The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Im thinking about planting a food plot in my lower yard since I dont like to mow the grass back there. It is a slope (not too extreme, but enough to make mowing on a riding mower tricky but possible and push mower near heart attack) The grass grew great back there and deer regularly come through. Is it feasable to plant on a slope? Is is feasable to think that this is a better alternative to a conventional lawn that needs mowed regularly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,829 Posts
Should work. If you do clover, it still needs mowed maybe twice per year.

My brother did a clover plot in his backyard on a steep hillside for the same reason you are thinking of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
How big of an area is it? Is it to steep to get equipment on? Do you have access to any if its not? You may want to start a good spraying plan this summer and into the fall to get the grass killed off. Then come next spring you can frost seed some clover, or maybe a clover chicory mix, or something similar. I have done something similar at my place, ive gone from about 2 acres to mow down to about half an acre now, not because it steep just because I hate cutting grass and like to watch the deer. I have been battling the grass regrowing in my plots for the past few years because I didnt get everything killed. Save youself the hassle and do it right the first time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,829 Posts
You can use Poast to kill grasses in clover plots. I THINK it's safe on chicory, but not sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The entire area Im thinking about is about 200 ft wide by 150 ft long. Its a slope but i can manage my atv on it, I dont have any equiment. I was thinking about using a small powered push till to turn the dirt. I also have a retaining wall in mind to seperate the lower yard and upper yard. Should I wait for this barrier before doing anything. Will the clover creep up and take over my lawn? My other question is the spraying plan. How often should I spray?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
When I said spraying plan i meant just to get the grasses and weeds killed off. at least 2 maybe 3 rounds of round up, or a generic, if you want to get everything killed. I guess it depends on what you are doing. There are a lot of different plans you could go with. You get it killed early and maybe do a fall brascia clover plot.If you dont want to till that much ground, sounds like to much work but ive never used a tiller that wasnt 30 years old, you could make sure its all dead by fall so you can do a spring frost seed. Dutch will give you good advice. I do not know anything about post, but that clover and spray can be expensive so have a plan and do it right the first time. Any plans on hunting the area or is it just for observing? Im a big fan of the fruit trees too. A little more expensive to start out with, but if you are looking for something long term they will be the cheapest and less maintenance. They can also make an attractive addition to your landscaping and provide a nice snack for your family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,829 Posts
As long as you have the grasses and weeds killed off, you can do a no-till plot. By that I mean, you simply spread seed on the soil, preferably before a good rain is in the forecast, and the rain will help drive the seed into the thatch. I've done many plots like this, with good results. You do need to spread at least double the recommended amount of seed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm. OK. Ill start with the section that I really dont mow and see how it works out. You think my best option is to spray and prepare for next spring or can I get it rolling in the fall? And I have thought about clearing out the wood line and planting apple trees on the edge. This plot would be for observation and experimentation. Although, I can legally hunt it with a bow which I would do to thin out some of these does.
Dutch,

You said I can plant through the thatch. So that means when the grass is dead I dont have to worry about raking it out for turning it into the soil? Also, you dont think I need to til lime into the ground? The grass does to great in the back and I have never limed it. Natural fertilizer flow as my septic tank is buried at the top of the bank. Ill post some pics as I go along with this project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,829 Posts
Yes, no need for raking of the grass. Yes, incorporating the lime into the soil is preferable, just depends how much work you want to do.

If it were me and a first time plotter, I'd bite off only a portion of that plot for this year. See how it goes and if it does well, do the rest later. Many times, first timers bite off more than they can chew, fail, and get discouraged.

A soil test thru Mossy Oak Biologic, $7.50, will tell you all you need to know about your soil fertility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Just saw where you are from. Theres a place in state college that may be able to help you and get cheaper seed. Its a John Deere Landscaping store dont know the actual name buts it back by best line equipment just off Atherton. I know they have food plot stuff and do the soil test, dont know how much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hmm. I actually live in North West VA. I moved from State College when I graduated but my wifes family are State College natives and we visit quite often. In fact, we will be there this weekend. Ill check out that store.

Im going to take Dutch's advice and start out with a small section first. Its an area pounded with weeds and tall grass. There are also a few rocks I need to clean up and the ground is a bit rough. It wasnt graded properly which is one of the reasons it doesnt get mowed often. Ill hit it with round up, send away soil tests, and post some pics of the progress. Hopefully I can plant this fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
thats almost an acre.. if you can rent a stiner with a tiller, they work great for situations like yours, (i know someone in the area that would do it for a little charge)PM me..

But i would burn is with about 3 quarts of a 40% glysophate and some 24D mix (1quart) let it be for about 1.5 weeks, till apply the lime, till it, lwt is stand for about a week and spot treat the weeds that will regenerate, then seed it, cultipack or roll the seed into the soil about 1/4'' <that is a big deal the seed to soil contact! apply you fert. and wait. for an area that large I also recommend a soil sample.. or apply 1000 lbs or lime now and another 1000 in the fall. as for seed I am very partial to Tecomate seed (Monster Mix, clover and chicory mix) they use only #1 grade seed. and it is all pretreated. I hope this will help.... some
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
not trying to contradict any one but if you no-till you need to use alot more seed than normal if not soil is tilled, and if you no-till it you should do it in Jan-Feb when the soil is thawing and freezing alowing the seed to get into the soil. It is worth the effort getting the soil preped in the right way first.. please do your self a huge favor and don't cut any corners even in your situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Im not having very good success with my techomate clover chicory mix. Chicory is growing but there is almost no clover at all, planted last fall. There is a section of just clover from my local store that is growing well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,829 Posts
plotdude, I have done a plot, with no prep, other than spraying with Roundup on 40 year old sod, using brassica, for the PGC. It was done during a drought, on top of a hill, in shale soil, with phenomenal results. Here are the pics.






The method works, but does require more seed, lots more. But, it also requires less equipment, and in the case of this member, working on steep slopes with equipment, might be dangerous?

Anyway, just thought I'd post these pics so folks can see the results. As you can see, the deer hammered this plot. Of course, there were a ton of deer in this particular area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
that looks great DUTCH, did not mean any harm, just the way i have done it and continue to do it, i can't take any chances with the plots i install being there not mine. But awesome results!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
bucky130 sorry t hear that, i have used it for 3 years now and get Great results and their veriaty of mixes are the best and many made right here in good old PA. gotto go with what you believe works...thanks for the input
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,829 Posts
plotplant'ndude said:
that looks great DUTCH, did not mean any harm, just the way i have done it and continue to do it, i can't take any chances with the plots i install being there not mine. But awesome results!!!!
I understand, you do it for a living and have all the right equipment. But, for newbies, sometimes, just getting their feet wet, in a simple fashion, gets them "hooked" and gives them some quick success.

I've been doing no till plots for many years. Have done clover plots the same way in mid May and no problems. Is it the preferred method? No. But it works. We just substitute lots of seed for the lack of tillage equipment.

As the "newbie" becomes more at ease, they get more equipment and do things "more right" than in the beginning. One GREAT example on here is Bake545. Started simple, had some successes, and now, IMHO, is one of the most knowlegable plotters I know.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top