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Food Plots


lungdeflator

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Does anybody plant plots in the Bemidji area or north of Bemidji? We want to plant a little 1 acre field this year and are wondering what works good in the short growing season and cold weather. I have heard good things about chicory and brassicas but would like more opinions.

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What I do when I first start a plot is try and get it cleaned up the first year and then seed it to rye the first fall...if you don't have alot of weed/quack grass problems and can get it fairly clean by mid-june to late july you should be able to seed clovers and or brassica's with fairly good results...personly I like a mixture of turnips-sugar beets-chicory and I sometimes add oats if it gets a little later in the season before I can get it seeded...I'm in Marshall county about 6o miles from the Canadian border....

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i think a lot will depend on how much you wanna spend, you can get all kinds of fall blends that grow fast in cold weather, lets of options out there, plus feed places are stocking lots of clovers, rye, wheats etc. Talk with them they could help as well.

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i would also check into rye. especially if no herbicide was applied last summer/fall. rye will kill weeds, and grows fast. is especially best in cool climate applications.

but if you prefer clover, or chicory, they can be planted together. since they are both broadleafs, you can spray them with an herbicide to control weeds. but NOT roundup. you'll have to ask a seed dealer what kind to use.

my plots are already planted for the spring. they include a 5 clover blend, sugarbeets, purple top turnips, chicory, and rape. all seeds blended together, then broadcasted by hand, and covered with a harrow i pulled behind the atv.

i personnally believe chicory is the best thing you can plant. even lacking the protein content as clovers, it still has a supreme relative feed value. its not as high in protein content as clovers or alfalfa, but planted properly and well maintained, the soil that is, will produce over 50 pounds of foliage an acre a day when its growing! thats a lot of grub, and its drought resistant. however, can be spendy.

if you're looking for good seed, then check out co-ops. their seed is near pure, and doesn't contain all of that inert matter/ seed coating that the stuff in gander and cabelas have.

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ok thanks fellas. our neighbor planted alot of rye last year to the north of us and it drew all the deer up towards him. I like the co-op stores too, like said their seeds are not all commercialized, even though they are catching on. I am also getting into the bear scene so I might try a couple rows of corn and see what happens. Do you guys fertilize at all?

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Fridgidforage the are based in northern minnesota and develope seed blends for our area. But as far as a short growing period you can't beat clover plant it it august and you have a great spot for archery opener I like to use ladino clover wich you can get at any feed mill and you can mix other clover types and some alfalfa in with it also.

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it depends on what you plant. if you plant chicory or clover, or any perenial broad leaf, then not until the plant has been established and growing well. chicory and clovers start to grow slower, so fertilizing them at seeding will only encourage weed growth. typically, let the stuff grow until you can mow it for the first time, then apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer. 0-10-10 for chicory. you can fertilize at seeding if you want, just make sure there is no nitrogen in it, the first number of the three.

if the field has been tilled and worked for a few years, and treated with roundup, then you can fertilize with nitrogen. keep in mind, clovers don't need nitrogen to grow well.

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Vister, that is some good information. Glad to hear that I am not the only one putting seed in the ground this early.

I am in the Backus/Pine River area doing some spring planting. This year I would like to have thicker clover fields and a good late season food source. Yesterday I tilled about half of one of my plots to start planting. Lime was applied a couple weeks ago. I currently have rye and clover in this plot, with an area for annuals. I am going to try a couple different clovers at twice the stated application rate for good coverage.

For my late season plot I am thinking about trying Dear Pea Plus from Tecomate, Imperial Wintergreens from the Whitetail Institue and/or Lablab from Biologic. Any other ideas? I am going to do a late summer planting of more clover and the lates season plot based on the ones that grow the best for me. It will be an interesting comparison to see which the deer use most come this fall. The rye will also be disced in once it seeds itself with a broadcast of additional seed from the Co-op.

So, any tips for other late season options or if I am missing anything?

Thanks!

