Foodplot questions

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CRAPPIE_SLAYER
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2020/01/12 18:34:24 (permalink)

Foodplot questions

Done a lot of searching on the interwebs, but I figured I'd throw this out and see if anyone had some suggestions.

Bought a property last year that is about 20acres worth of wooded area. Its pretty much a ravine with a mix of hardwoods (cherry, maple, and a lot of dying ash) and hemlock. From my observations, there is a small group of resident does, but the woods seem to be mostly a travel corridor for many of the deer in the area since I'm bordered by open areas on both sides and I79 to the E. The creek bottom is fairly thick and the deer travel it regularly. There is a small opening maybe a 60yd radius that get a decent amount of sunlight (see the pics) that I am thinking about turning into a foodplot to give the critters some more feed and maybe add some attraction for them.

Here's where I am at if I want to do this. Don't have tons of money to spend on implements and such, but I'm not opposed to putting in the elbow grease to make it happen. Thinking about clearing out the downed limbs, trying to chop down the competing grasses, and maybe throwing some white clover down for the first try. My issue with clearing this area is with the creek nearby I really do not want to spray the existing grass with roundup. Anyone have any experience with eliminating the competition without the weedkillers? Any suggestions on what to plant in the bottom land?

Also, there are a few old apple and crabapples trees that I am thinking about trying to rehab and get them to be producers. Any tips on pruning some of these taller old trees that don't put off much fruit?

Anyway, that's what I have for now. Looking forward to any insight you guys might have.

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    anzomcik
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/12 19:35:45 (permalink)
    Pm sent
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    BloodyHand
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/12 19:38:44 (permalink)
    Kill it, Till it, and plant Biologic Perfect Plot. Add some chicory. Bucks cant resist it.
     
    BH
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    fishin coyote
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/12 21:01:45 (permalink)
    I too did a small plot that I wouldn’t spray. Clean up the brush and dead wood. Can you get a mower in there? I’d go the throw and mow method at 1st. Clean it up and just mow it a few times this summer and then around late August seed it with winter rye. The local critters will appreciate it and it will help build up the soil. Remember it’s a drawn out process unless you want to dump a ton of money in it.
    post edited by fishin coyote - 2020/01/12 21:06:38

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    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/13 07:38:47 (permalink)
    You say you don't want round up the area but, is a small, controlled burn possible?  Dry conditions in the early spring, slight breeze blowing right towards that creek seems like it would be a good set-up for a controlled burn.  Most likely need to call the local firefighting jurisdiction to get permission but it would really help with some of the initial work.
    #5
    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/13 11:07:53 (permalink)
    The key word being "budget" if indeed you need to control stuff like 'poison ivy" (which animals can/do eat) heavy under brush, etc then Roundup is not the best buy.

    I'll stand by "Farm Works" non-selective weed control concentrate for both effectivness and money. 2.5 gal concentrate at Tractor Supply. The weed/brush killer has the same ingredients as Roundup annnnd there is no need to buy "specially marked bottles" for select weeds like poison ivy.

    Carefully follow the instructons as the herbicide is what it says.."NON-SELECTIVE".

    For spot or close tolerance weed control place a soup can or styrofoam cup over the nozzle of the spray wand using a course spray. (course spray is generally recommended to minimize overspray in any condition) Placing a cup or can over the nozzle further limits overspray and will allow for spraying a 'weed' mixed in with the flowers. Another trick, if the budget allows, buy a sprayer having a "bubbler or foaming" applicator tip. Lastly but not leasely, for close application, us as little as pressure as possible. Hold the applicator tip over the target with valve open and slowly work the pressure pump.

    For ivy growing up and around trees, not a good idea to spray the tree trunk. Cut the vine at ground height and spray any ivy on the ground. Caution, dead ivy vine still contains the nasty oil. The trick is to stop the ivy from spreading.

    Under brush, ivy, etc must have leaves plus bushes and such should be minimal height or a second application may be required for effective control.

    Glyphosate is the key ingredient for weed control in most weed/brush killers and must be absorbed by the plant where it settles into the roots and prevents the plant from feeding keeping the plant from returning.

    Instructions say to apply at least an hour before any rain. Once the product is dry, it's safe & good to go

    HOWEVER, don't expect the area to remain weed free as seed and weed not yet sprouting will take over. Stupid weeds.

    Remember to read and follow all the directions & recommendations when using any chemicals.


    Mowing the area before the weed goes to seed is the next best solution. Of course, that's a constant job but over time, will prove effective.

    Crappie-Slayer, I'd like to recommend making any changes to your newly purchased parcel of land [congratulations BTW]. Be subtle with cleaning up and making any changes. Not that it may happen to you but I did something similar and the deer completely avoided the area.

    Cutting a trail is one thing but clearing the area caused problems. It's their house and they know, somethings up, when the furniture has been re-arranged.


    Before anybody panics about using non-selective herbicides, even near water. Stop by a local grain farmer and ask "what's on your fields"?

