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Newbie to food plotting

DE bow hunter

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Jan 9, 2020
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So my wife and I just bought 11 acres to eventually build our last house. The way it lays out right now 2 acres are cleared for building the rest is woods.

The land has been logged out so it’s got good sunlight and thick cover. Looks like they left mostly immature red and white oaks. I want to put two small “test” plots in this year. I want to plant one plot on an old logging road and if it works do the same next year on the bigger area.

I’ve already bought green cover fall release seed mix. The ground is wet/ wetter so that’s not really a concern. There’s grass of some sort so my question is I’ve seen two different methods- kill the grass and broad cast seed or lay the grass down or the Buffalo method to broadcast seed and crimp it? So do it kill it, then seed and lay it down or seed and crimp it?
 

GCTerpfan

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My understanding of the buffalo method is that it won't work very well with heavy grass. It works better with things like buckwheat that will crimp and lay down.

I have had good luck converting grass fields to food plots by killing off the grass and running a landscape rake or hare over it to remove the majority of the dead grass. Then I wait a couple of weeks for the seeds that were exposed to start to grow, hit it with another round of glyphosphate then seed with your seed mix and roll or drag with something to make sure you have good seed to soil contact.

Edit: it's important to have two rounds of gly to kill the grass a couple weeks apart. The first round of removing the dead grass will expose a new seed bed that will compete with your food plot if not killed off.
 

DE bow hunter

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Also think I’m going to hook up with @Robert loper to show the progress of the plot, scouting the new land and the progression of the land and harvest repot. So far the mineral site is doing well. Check out his page on you tube for up dates of the property and great scouting and buck info.

 

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DE bow hunter

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Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
75
Location
Delaware
My understanding of the buffalo method is that it won't work very well with heavy grass. It works better with things like buckwheat that will crimp and lay down.

I have had good luck converting grass fields to food plots by killing off the grass and running a landscape rake or hare over it to remove the majority of the dead grass. Then I wait a couple of weeks for the seeds that were exposed to start to grow, hit it with another round of glyphosphate then seed with your seed mix and roll or drag with something to make sure you have good seed to soil contact.

Edit: it's important to have two rounds of gly to kill the grass a couple weeks apart. The first round of removing the dead grass will expose a new seed bed that will compete with your food plot if not killed off.
Since your in MD and I’m in DE what time of year do you start spraying? I was estimating late July first spray? Follow up second week August broadcast in late August. Do you lay anything over at that point?
 

Robert loper

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Since your in MD and I’m in DE what time of year do you start spraying? I was estimating late July first spray? Follow up second week August broadcast in late August. Do you lay anything over at that point?
Cant wait my friend to see you holding a great buck this fall. Your hardwork and deication will pay off
 

GCTerpfan

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Since your in MD and I’m in DE what time of year do you start spraying? I was estimating late July first spray? Follow up second week August broadcast in late August. Do you lay anything over at that point?
I'm in the mountains of western MD so I start a little earlier. I try to have my plot seeded by late late July/first of August which is about six weeks before our season starts.

This year I was going to try the buffalo method. I just spayed a new area last weekend. I plan on spraying again next week and then seeding with buckwheat. Then I'll use the buffalo method around the first of August to seed a fall mix.
 

GCTerpfan

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I'm far from an expert. I have some property and I go through phases on planting plots. I've done it five or six times over the years. I've tried everything from seeding directly into dead grasses, to tilling the area, to the method I described above. I've got just as good results with the method above as I have tilling and preparing a smooth seed bed.
 

DE bow hunter

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Delaware
I'm in the mountains of western MD so I start a little earlier. I try to have my plot seeded by late late July/first of August which is about six weeks before our season starts.

This year I was going to try the buffalo method. I just spayed a new area last weekend. I plan on spraying again next week and then seeding with buckwheat. Then I'll use the buffalo method around the first of August to seed a fall mix.
Ok thanks. With grass mix I’m dealing I guess I’ll spray and wait and spray again and go from there.

Appreciate the feedback. Never did anything like this. My dad keeps telling me to just get a feeder
 

GCTerpfan

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@Gcterpan after the termination do you broadcast seed and the lay the grass down?
I spray with glyphosphate, wait a week or so until everything is good and dead then run my landscape rake or an old pull behind harrow through it to rough up the seed bed a little and remove some of the dead grass. Then I wait about 2 weeks until some new weeds start to sprout and I spray with glyphosphate again. At that point, I may run the harrow lightly through it one more time and then broadcast the seed. You can run a roller over it or drag a tire over it to help with the seedless oil contact at that point if you want.
 

BTaylor

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Another option that will work with your existing plan would be spray now and plant a big bag of bird seed for summer food and cover. Then start your release rotation in August. You can keep spot spraying any troublesome stuff through the summer.
 

gumby

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Guess I'll be the one, why would you ever spray a food plot, the deer will eat just about anything young and tender.
 

BTaylor

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Guess I'll be the one, why would you ever spray a food plot, the deer will eat just about anything young and tender.
Just killing it off to have a clean start for the system being discussed. That system is one of the best ways to improve soil health which leads to better nutrient uptake which leads to increasing the nutritional plane of the property. That system also provides additional security cover for fawns and poults as well as rabbits and quail if you have them. It is just part of the whole equation, still need to manage timber and use fire, etc. to take a property to highest habitat level it can be.
 

dlist777

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Have you done a soil test? If not, you're really hoping to get lucky. Do a soil test and apply the correct amount of lime as soon as you can. If you also need a lot of fertilizer, I'd recommend doing conventional tillage (and tilling in the lime and fertilizer) for your first crop and then going no-till from then on. You still have time to get buckwheat in now and then do your fall plot later. Just broadcast your fall plot into the standing buckwheat, roll it and spread gly on it and it will decay into the soil and help out.. (on YouTube look for Jeff Sturgis easy no till method).
 

DE bow hunter

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Have you done a soil test? If not, you're really hoping to get lucky. Do a soil test and apply the correct amount of lime as soon as you can. If you also need a lot of fertilizer, I'd recommend doing conventional tillage (and tilling in the lime and fertilizer) for your first crop and then going no-till from then on. You still have time to get buckwheat in now and then do your fall plot later. Just broadcast your fall plot into the standing buckwheat, roll it and spread gly on it and it will decay into the soil and help out.. (on YouTube look for Jeff Sturgis easy no till method).
I have not tested the soil yet, but plan to do it. It’s not a big plot and unfortunately I don’t have the equipment to till it so I am going to hope I get lucky with the method GCTerpfan mentioned above.
 

GCTerpfan

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I have not tested the soil yet, but plan to do it. It’s not a big plot and unfortunately I don’t have the equipment to till it so I am going to hope I get lucky with the method GCTerpfan mentioned above.
I just re-read your initial post. For some reason I had it in my head that you were trying to establish a food plot in a grass field/yard. If your trying to plant a logging road that isn't covered in heavy grass then I would definitely look at the throw and mow method @Allegheny Tom mentions above. The middle step I mentioned of raking off some of the dead grass isn't necessary unless it's extremely thick like in a hay field. I only rake off some of the grass in a hay field because I have read that too thick of a mat after mowing can smother the new crop.
 
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