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for a late season plot, i'd look into winter wheat. typically, this should be planted in mid september. however, if august is cool and the soil is moist, you can plant it then. august is the best time to plant a bunch of annuals, however, the bulb bearing ones, like turnips,rutebaggas, and giant rape, may not produce big bulbs in time for winter, but deer love their big bushy leaves. winter wheat would provide greens for the deer all winter long, and i'm guessing that is what imperial wintergreens consists of.

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I threw in a small plot of turnips and beets last fall in late July. They were wiped out by the time we went up in Oct for checking out the stands. I picked up about 30 packs of 5/$1.00 seeds at the dollar store. I will try a few more packs this year. There are about 30+ seeds in a pack.

The one thing I noticed, is that these seeds went real fast this year. The 2 stores near me do not have any brassicas (collards, turnip greens or turnips) left. Other years, you could find them into late summer or early fall. The other bad news is, I used to get these same price seeds at other stores, and they aren't carrying them.

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two lbs of turnip seed will run 7-8 dollars at most co-ops, and sugar beet seed runs 5-8 bucks a pound. thousands of seeds, for way cheaper!

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the only problem with buying good seed in bulk is when you are done planting your plot, you have seed left over. then you decide, well, i better work up some more ground to plant that seed so it doesn't go bad. then you think, i know where i'll plant that, i've got just the spot. then you realize, now i planted that spot too! better get another stand to put over there. but wait, i only have one camera. better get another camera so i can see which spot i want to hunt first!

quite frankly, hunting and food plots are a never ending pastime and work. however, i am more than willing to be a part of it all. grin

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I can't argue with that logic!! laughlaugh

And I always figured that the best part of the plots is seeing the deer before the season.

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Another good one I use is pasture mix from the feed mill plant it like grass seed mix in some clover it allready has alfalfa in it and all you have to do is mow it every once in awhile if the deer dont eat it to the ground. $2.70 a pound at the feed mill

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I'm about an hour east of bemidji, over by the NE end of Winnie and Cutfoot Sioux.

I do plots that are all clover or all brassicas. For clover I like Ladino and think that Imperial Whitetail Clover is the best, but I plant some clover blends too. For brassicas I'm not too fussy, I like kale the best but usually do blends with turnips and rape.

I've planted chicory in the past and liked it, and it does well in blends with clover, but I spray my clover with 24D-B to get rid of broadleaf weeds and that takes out the chicory too.....so no more chicory for me.

If I do fall plantings they're cereal grains (oats, wheat, rye). They grow fast and withstand heavy browsing and the deer love them, but a few frosts will wipe them out for the year. They almost never last until gun season at my place. I plant my grains around the middle to end of August. I've tried planting clover and brassicas in August without much success - brassicas should have 12 weeks of growing season but we get frosts in early October, it's just not enough time.

In the past I've planted rye grass - never again - it's great at first but after that it gets too fiberous and the deer don't like it as much, and it makes sod in my food plots and I don't like that.

I've never had much luck with deer peas or lab lab. I've only tried them once or twice and wan't happy with the results. Now I stick with my tried and true clover, brassica, and cereal grain plots.

I got most of my plot work done for the spring, just need to finish up a little on Friday before fishing grin

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I wanted to mention that many of the large bags of seed at the big box stores are a total rip-off. For about 3o bucks you are getting 3 bucks worth of seed.

Many of these large 30# bags are full, well 70-80% of oats or rye grain...maybe some peas...but you are paying a lot for inexpensive seed. This is not true with the clover mixes...a little goes a long ways and that is expensive seed compared to oats.

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I also wanted to mention to Lungdeflator that we are blessed in Bemidji and can buy Frigid Forage at their shop. They sell their mixes there but you can get single varieties too.

Last year I tried some Austiran Winter Peas with limited success. I got them in too late. I may try them again this year mixed in with some other goodies.

I go to Nor Farm for the clover, alfalfa and Rye...they mix a fair Big Buck mix which is a copy of Bio-Logic,,,and another Minnesota blend which is good on the trails. They don't have a great selection of Brassicas...I go to Frigid Forage for them....Frenzels in Bemidji or Blackduck is best for oats. Cenex will have oats on occassion.

