I disked up 5 acres for a food plot yesterday, but won't plant it untill the first week of september.
It doesn't hurt anything at all to put in a mix of seeds. A bag of soy beans mixed with the wheat is what I normally plant. The soy beans are a legume and put nitrogen back into the soil that the wheat can use.
If you can get the wheat in the ground in the first of sept, it will be 4" high by the time bow season comes around. The deer will feed on it about the time it comes out of the ground.
Are you kidding? Cause I actually wondered. . . I figured it was closer to a million. But, heck, 167k sounds reasonable! My plot is 20 yards by 20 yards, so I figure between 1# of turnips and 50# of wheat, I will be doing good. Anybody know how much seed (number of #'s) I should put out in a 20x20 plot? I figure about 5#'s...
LOL!! I farm a "few acres" as well as put out food plots for the deer.
When planting for a crop, I put in 93 pounds of wheat per acre.
When planting for a food plot, I'll almost double that, as I'm more concerned with the amount of greenery the deer can eat, vs how many seeds are in the head at harvest. You can over plant, and have a negative effect.
You will need about 1/4 cup of turnips or less for a plot your size. They will over take the wheat, by shading them out if you put too much in. I'm sure you think thats not enough, but trust me on this. I've put out a pound of seeds on 8 acres and regretted it. The deer won't eat it anyway until there is a hard frost to turn the carbs in the leaves into sugar. Last year, folks that planted turnips saw no browsing, as it wasn't cold enough to make that happen.I'm not sure how your going to work the ground, but no matter if your going to till, plow, disk or what, get a bag of 46-0-0, and work it into the soil, the same day you plant.
You don't want to put it down on top of the ground unless there is a rain coming as the N part of the fertilizer can dissipate before doing anything for the food plot. You want it in the ground, so the nitrogen stays there, and gives the wheat a kick start. You don't want to plant just before a rain.
I've been answering questions like yours on a couple of other forums, so to save me some typing, I'll paste what I've told them:
Unless you have extremely sandy soil, its not a good thing to plant before a rain.
A couple of reasons.
It could rain too hard, and your seed and fertilizer will wash out of the plot, or worse, have standing water on it that will drown the seed.
Most modern wheat varieties can safely be sown at a one-inch depth, but many will not emerge when sown deeper than one inch into hot soils. If your seed bed is nice and fluffy, and you get some seeds too deep, they will go ahead and sprout, as they can push their way through the soft soil. If you get rain on the seed bed, and it dries quickly, it will turn into a hard cap, and not allow the sprout to come to the surface, nor the tap root to go down for moisture.
Hot soil conditions at sowing also reduce coleoptile length. The coleoptile is a rigid, protective structure that covers the emerging shoot to aid it in reaching the soil surface. Once the coleoptile breaks the soil surface, it stops growing and the first true leaf emerges. If the coleoptile does not emerge through the soil surface, the first true leaf emerges below ground, takes on an accordion-like appearance, and the wheat plant typically dies.
Some varieties of wheat can't be planted until October without a possibility of hot soil temperatures putting them into dormancy.
Wheat varieties like Jagger or Duster can be planted early, and are one of the cheaper certified seed wheats.
I hope this answered your question about the correct time to plant.
And my soils is EXTREMELY sandy... like beach sand with some vegetation on it. I won't drive down in it in my truck at all, but where I am planting is kinda in a draw where it seems to hold moisture better
You might be OK planting before a rain before that. Some of the problems with extremely sandy soil, is that it won't hold moisture.
If you get timely rains, you should be ok, otherwise, one might have to look at supplemental watering, and thats tough to do.
I have a small neck in the woods, that is sandy, and adjoins a wheat field. I pretty much do that area for fall food plots, as by the time spring harvest comes along, the stalks are dead.
Dennis what's your take on alphalfa? Over the years I've heard people say if they had one thing to hunt over it would be alphalfa. Alphalfa is a major harvest back home and that may be the reason Growing up I saw so many deer in the fields but I've hunted with others in other states and they have said the same thing. Have you ever planted any in a plot for deer?
Alfalfa is a great food plot crop that will sustain the deer all summer as long as it gets mowed on a regular basis. Lots of protien, etc.
Fresh, new growth is what the deer are looking for.
Two reasons deer look for fresh green growth, as they get 95% of the water they need from the food they eat. I lol when I see the "hunting shows" set up around water holes. Two years in a row we have had major droughts, and I have few deer tracks around the ponds that are close to drying out.
Yet there are tons of tracks around the feeder 100' away.
I have an area that I deer hunt that has an alfalfa field next door. Once there is a freeze, the alfalfa goes dormant, and browns.
They will eat it, but if a wheat field is next door, they will be there first. Why? Water in the leaves. Dry brown alfalfa has no water.
Well, Tuesday night I tilled, and put some wheat out. Its supposed to rain here on Saturday, and if it doesn't grow yet, I will re-seed later. I figure it will do pretty good though. Cross your fingers for me, cause I can't afford to buy corn this year!