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Can you guys give me a step by step approach to this i have a thick area need ideas.....selecting an area.........when to round up....when to clear.....what to plant....when to plant...how big.....etc.......
thanks>>>----neal----->
 

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It would take pages and pages to explain. Get the book or there are many good DVD's out there too. Check out Deer and Deer Hunting. Lot's of good info out there.
 

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YIKES! That is a monster question.

Here is a thread I started this past spring that takes a crack at addressing your question.

I have done a similar process in my inside plots by clearing the land with a dozer during X-mas, liming and working a very similar process of planting.

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showthread.php?t=223112

Send me a PM if you would like to get some ideas and help. Koz
 

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We cut our plots out of some heavily weeded and overgrown area's on our property and here is what we did. Keep in mind that we were under the gun as far as time was concerned and we skipped a few steps along the "normal" path to creating a food plot.

We decided back in July that we wanted some plots for this year. I bought some Green Patch Plus seed from Biologic and started asking a few questions on here to get a game plan together. Here is what we came up with.

1. August 2nd -- We already had a pretty good idea where our plots were going to be. I had bought some weed killer, surfractant (sp) and two sprayers. We mixed up a batch of pretty strong killer and gave the whole area (we did two plots at once) a good healthy dose of weed killer. Our two spots are probably a bit more than a quarter acre total.

2. August 24th -- Headed back up to see if our efforts had done any good. We were pleasantly suprised at the progress. 85-90 percent of the sprayed vegitation was either dead or just about dead. We had initially planned to rake the plots before spraying again but ended up just mixing up an even more potent batch of chemicals and spraying the area's again.


3. September 6th -- Back up again, this time we had rototillers, rakes and seed with us. The sprayed area's were 99% dead so we didn't bother spraying any more. We used a mix of leaf rakes and garden rakes to get the debris off the plot before tilling. The dead weeds raked off quite easily and exposed quite a bit of dirt. We then did a quick run with the tillers to loosen up the soil. Back in again with the rakes to get any sticks, rocks etc that were turned up by the tillers. After that we tilled them at least once more, we weren't tilling deep but we wanted everything to be loosened up and turned over. Once we were satisfied with the way the soil had been worked we "dressed" it with the leaf rake. The leaf rake did a good job of smoothing everything out and creating a nice seed bed. Once the seed bed was set we used a basic seed broadcaster (the kind you push and walk behind) to spread the seed. We had every intention of broadcasting fertilizer over top of the seed but due to time constraints we ended up not getting any fertilizer.

This is what one of the plots looked like when we came back after the 2nd spraying:


This is the same plot after the initial raking but before any tilling


This is our other plot as it looked when I was seeding it



4. September 20th -- I headed up to check our plots out to see how they were doing. We got some good rain up there one week after we seeded so we were hoping they had started to pop. What I found was about 3-4 inches of growth on the wheat and the clover was just starting to pop. The smaller plot came in thin, which we feared it might because we thought we had under seeded it, so I went up to the elevator and bought some clover seed and broadcast it by hand throughout the plot to hopefully thicken it up.


This pic was taken 12 days after seeding and only 3 days after the first good rain since seeding. When I was up on the 20th the growth was a bit better than this. I assume that it is growing pretty quickly right now.





We didn't fertilize this year, or lime this year, which are both things that we plan on doing next year. This year we were in a hurry and did the best we could with the time, money and equipment we had available. It was all manual labor and we slept good after all the tilling, raking etc but there was a definite sense of reward when I saw the growth in the plots and the trail cam pics of deer already checking them out.
 

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Clover seed performs best if the PH is above 6.5 depending on the variety you are using. If the PH is too low, you will likely get germination, but it will not survive, and you might end up with a total failure.

Clover also takes at least a year to grow enough forage to be able to be browsed. It performs best in year 2 and 4. Wheat is a good call in this type of a planting, and it will likely perform well for you. Rye would also work.

If you are lucky and have a high PH, you might get a good growth of clover, but will likely have a strong weed growth in the spring, since you tillied all of the weed seed into the soil and are not hitting those seeds after germination, with herbicide, before you planted your clover seed. It will be critical then to battle the weeds to keep the clover going. If your PH is not right, the weeds will win that battle. Buckwheat might of been a better option in this method as it acts as a herbicide, but I have no experience with is.

Hope all works out well for you.
 
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