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I agree with perchjerker on the Rye Grass.....deer don't seem to like it and it is in soooo many mixes. It really does turn everything into a heavy sod which is a huge problem for people with limited equipment and time. Rye Grain is much more foregiving deer and geese love the shoots...and it turns into a nice rye field that is easy to plow up again.

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I never saw any mention of bow season or rifle season. Alfalfa sure is a big draw early in the year in the Bemidji area. After a hard frost or two it can be a field of sticks.

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When is it too late to start planting clover? For several reasons that I don't care to get into right now I won't be able to think about food plots until July, should I forget clover and go straight to something that PerchJerker suggested which is cereal grains? The spot I can plant in is only about 20 feet by 50 feet. I don't have a big tiller, I can use my dads small garden tiller, and chemicals to kill the exsisting grasses. I am a nursing student so I wont have much time to hunt this next year, pretty much everyother weekand, and I want to make the best of my limited bowhunting time. Thanks!

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you can plant clover any time of the year, april-september i mean. however, the time of the year you plant it determines whether or not it will grow enough before winter. the following year it will come up dandy, just planted late, after july, i wouldn't rely on it to produce a bountiful crop for deer to graze. since clover is a perenial, it grows slow.

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I agree with Vister.....I always plant clover for the next year. In year 1 you get little clover leafs and it all might get as big as the White Dutch Clover in your lawn. The next year the Red and Landino grows nice and tall is the deer don't chomp it too fast.

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Moonshine:

I also have land north of Pine River about 7 miles. Have plots with half of each plot in clover and the other half in rye about end of August. Where are you located?

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When is it too late to start planting clover? For several reasons that I don't care to get into right now I won't be able to think about food plots until July, should I forget clover and go straight to something that PerchJerker suggested which is cereal grains? The spot I can plant in is only about 20 feet by 50 feet. I don't have a big tiller, I can use my dads small garden tiller, and chemicals to kill the exsisting grasses. I am a nursing student so I wont have much time to hunt this next year, pretty much everyother weekand, and I want to make the best of my limited bowhunting time. Thanks!

If you're only doing a 20x50 foot area then you're not going to be out too much money if your clover doesn't get going in time to survive the winter .... but if it works then it's a bonus for you for next year. I'd plant clover and cereal grains together this year, and if the clover is a loss then so be it. The cereal grains should be a good nurse crop for the clover.

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Hey thanks alot man, what kind of "weed killer" should I use? My area is about ten miles north of Duluth, fairly grassy. I guess I would want to kill everything but the clover and the cereal grains. For such a small area I want to be able to grow the most attractant and the least amount of weeds.

Also for the clover I am planning on using imperial. How about the cereal grains? Should I just go to some general seed store like Dans Feed Bin in superior and get a bunch of rye or oat seeds?

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For weedkiller, spray Roundup or a generic version before you plant, that will kill everything that's growing.

After you plant you won't want to spray anything --- whatever you spray will take out your clover or your cereal grains or both --- but if you're planting in summer or the 2nd half of summer there won't be a lot of weeds germinating anyway (for sure not like in the springtime).

I buy my cereal grains at coops and farm supply stores. I think deer like oats the best, but they are the first ones wiped out by frosts. Rye is least suscesptible to frost and is the least favorite of the 3 imo, but the deer still love it. Wheat is between the other two for cold-hardiness and deer preference. At times I've planted them all together, at times I've planted them each separately, you really can't go wrong with any of them. For a small plot like yours I'd go with rye grain only, and clover.

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Puddleduck,

I am to the south of 87 and west of 84. My land is between Sylvan Lake and Tamarack Lake. Tamarack flows into Hattie.

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I am about 3-4 miles west of you. I am south of Brockway Lake about a 1/2 mile on the east side of County Road 42. Someone stole my 14 foot cattle gate to my property, really ticked me off. I am on the Pine River which also flows into Hattie.

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