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Thread: Food plots look like crap!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Food plots look like crap!

    I started my plots in the beginning of summer. I turned the dirt, disc harrowed, fertilized and lime. I planted a mix. Not sure which one but I think it was a clover, brassica, turnip mix. In the beginning they looked good and seen a few deer in them. Now they look like overgrown weed fields. Should I mow them? What am I doing wrong?
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  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    I have had the same problem in the past.Weeds love fertilizer! I just raised my mower up and mowed.Tried to give my seed a chance to get up above the weeds and hopefully choke them out,which the brassicas have done if given the chance. Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    After you turn the dirt you have to let the plot sit till it gets lot's of rain and all the seeds you brought to the surface by turning the dirt have germinated. Then you spray Round-up and kill ALL the new growth (wait long enough for all the new seeds to germinate and grow) they lightly turn or scrape just the first inch or so of dirt and plant your seeds, lime and/or fertilizer.

    I've grown several great plots of weeds before by turning over the soil and planting. I've screwed up to by spraying too soon and not letting all the germinated weed seeds start to grow before spraying. You have to be patient. Getting in on time is not that important compared to not preparing the dirt correctly and letting the weed seeds germinate before planting. I grew beautiful fields of weeds for 3 years before someone pointed out what I was doing wrong.

    This is a mix from Pheasants Forever called Winter Refuge. It's for Deer, Turkeys, Pheasants, Dove and Quail. The Doves are thick in there now.

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  4. #4
    Did the same as Timinator this spring on some new plots that had been in set aside for the last 15 years. I sprayed in late spring once everything was about 8 inches high with a mix of round up and 2 4 D. I let it sit dead for a few weeks worked it up with my disc let it green up again and sprayed. The last week of july I lightly disced again and spot sprayed. The second week in August planted rye grain and crimson clover. It was a lot of work and trips to do this but the plots are spotless for weeds. If your mix is what you think it is you could spray generic select " Clethodim " it will kill the grasses but not any broadleaf plants I used it on one of my clover plots that turned into a foxtail mess cleaned it up fairly well. Mowing will help like Hep done
    Here's a pic of one of the new plots it just the edge rye is about 3 inches high clover is just peeking through
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I just used 2 4 D on my acre plot about two weeks ago. It worked well. I then tilled the soul up this past weekend. I am waiting for new growth of weeds to germinate before spraying again. Do I have enough time to spray new weed growth and plant imperial clover here in southern Indiana? Or should I just plant now?
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  6. #6
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    I made the same mistake last year. Based on what you planted I think you planted way to early. When I planted my tunrip plot to early I had a lot of tunrips but even more weeds/grass.

    This year I let the plot grow in with grass/weeds. Mowed it around mid june. Then I sprayed it with Gly early July. Then in late July I worked the soil and planted. I got the rain needed and have a really good plot going.

    I tried a new mix in another plot and I think it will be all I plant moving forward. I found it on the QDMA web site. It is a mix of red/white clover, oats, chicory and turnips. I will have oats, chicory and tunrips for the deer this fall and next spring and summer I will have a lush clover field for the deer. I plan on replanting the same exact mix in the same field next August
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  7. #7
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    Here is my Frigid Forage Big and Beasty plot. Basically a tunips mix
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  8. #8
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    Here is the clover/chicory/oats/tunrips mix. Planted on the same day
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  9. #9
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    Should I add chicory and turnips to my fall imperial clover that I'm getting ready to plant this fall? Is it true that the deer won't like this year's stand of clover since it will be new ?
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by buckhunter1 View Post
    Should I add chicory and turnips to my fall imperial clover that I'm getting ready to plant this fall? Is it true that the deer won't like this year's stand of clover since it will be new ?
    you won't have much clover for them to eat this fall, but next summer you will have a nice plot of clover. I would add the chicory and turnips, oats too.

  11. #11
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    I wonder why they sell it as a fall attractant than? Thanks for the advice.
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  12. #12
    If it was planted early enough to get good growth on the clover I'm sure it would work as advertised. I plant clover in mid August usually with a cereal gran and turnips. The clover when planted around that time gets established and does very well the following summer. It's good to plant clover in the later summer slash fall to get the roots established. Sometimes if planted in early summer the roots aren't very deep yet and then if the rains stop like they do here in July and August it can be real hard on the clover. Does it suggest planting dates on the fall attractant?

  13. #13
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    Yes. It does have fall dates on package. That's why I thought I was good. I added chicory to my late spring co op clover plot but it was taken over by weeds right out of the gate. I can add a cereal, just don't want to take away from a thick crop of clover by doing so. I always add some turnips from my local co op either way.
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  14. #14
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    Just my general planting thoughts here............my annual plots of corn and soybeans are normally planted by June first. They require Roundup to keep weeds at bay. My annual oat plot will go in soon - in about a week or two. If the oats are planted thick enough, like wheat, it will crowd out most weeds.
    Perennial plots are NORMALLY fall plant, and if you put them in too early, competition from weeds, which thrive on hot and dry conditions, will overwhelm your plot. Fall perennial planting dates are tricky, as the plants need enough head start before the first hard frost so as to survive. I worked up dirt for a half acre plot today. Buck Forage Oats will go in soon.
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  15. #15
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    Clipping weeds before they go to a seed head is essential. So many of the food plot seeds many people buy are too high in weed seed. How many of you look at the tag and not purchase seed because it's too high in weeds? There is many poor quality mixes out there and some that are lower germ or old seed. Bringing in weed seed from poor seed or poor tilling practices is common. People tend to disk or work the soil up too well and too deep, which brings up weed seed that might have been in the soil for many years.

    Also, planting the right companion crops to grow fast, to naturally help suppress weeds is key. Also things like fall rye and radishes have natural weed inhibitor properties and are good to reduce future weed challenges.



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