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52luge

Food Plot Question

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I am heading up to the shack this weekend to work on a food plot. It is the landing area from when they logged our land, is free of vegetaion and is approx 1/2 acre. I have fertilizer (17-17-17) and lime that I want to work into the soil. If I put the the fertilizer and lime down, till it in, could I then go ahead and plant my clover right away? I know it is probably best to wait, but for covieniece and time sake, would it hurt anything?

Thanks

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You can do it, the risk is that you would be wasting the money you spent on the fertilizer and clover if it doesn't grow or gets too weedy. And of course the time you spent.

Because my food plots are at my cabin, not at home, I can only work on them on the weekends ....... so I do what I can to them when I can ..... not always at the best times, but with the time I have available.

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It really depends on what you plant and when it matures. If it matures quickly you may have the deer consume all the food out of it long before hunting season.

Your availability to work onthe site is also a key factor. You need to plant it when you have the time to do so.

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Make sure your bed is clean of weeds before trying to get your clover mix to take. The weed battle is a tough one. The plants that will be trying to take over your food plot are very tough and are supposed to be there. They will out compete what you plant if you let them. If there are weeds that are already established they will take advantage of the fertilizer you put down and make it more difficult for what you want there. I would kill the entire area with round up (but not round up it is too exspensive. There patent exspired so you can get the same mixture of weed killer for a fraction of the cost. Stop at a seed company on your way up)On friday or early Sat morning (the weed killer only works on plants that are green)spray the entire food plot. Disturb the bed as little as possible when limeing and fertilizing because when you stir it up it makes the weed seeds availible to germinate again. Broadcast plant on sunday afternoon if possible and good luck. I hope you get rain. This is my 4th season planting. I have two differant properties that I plant on and there are approx. 30 food plots I manage. I have spent too much money making weeds bigger so that they can take all the rain water(most crutial) as well as sun light from what I want there. Take the time to kill it.

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Thanks for the replies. That sounds like a good plan Muskie. That way I can take full advantage of the weekend. I am hoping for some rain after Sunday but the forcast doesn't look all that promising. I also have a bunch of pumpkins I am gointo plant out in one the fields for the heck of it. Anyone ever use those as food plot material?

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I worked on a new 1.5 acre food plot last weekend. I bought a at home test kit to see what is in the ground. I was suprised at the information I received out of a $10 kit that I can use 10 times. It tells you what you need to add and how much to get to optimum for everything you can grow. It tells you the PH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash. I found out my Nitrogen was non existent. Has anyone else used these kits?

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We had turnips and pumpkins in a small food plot last year. The deer ripped up both of them pretty good. Good source of energy once the frost settles in.

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I planted them with my boy for fun. The deer never payed much attention to them(my kids did at Halloween). I really don't think they were all that attractive to them with everything else we have on the property.

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Soil testing like JK22 mentions is crucial to having good food plots and not wasting your money on fertilizer that you don't need or seeds that won't do well. The bigger the area you plant the more important the soil tests are.

Deer will eat pumpkins on occasion but they are way down at the bottom of the list of preferred deer foods.

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You should be fine to fertilize lime and plant the same weekend. I would maybe consider a different fertilizer though for a new clover plot. Clover produces its own nitrogen so by putting in a higher nitrogen fertilizer all you will be doing is pretty much feeding the weeds. I would go with 0-20-20 or 6-24-24 or something with lower nitrogen unless you already bought the fertilizer than I guess you probably dont want to buy anymore, I know the stuff is spendy. You could also put in a cover crop to try and keep the weeds down like oats I think are only like 6 or 7 bcuks a bag and then just mow it once the clvoer gets established. Good luck!

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I'm anxious to see how my clover is coming along with the rain we've been getting here. I had a bit leftover in the seeder that I planted in the yard - got some nice clover and chicory coming up there! Should be some happy bunnies, hope its doing as well in the woods.

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the problem with fertilizing a new plot before you plant it is you run the risk of weeds burning up the nitrogen and other stuff before your clover has even taken root. clover is a legume, which is also a perennial legume. legumes will add nitrogen to the soil. soybeans are also legumes. when planting such plants, you'll want to make sure the ground is as weed free as possible, otherwise weeds will flourish! typically, i wouldn't fertilize a food plot with more than a 10-10-10 blend, 0-10-10 if it contains chicory. however, if planting strictly clover, i would wait till the clover is coming up before fertilizing. remember, clover takes up to two weeks to show itself!

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the problem with fertilizing a new plot before you plant it is you run the risk of weeds burning up the nitrogen and other stuff before your clover has even taken root. clover is a legume, which is also a perennial legume. legumes will add nitrogen to the soil. soybeans are also legumes. when planting such plants, you'll want to make sure the ground is as weed free as possible, otherwise weeds will flourish! typically, i wouldn't fertilize a food plot with more than a 10-10-10 blend, 0-10-10 if it contains chicory. however, if planting strictly clover, i would wait till the clover is coming up before fertilizing. remember, clover takes up to two weeks to show itself!

Good info Vister, eveyone who is new to foodplots should remember this. I made the mistake of planting and fertilizing at the same time and had nothing but weeds when I first started planting. I basically had to scrap the whole thing and start over. Now I kill everything first, disc, plant and come back early to mid summer and spray some herbicide and then fertilize. You will be amazed at the results when you do things the right way.

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