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MnHuntinKid08

Fall food plot advice

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MnHuntinKid08

im planting a 1 1/2 to 2 acre food plot for deer on a piece of property up in the Detroit Lakes area. What should i plant? i want something that is HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE to all deer. i'm not gonna worry about the whole "grow bigger antlers" thing just yet. i just want a plot that i can go to my stand and have a good chance of seeing deer.

ANY ADVICE???

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UGUIDE

I've had good luck with Chicory, alfalfa, soybeans and Biologic Clover Plus mix. They say to start with a soil test and go from their. Your local coop can be a big help with that. Good luck!

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PerchJerker

When do you want it to be highly attractive? Different plants are attractive at different times of the year. Fall planted cereal grains like oats, wheat and rye are great but only last through the first frost or two. Brassicas are great too but mine really aren't touched until we have a couple of hard frosts. Planting a blend can be a good way to have variety and attraction too.

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BLACKJACK

With two acres, divide it into 3 plots and plant rye/winter wheat (1/2 acre), brassicas/turnips (1/2 acre), clover (1 acre). They'll eat the clover all fall until its gone, the rye will persist thru a frost or two, and the brassicas won't get used until its cold - they'll actually dig down thru the snow to get it. You'll have a combo that they'll eat on all fall.

Remember, fertilizer is your friend. Good luck.

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Mark Christianson

Hey MNkid

I have some MDHA seed blends left from the batches I sold here on FM this spring. I have clover, wildlife blend and a Cold weather blend. If interested shoot me an email. Its 50% off the retail prices. We do that with money raised from Hides for Habitat through MDHA.

PS - Admin has approved that I can offer this discount to FM members since its non-profit

PPS - I work in Maple Grove, so if you end up wanting some its easy for me to bring with me.

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MnHuntinKid08

Thanks guys! Im glad to hear that its not to late to plant a productive food plot. Im also thinking about planting some trees around my plot. I would like something that grows very quickly to provide some seclusion and cover for the deer. Any type of tree is fine.

ANY SUGGESTIONS???

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BLACKJACK

What is the soil type like, wet or dry? Any of the maples, popples, or even green ash are fast growing if the soil is good. Consider some apple trees. Right now a lot of garden centers are discounting and getting rid of their stock. Apple trees need protection from deer, either tree tubes or a fence.

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Mark Christianson

I'd hold off on tree plantings for a while, unless you have easy access to water and lots of time to keep them moist in the event it gets hot and dry for a long period.

I'd wait until Labor Day myself for tree plantings.

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WaveWacker

If you don't mind planting small bare-root stock trees, I'd contact the local SWCD office in the county and discuss with them their spring tree sales. Popples are fast growing but shorter lived so I'd look at incorporating a row of those along with some other tree (I'd personally would look at a spruce species) and possibly some fruit producing shrubs. I also wouldn't worry about if you can't get water out to them. For the price of the bare root stock, I'd just pound them in thick and worry about thinning later.

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Mark Christianson

I was more referring to the larger trees and watering.

Completely agree on the bare root stock. We planted 3500 last year in May. I should say with a CRP planting we had 3500 planted.

With the drought last summer, we lost approximately 50%.... mad.gif

Blackjack can shed good light and tips on how to maximize survival rates and increase growth potential on that type of tree planting.

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MnHuntinKid08

watering the trees is not a problem. there is a lake about 100 yards from where my plot will be, and the area between my plot location and the lake, is a large cattail swamp. and on the other side of my plot is a large hill that will drain plenty of water to the plot and the area around it. as a matter of fact, i was wondering if you could plant trees in cattails? i read an article online that said pine trees were the only species of tree that can tollerate the acidic soil where cattails grow. if so, can you plant pine trees there and will they grow? can you immagine... a huge cattail swamp with scattered pines, talke about the ultimate cover for a big buck!

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BLACKJACK

I don't think that you're going to have much luck planting trees in cattails, too much competition and too wet at certain times of the year - thats why the cattails are there and not trees.

If you're serious about planting trees, consider what it will look like in 15-20 years when the trees mature, do some research on spacing, types to plant for wildlife, etc. Talk to the people at the SWCD, they can help with the above and check out their price list, you can get good plant stock at a reasonable price.

If you're going to the trouble of planting trees, consider what you're going to do for weed control - nothing grows very well if it has too much competition. I'm a firm believer in putting down some of the weed fabric, it provides weed control and preserves moisture. Do a search on 'shaw fabric' to get a better idea. The stuff was developed for high plains tree planting in dry conditions. Its not cheap and its labor intensive but once I get the fabric around a tree I figure I'm done with it and it has a 95% chance of growing. You can use the rolls for shrub plantings and the 4x4 foot squares for spruces.

Good luck. Post again if you need more info. I love planting trees, I've planted quite a few thousand in my lifetime, and could go on and on....

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swedishpimple

I plant several food plots every year in the Bemidji area and use a variety of seeds. I have had trouble with the brassicas not lasting too far past September. The dig them up right away.

Late in August or around Labor day I have good luck with Rye grain and a heavy clover mix. The deer will hit the rye this fall....it will "head out" next spring and provide excellent cover for the clover. Then I mow the rye down and watch the clover take over. I know have lots of clover for the deer and grouse and should not needt to re-plant for another 3 years or so.

As far as the trees go....I only plant in late fall or in April....I have found that it is better to transplant on the property too. The trees are use to the soil and really take off. We have planted thousands of trees with some success but a #2 shovel...a snowmobile trailer, atv and some hard work is a great way to save some cash and move bigger trees. We keep taking about a tree mover for the Bobcat...but have not done this yet, our neighbors did and that provides overnight shelter if you have the trees.

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