Plot progress - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Plot progress

Working on my first plot with the help of others on this forum. I was asked to share some progress notes and photo's of my efforts as I endeavored to put the plot in.

Right off the bat I want to acknowledge the advice that QAWC, WOL, 25FTUP, DennyF and all others have provided. Thanks up front for your information.

Since this is my first attempt at a food lot, I wanted to limit my expectations for the size of the plot, instead trying to focus on quality instead of quantity. I am glad I did now as my old bones really were talking to me. I ended up working a 100'x60' piece of ground. My thinking was "let's try this first and if it works out well, I always have the option and remaining area to double/triple the size.

Right off the bat I made a mistake. I started by using my box blade teeth to rip up the field, followed by 4-5 runs with a disc. Thinking through what everyone told me, I should have simply sprayed the area with Round Up and then let it sit for a few days before doing the same thing with the box blade and disc. As a result, I ended up with a thick layer of weeds and grass that were in fact dying off, but were thick enough that I was concerned with seed contact when and if. I ended up using a drag to "pile" up the waste and "pitch forked" it off to the side, deciding I would then broadcast it over the plot later on down the road as a form of mulch. In the meantime it really improved my ability to bare the soil for eventual planting. A lot more work but I was happier about the near term future now.

After the second day of extra disc-ing, dragging, pitch fork-ing, I recieved my soil sample results in the mail and I was ready to lay down the lime, fertilizer, etc. After completing same, it was time to get some seed. Talked with the forum members again and decided on Rape, Turnips and Rye.

Anyway, just waiting on some rain now to get things rolling. Pictures attached. FYI, we have a fairly dense deer population here, not to mention bear also (at least on my property) so this morning, I had roughly 4 nice bucks and just as many does/fawns simply feeding on the already established clover in my immediate field next to the house. Hopefully all this work will provide for an improved selection during the hunting season.

More to follow.

Chaos USMC
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Last edited by Chaos USMC; 08-17-2017 at 04:39 PM.
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:44 PM
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Chaos - the plot prep is looking great! That's a nice tractor/disc rig you have going....and I'm very jealous of your FLAT food plot area! Everything we do is on a darn slope....

I'm anxious to see how it turns out for you....keep us posted with pics as it germinates and starts to fill in. Thanks for sharing the pics.
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hello OAWC. First, thanks for your help early on. Second, most of my fields (roughly 20 acres) are relatively flat, so to speak. You are right though, that was one of the flatter areas. The remaining fields I lend to my neighbor who hays and plants/harvests extra for his cows.

Had a funny situation during planting. I was advised to only do 2 ounces of turnips (100'x60') as it would be better then planting a few pounds of seeds. I was told it helps to allow the turnip to "flower" which is apparently a good attractant. We also beefed up on the rape, expecting it to be the main forage. Anyway, if you plant heavier amounts, the turnip apparently needs to compete more with itself, giving you increased forage amounts but much less of the flowering. I guess in this case, less is more, and, go for quality over quantity.

Anyway, I had just completed the seeding and compaction process when my bride came down and asked about the packet containing the 2 ounces of turnip seed. At first I was like "dang it".... But then I "knew" I had used a bag of turnip seed!

Realizing a possible mistake I pulled the empty seed bags and sure enough, there was one with the words "turnip" on it. Apparently, the folk at the bureau who process the order did not see the "2-Ounce" for this particular seed that I had picked up from the main office and simply bagged up "2-pounds".

Guess I will have few flowers but plenty of forage!!!!

40-50% chance of rain today/tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Going camping anytime soon?

Chaos USMC
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Last edited by Chaos USMC; 08-17-2017 at 04:07 PM.
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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 03:32 PM
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Plot looks good, I would have made it a little closer to the wooded area...




keep us posted...
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 03:42 PM
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Yes, the 2lbs of turnip seed will be a bit heavy...a lot of brassica mixes (turnips, rape, etc) go on at a rate of 6-9lbs per acre....you are at 1/6 - 1/7 of an acre, so your rate would be closer to 12-14lbs per acre. There are definitely much worse things that could have happened.

If your plot is only show in town, your turnips and rape might get annihilated anyway...that's why I suggested adding to rye to make sure the plot could withstand the heavy browse pressure.
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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Concur with your comment and observation RonM, at one point during the process I thought/realized same. Just fine for a Hornady SST slug, not so good for an arrow though... I had enough satisfaction in doing this plot that I pretty much expect to expand the effort, closer to a tree line location, next spring.

OAWC, the disc is borrowed from my neighbor, next door. It is the smallest one he has but just right for the application. The roller, drag and sprayer was from my other neighbor... Never used the sprayer for reasons discussed earlier but I did replace all the hoses on it (dry rotted) simply in anticipation for Spring efforts and simple goodwill ;-) At least we are good for the Spring. The tractor I bought roughly 5 years ago, one of the wiser things I did. I also have an older (1962) Case 35 which came with a bush hog, box blade, a 1 bladed plow and a post hole digger at that time. The newer one has A/C and a radio! But I still love the older one, which I have promised to one of my grandsons. Taking it in for some minor repairs soon just for that reason. Speaking of Spring maintenance and upkeep on the plot. For that matter, I have not thought about it. What should I plan for/expect to accomplish (besides possible expansion/soil sample/additives)? What is the timeline you work towards?

Thanks for hanging in there...

Chaos
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 04:50 PM
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In the spring plant a few rows of corn and some sunflowers or soybeans to bring them in for the summer , thenext years repeat what you are doing now...
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks RonM, how about something for the turkey?
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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 09:54 PM
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Turkeys will go for sunflowers and soybeans. I planted something for turkeys once, if I think of wwhat it was I'll get back to you..
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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 10:10 PM
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Looks great. With turnips, rape, brassica mixes it is best not to get too much seed. I am very guilty of putting down too much seed, but in the last couple of years I have learned my lesson. Less is more. If you get it too thick then you won't get the growth from the individual plants. Now with things like clover and winter rye, getting too much seed doesn't seem to hurt the production as bad.

You did a good thing by starting small. If you have surrounding agriculture that may help keep the deer from annihilating your small plot. Are you planning on hunting over it? Archery?

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
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