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Hey Folks- I'm very new to the site as you can see by the # of postings and I am looking for some suggestions on planting foods plots for the upcoming season- I'll try to include as much info as I can.
We have 15 or so acres, all in grass that is mowed throughout the year. The land is bordered by a 40 acres bedding area that is off-limits to hunting on the west and a smaller thick bedding area on the east. We have the equipment to plow, disc and seed ( unfortunately we don't have a corn planter at this time ).
What I am looking for is to plant 3 or 4 acres with a combination that will keep the deer feeding on the property from spring through next winter. Unfortunately with all of the brands of seed blends on the market, it is hard for me to determine which may work best. The property is in Dauphin County. All suggestions on what to plant and when to plant it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to ramble on- Thanks in advance- Shaef
 

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First thing you need to tackle is weed control and getting the right PH in your soil. These will determine when and what you should first plant.If you haven't done so already get a soil sample done early spring so you can get some lime on it and work on weed control.Lime can take 6 months to work into the soil so you got to plan around that for this year.
 

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I would not think in terms of only one planting to satisfy your needs. I'd consider some clover for spring, summer, fall, and some winter wheat for fall, winter spring.

I usually recommend brassicas for fall, and I'd try some to see how they do for you. Might be hit or miss in your area, but try them anyway to see if they work for you.

Play around with various things to see what combo works, just don't think one item will serve all seasons well.
 

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It may be your first food plot but you will actually need to plant several to accomplish your goal. You will want at least two acres in perennials with an emphasis on clover. You will need to plan for rotations to always have some in annuals like Dutch's suggestion for brassica.
Weston suggested weed control and successive planting of annuals can help you prepare your seed bed for perennials. I don't worry too much about weed control in annuals. I think you're probably looking at the fall of 2011 as your initial perennial planting.
I would start with round up application in early May. Depending on PH levels and overall soil conditions you will have more decisions to make. Can you do a spring and fall annual planting? If so, some in buckwheat is great. Mow and disk that in late July and plant brassica. Winter wheat or winter rye are great fall plantings too.
Think blends. Experiment. Stay away from corn, it's just not worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your suggestions- I now have a better idea of how to get started. My son and I have two or three diff't areas on the property that we want to plant. All of the areas will be close to the bedding areas I mentioned earlier. We will take into account your suggestions and put them to use in the diff't areas. Thanks for the help- Shaef
 

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I don't worry too much about weed control in annuals.
Planting annuals seems to help with weed control. Helps get that seed bank out of the soil, to some extent and usinf herbicides, it helps to clean up a plot before perennials.

My first spraying would come in late May and would include some 2,4,D in the mix with Roundup. Cheaper than RU and burns the weeds better. RU works on the grasses.
 

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And if you want to get your hands dirty earlier try planting some apple and trees around your edges where they get lots of sun.
 

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Strips of wheat, clover and brassica. Rotate them and keep up with weeds, fertilizing and lime. All can be planted with minimal equipment.
 

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That is an excellent recommendation. I only have 2 rotations and a third just makes more sense.
 
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