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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey just bought some land in VA and was wondering the best food plot to plant for the upcoming season. I have heard of a bunch of different mixes, but havent heard any real results. Any experience advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, when would be the best time to plant it. :thumbsup:
 

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I'm not a real big deer hunter but I do know that they like soybeans. My uncle planted some for his deer and they tore it up. You could probably check with your county agent for planting info
 

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I would recommend picking up the book "Quality Food Plots." There is a lot more to plots than just planting and this books is the best that I know of to help teach you how to have a successful plot. It list a large variety of seeds to plant with their strengths and weaknesses given. It also gives you suggestions on making you own mixes based on your location and type of soil.
 

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We have 3000 acres that we have experiemented with several different plots on. Keep in mind that what I am typing is just my opinion and might not work for you but it is what works best for us. For our smaller plots (up to 2 acres or so) we use the Biologic Full Draw or just straight Chicory. I don't know what it is about the deer in our area but they love the chicory. The straight Chicory might be our best plot for the small areas. The good thing about these plots is that they tend to last most of the season, unlike a few other we have used. Now, for our bigger plots, we use soybeans and wheat. What we do is plant the beans and let them go until it is almost too late to harvest them. At this point, I will run the combine and another guy will run the planter right behind me. So, while we are picking the beans we are also sewing wheat. This wheat makes for a great late season plot. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will be glad to answer them for you. Like I said, this might not work for everybody but it is what works for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks, ha, i should have done that to begin with. Anyway, I have heard soy from alot of peopel. Is it hard to plant, fertilize, etc.....Do I need to let it continually grow, or cut it every few weeks like the other stuff? I only have about 1/2 an acre I will plot right now. Really looking for something to get the bucks in early season for bow.
 

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If you are looking for early season bow, then beans are great. I don't like to use beans on such a small plot, but it will still work. When you plant them, just get them in the ground then watch them grow. If there are deer around they will find the beans. You can go out of an evening and the plot will be full of them. After a while you will start to notice that they are eating the tops off of the plants. This is a good thing.....
 

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Antler King makes a great product. Well balanced all around.

STUMP
 

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Since it's a small plot, if you plant peas, you might want to use Milorganite to fertilize it. Milorganite is a fertilizer made from treated human waste. It will keep the deer off of the plot long enough for the peas to get started before they start eating it. With a 1/2 acre, you will probably have to do something or they might eat the plot and kill the plants before they have a chance to get going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
can you find that fertilizer at any garden store?? So basically peas and winter wheat would be the best? How do I plant them, one in spring and winter wheat in fall? As far as land preparation, should I just tear it up with a tractor, lay the seed and fertilize? Any fencing to keep the deer out while it grows for a few weeks?
 

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I have several plots. Where we plant may change but we usually plant:

Clover-it is time to plant it now. Good browse all year
Winter wheat- plant in early fall. Good browse early
Turnips- plant in fall. Deer will hit the leaves hard after first frost. Then they will work the bulbs out later in the winter.
 

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"No-Till" works real good down here in FL & GA, can't see any reason why it wouldn't work up there.

You want to drill or disk in some oats and rye grass to deal with the cold weather and frosts. Oats grow great in cold weather and the deer love them.

When I was in CT we used to hunt over fields of clover & alfalfa - they stayed green too - deer loved it.
 

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It doesn't hurt to mix the seeds - No Till and others are mixes of different seeds.

Deer like to eat new growth - they don't like old growth.

So, the better mixes include plants that grow in different conditions - one plant will grow better when it is cooler, another when it is warmer, another likes it wet, another likes it dry.

Deer down here in FL loves peas. I've seen the opposite in GA where a buddy hunts - peas don't get touched.

You could try several different varieties and see what the deer like the best.
 

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MissedAgain said:
So, the better mixes include plants that grow in different conditions - one plant will grow better when it is cooler, another when it is warmer, another likes it wet, another likes it dry.
This quote is kind of confusing, I think your saying the better mixes have a mix for cooler, and mix for warmer. Not a mix that has warm season plants and cool season plants in the same mix. You would not want that because you have spent extra money on seeds that will die. Good mixes will have plants that compliment each other, like a climbing pea and corn/sunflower for it to grow on, or clover with a nitrogen hungry plant.

Have you done a soil test yet? It is very important to find out what the ph of your soil is and if you need any fertilizer. If you have a low ph or particular nutrient, your plot will be minimal and may fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No I have not done a soil test yet, but will get one done here in a few weeks, then begin planting. Is any one brand better than the other?? I tried a throw and grow, and that did nothing except sprout 1/2 an inch.
 

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They are all pretty good, just check the expiration on the bag before you buy it. Some might have a higher weed percentage than others also, but it would be listed on the bag.

If you want to test how well something is growing, I would suggest putting up a round 3'-4' tall fence about 1.5'-2' diameter. This way you can compare the control area to the rest of the field and determine if the deer are eating your plot down and all you see is 1/2" of growth.

If your ph is off and you need to add lime, it will take a couple of months for the lime to change the ph, so do that as soon as you can if you want to plant this year. Also, when fertilizing, do it right before a rain or else the nitrogen in the fertilizer will literally disappear into the air.
 
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