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food plot ????

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food plot ????

Postby shawboy87 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:30 pm

my food plots turned out nice... well actually the only thing that would come up with the lil bit of rain we got was rye grass. I fertilized it after it come up and got established. The question is should I fertilize it again and would it do any good??? also what fertilizer should i put on it if I should fertilize it?????? It is green and looking good both of the two little ones that i planted. any info would be nice.
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Re: food plot ????

Postby FireCloud » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:46 pm

In my opinion, rye grass is somewhat like weeds or Kudzu...it will grow anywhere, anytime, regardless of what you do or don't do to help it along. I have seen a demo of it being grown on a concrete block with nothing more than sunshine and water.

Fertilizer helps any plant grow faster, bigger, and stronger. However, for rye grass that is not necessarily all that beneficial as a deer food. The more mature and larger rye grass grows the tougher it becomes and is far less desireable by deer. What all deer want to eat is young, tender plants...not old, tough, mature plants. But if there is nothing better around to eat, such as in the very late winter, deer will eat anything they have to eat to survive.

If you have money to spend on fertilizer, I would suggest spending that same amount of money to buy a bag of seeds of plants more attractive to deer and plant that. See my post under another food plot thread to see some info about what I have been doing. I did not plant anything until about Nov. 8-10 and have continued to plant since, including yesterday. I have not planted any rye grass and have gotten enough steady germination of the other plants to be attractive to the deer. The food plot is full of tracks and they are browsing it down...just at night!
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Re: food plot ????

Postby shawboy87 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:05 am

i know its not the best thing for deer just my last resort... planted both fields twice before sowing the rye grass and nothing came up due to turkeys and no rain... so i turned to rye grass cause i knew it would come up and didn't want to waste much more money.
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Re: food plot ????

Postby huntall » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:14 pm

Normally I come back with amonia nitrate instead of more fertilize.
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Re: food plot ???? Nitrogen!!!!

Postby cottonpatch » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:08 pm

The co-op recommened that I use strictly nitrogen fertilizer after the plant has initially come up. I have fertilized with this for the 3rd time this season because the deer have mowed my plot into the ground. I used clover, rye and turnips. Clover and rye came up nice but the deer never let the turnips get barely out of the ground. Does anyone ever use bio-logic. Wanted to use it next year?
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Re: food plot ????

Postby shawboy87 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:15 pm

cotton patch how is that clover doing putting nitrogen on it??? They tell me not to put nitrogen on my clover because it makes its own nitrogen. On clover they say only 0-20-20 or something with no nitrogen thats the first number. Just wondering how that nitrogen was working with that clover?
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Re: food plot ????

Postby gtk » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:34 pm

i know from first hand experience, that nitrogen will kill a mature clover plot :W:
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Re: food plot ????

Postby FireCloud » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:30 pm

The problem with using some commercial mixes containing various kinds of seeds is that the different varieties of plants may have entirely different needs. Because companies manufacturing seeds for sale have no idea WHERE they will be planted, WHAT kind of soil they will grow in, HOW MUCH water, sunlight, and nutrients they will received, typically all the kinds of seeds in a bag of commerical mix will be purposefully designed to grow under different conditions. Thus, the theory goes "If one type seed does poorly, another seed having completely different requirements may do ok." This logic helps insure that at least something comes up and grows.

But it makes it nearly impossible to correctly fertilize the seeds and make ALL of the varieties in the bag grow well. Basically, I would fertilize the clover to meet its particular requirements and not worry about the rye grass. You cannot hardly kill rye grass once it gets established no matter what you do regarding fertilizer but clover is a different story.

In the future, you can avoid this issue several ways. One is to have seeds mixed for you that have similar needs and which grow well under your conditions. Many reputable seed companies will gladly mix seeds any way you want and sell them to you.

Another way is to divide your plot into two or more areas and separate the different kinds of plants. This allows you to grow all the varieties you want to offer the deer and still be able to fertilize each of them correctly. It also allows you to better monitor the deer feeding preferences so that you can plant more of what works the best and less of what the deer don't eat as well.

A third way is to test your soil (you should do that anyway) and identify a single variety of deer browse that the deer eat readily and which will thrive under your conditions. Then just plant the entire plot in this single seed variety, thus greatly simplifying your plot management requirements.

In my opinion, buying a commercially prepared bag of seeds containing several varieties with vastly different needs is the WORST way to plant a food plot. It is also usually the most expensive in the long run, as the commercial mixes tend to be higher priced and because some seeds may not germinate or grow under your conditions, wastes money on unsuitable varieties.

I buy bags of the seeds that I want to plant in bulk from the local co-op and "roll my own" by simply mixing them as I desire. Much cheaper and better in the long run!
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