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We've been debating what to plant in our plots this spring and still haven't come up with exactly what we want to plant. Our ground is in central pa and our plots are a little varied. One big plot 4.5 acres, one plot about 1 acre, and several 1/4 acre plots. The 4.5 acre plot was split into 4 sections last fall (clover, tall tine tubers, sorghum, and big buck annual mix from welter seed), the 1 acre plot was a lawn last fall and all the little plots were buck forage oats. We would really like to get something in them for the spring that will help our fall plots (green manure) and attract turkeys this spring. We have been tossing around the ideas of a clover sunflower mix...but are looking for ideas...what about buckwheat or peas...anybody have any ideas? There is some heavy browse from the deer so it has to be pretty hearty. The big 4.5 acre plot has been limed and has a decent ph...the smaller plots are pretty acidic. Thanks in advance.
 

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I have had good luck with buckwheat. Turkeys loved it early but the deer left it alone until late August then mowed it down but that was perfect for tilling under to plant the fall stuff anyway. Also it is a can't miss plot - it grows in about anything so you should have luck in the acidic plots but I'd lime them when planting anyway as that will help in the fall.

I have used sunflowers as well but the deer hammered them early. My plots are small so you may have better luck with them in your big plot.
 

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We've been debating what to plant in our plots this spring
Fruit trees.... and I mean a bunch of various fruit trees. Free healthy eats for the family once extablished, and a variety for all types of wildlife.
 

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If you buy reasonable quantities from a nursery that grows their own you can figure $15/tree for bareroot grafted 5 foot trees.
 

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Depends on what kind, and what size, and from where you buy them. It can be anywhere from a couple of bucks, to 50+ dollars, per tree. And if you don't tube/fence thm, you're wasting your time. So factor that cost in per tree as well.
 

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If you buy apple trees, I'd strongly suggest ACN nursery. They're a S Central Pa nursery who provides fruit trees to many commercial orchards. If you can swing 100 trees, you'll get a huge discount.


http://www.acnursery.com/acn_pricesheet.php



Try to stick to their disease resistant trees(marked on their site) and it would be good to get several different varieties such as Liberty, Freedom and Enterprise. You'll want to stick to rootstock EMLA 111(semi dwarf, almost full size) or B118(full size) and you can expect to get some apples within 3-4 years. Plant about 25 ft apart.


Other reputable nurseries would be Cummins, St Lawrence Nursery and Burnt Ridge Nursery.
 

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Another good nursery is Boyers in Biglerville, Adams County.
There is a wealth of information on QDMA about growing fruit trees for wildlife. There are some true experts there who give step by step advice on site selection, preparation, tree selection, root stock, planting, soil amendments at planting time and over the life of the tree, protection from wildlife, shape training and pruning, spraying regimen, and more.
 

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I am about to play some buckwheat in a couple weeks then...following that in august i plan on putting some winter rye or oats out fixed with some white clover for my plot!! hope to have some nice pictures to share!
 
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