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Food Plot.

Old 06-15-2009, 12:02 AM
Fork Horn
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Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 221
Default Food Plot.

I know there is a similar post here, but I was hoping that someone from my neck of the woods may read this post.

I own 22 acres in Norther Michigan (Houghton Lake to be exact) and want to put in two small food plots. The plots will probably be about100'x100' ish. I know it's not alot, but it's something. I have been a bait hunter all my life and have never ventured into food plots. With Michigan banning baiting I have no choice but to change my tactics.

My land was just select cut so there is alot of sun light. The soil in the area tends to be sandy. I don't have the time to water the plot because I live three hours away, and there is no water in the immediate area.

I was hoping that someone could tell me what to plant and how. Like I said, I have never done this before. I have been working on clearing the plots and am about ready to plant. I am also looking for a plant that will be ready by deer season in October.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:16 AM
Boone & Crockett
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
Posts: 10,079
Default RE: Food Plot.

I don't know about what to plant up there, maybe Buck Forage Oats, but you need to soil test now and get your lime out.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:04 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Default RE: Food Plot.

This is more or less "general" advise. Back ground is that I have planted food plots for deer and other wild life since the early 1970's. But all in the deep south.

Your plots of 100' x 100' are small, but a reasonable size. It is difficult to prepare much more than that without farm equipment.If you have access to a small tractor and a disc set, by all means use one.If not, a small walk behind tiller works fine. Lots of work but doable. You can also try a tiny disc set behind an ATV, but be very careful. Despite all the advertisement showing how easy this looks, that much "tow" is tough on the small, relatively light duty gears of a typical ATV.If you have about 2 weeks before planting, go ahead and overspray the plot now with Round up. That will kill any weeds trying to sprout.

For best tresults, get the soil pH tested ASAP. You are looking for around a pH of 7 to 7.5. If you cannot get that done, I suggest that you assume the soil to be acidic and apply lime. Sounds like you are relatively remote so may as well use pelitized lime. Something like 200# per plot is a start.

As for seed, check with the local USDA extension agent or the Michigan game folks. Michigan State shuld have some good info too. These should know what will do well in your area.Many of the commercial "buck blends" contain avariety of proven seeds, some of which will do OK somewhere, but not all of which will do well everywhere and may fail in your area, unless regionally blended.

Once the ground is prepared, you can broadcast the seed and fertilizer by hand or with one of the "lawn" push or pull behind spreaders. Drag the seed in with a piece of weighted chain link fence works fine. Or just rake it in with a hand rake. Be sure not to cover too deeply.

If clovers or Alfalfa do good up your way, I would think one or more varieties should work OK for a quick start. Forage type oats should work too and should do OK for later. If there are tons of deer in the area, don't be surprised that thefood plots are hammered and look like they are not growing. An easy way to check this is to set a circular wire column in the plot. This will give you a comparison between eaten and not eaten.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:29 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 473
Default RE: Food Plot.

Just spray with roundup wait a week, broadcast some clover ,get at local co-op they will have the right stuff. Do it right before a rain and it will grow. nothing easier.
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