.

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Location: Western MA
Joined: 07/29/2008
Posts: 40
Seems to be good seed

I just planted some Whitetail institutes secret spot seed in a similar size plot and after only 4 days i had growth, no soil test or anything just raked the leaves off of a logging road and planted it. Now after over a week i have well over an inch of growth on the plants, they are taking off.

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Location: Pa.
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 45
plot

These guys are exactly right with testing the soil. Lime is extremely important when planting so that you can get those PH levels where they need to be. By having a correct PH level you will also get the most out of any fertilizer since plants can't absorb the fertilizers as well because a lower PH doens't allow the release of fertilizer as well.
Also, keep in mind that certain varieties of plants require more sunlight than others.
You said that where you planted had been woods, I would bet that the PH level there is most likely no more than 5.5 This of course will vary from region to region and soil type will also affect it, but I know every plot that I created from a woodland opening that I made had PH levels of between 5 -5.5
Most likely the reason the seed didn't come up wasn't because of the blend as it was from preperation of the seedbed itself.

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Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 24
Deer Food Plots

Yea i have a bag of lime now and i plan to go over and replant the patch. I have the no plow seed, but do you think I should tiller the soil up first or do you think that would make much difference!

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Location: Pa.
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 45
no plow

Tillage of your spot would depend on a couple things. One is, how compacted is the soil? IF it was already tilled then that shouldn't be the case. The second, What kind of weed growth do you have now?
The biggest things is to make sure that the plot area is free of leaf and limb debris. As far as tillage with no plow products, you don't necesarily need to use a tiller. If its a small woodland plot, a simple graden rake to loosen and smooth the seedbed may be all you would need.
Would I plant anything, even "no till" without some sort of soil preperation? No I wouldn't.
Just keep in mind that the the best seed to soil contact you can get is best and those small seeds such as those should never be covered by more than 1/4 inch of dirt. Get those PH levels to 6-7 and you will have a good plot.

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Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 24
Deer Food Plots

I did go over it initially with a garden rack and a hand-held aerator to break the soil up, but the only thing that seems to grow there are briars.....hate those things!!! I recently just got a small garden tiller so i'm just going to go over the whole area with that to totally rip up the weeds and briars that are growing there now. I also have some basic 10/10/10 fertilizer that i plan to put down as well.

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