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
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    #6
    mr.crappie
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/13 16:04:26 (permalink)
    A novel idea that is being used in some areas around here that is completely safe,you do need a fence, is to buy or rent GOATS. Yes I mean 4 footed ones. I understand that they especially like weeds & poison ivy. They  used them at Keystone State Park & did a great job. Also I saw them being used at a couple of local properties. Then when you are done with yours you can have a Barbecue. Sorry my bad.  sam
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    Fisherlady2
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/13 17:40:11 (permalink)
    I am by no means an experienced food plot person, so please dont beat me up too bad for offering my thoughts on this....but for some of what you are developing I would seriously consider edging the area with berry bushes such as blackberry, raspberry and blueberry.  Once they get ahold they may keep the undesirables choked out. They can get pretty thick so mowing paths and edges should help.
     Along the same line would be adding apples and paw-paw trees and if you are experiencing swampy pathways or flatland areas a willow tree or two should aid in keeping it drier so 4 wheelers and mowers can get in there without cutting it up too bad. 
    You may be able to get a soil sample tested to see what nutrients may be lacking by your local Agricultural cooperative representative... this could save you time and wasted money by avoiding either wrong or unneeded fertilizer or lost seedlings if the soil isn't right for your chosen grasses. 
     I know you are targeting white tails, but the berry bushes should help with small game and bird life and the more rounded the habitat the better. Side benefit could be bee boxes and some great seasonal pies. 

    Edit to add: Maybe add a few oak or other nut trees around the area... check with game commission or local ag extension to see if there are any tree planting promotions going on right now. Sometimes saplings can be had for a lot less than what you normally pay through a greenhouse. Any 4H or Future Farmers of America group person should be able to help you find resources.
    post edited by Fisherlady2 - 2020/01/14 08:05:51
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    CRAPPIE_SLAYER
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/15 06:01:21 (permalink)
    Thanks to all of you that have taken the time to offer up your advice. I'm on vacation (work vacation...not so much fun) so I've been slow to reply.

    I really don't want to go the spray route, so I will be stuck with a sickle, weed eater, rake, chainsaw, and small tiller to try and clear the area. I had actually thought about burning it off, but don't know that I want to try that. The goat method....I had not thought about that. Most of what I am trying to get rid of is some sort of tall grass (3ft tall in the summer). I have no expectations of this being a perfect weed free field, just looking to add a little extra nutrition for the critters.

    The edges of the area have some thick cover including black / raspberries around about 25% of it, and some other sort of thick low growing bush covering much more of the surrounding area. Judging by my observations, the deer seem to be extremely comfortable traveling this area.

    I'm sure this could backfire and with me in there doing a bunch of work I could throw the deer off, but the area is already pretty open other than the existing grass, so its not like I'm changing the entire habitat. A couple years ago one of the properties bordering my parents got timbered pretty hard. I walked up about 20min after they shut down the saws and saw a group of doe already checking the area out. I think deer are somewhat curious creatures.

    Thats it for now. Time to get to work
    #9
    DarDys
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/01/15 07:53:35 (permalink)
    I had a similar situation — high grass on paths that needed cleared. I rented a walk behind brush hog from the local True Value for about $80 for the day and was able to not only cut that high of grass down to the point of being able to mow it from that point forward, but also made some quick work of some undesirable stuff like privit.

    The poster formally known as Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
    #10
    CRAPPIE_SLAYER
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 19:13:56 (permalink)
    Well, to self isolate and escape reading/listening to all of the recent doom and gloom in the news I finally spent the last 6 afternoons trying to get my food plot in order. Ended up being a larger task than I had planned on, but I hoping its all worth it. With nothing but some hand tools, a chainsaw, and my trusty weed eater I managed to get the area cleared of everything except some old apple / crabapples trees and another mystery bush I decided to leave. No herbacides, so hopefully I can keep the weeds in check with some frequent runs of the weed eater. Speaking of...the tribe all got together yesterday and gave me my new Indian name. Dances with weedeaters...

    What I started with...
    post edited by CRAPPIE_SLAYER - 2020/04/06 19:15:31

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    CRAPPIE_SLAYER
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 19:15:04 (permalink)
    Tools of the trade...

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    CRAPPIE_SLAYER
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 19:18:07 (permalink)
    And today I drug it all with some chain link fence and threw down a bag of clover/chickory mix I picked up. Hopefully the forecasted rain comes tomorrow and the seed takes. We'll see.....

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    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 20:36:03 (permalink)
    Looking really good..... Dances With Weedeater. 🙉

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
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    fishin coyote
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 20:41:01 (permalink)
    Looking good Mr Weedeater. The mystery bush in the middle of your plot is a bush honeysuckle. Noxious invasive cut it down

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    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 21:45:22 (permalink)
    Ehhhhh.... errr..... uhhhh.....🤔

    Maaaaaaybe think about cutting down Japanese Honeysuckle.

    https://www.whitetailsunl...ou-already-have.phtml/


    Whitetials Unlimited

    Having said this, honeysuckle leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds, are a preferred food source for deer, wild turkey, rabbits, quail, woodchuck, and song birds. Also, it serves as cover for many of these species.


    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
    #16
    fishin coyote
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/06 22:34:10 (permalink)
    BTDT big difference between Bush( Tatarian) honeysuckle and the Japanese variety. Ones a shrub the other is a vine 

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    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/07 00:00:26 (permalink)
    Thanks Mike, I didn't want folks thinkin all honeysuckle (though invasive) was a bad thing for wildgame foodplots.

    Deer do feed upon the berries of the bush Honeysuckle and for that reason it's said deer help to spread the shrubs.

    Bush Honeysuckle is said to easily resprout when cut so it's recommended, stumps be treated with a herbicide.

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
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    BloodyHand
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/07 15:45:12 (permalink)
    Looks good CS. Did you tamp the seed in with your 4-wheeler tires?
     
    BH
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    CRAPPIE_SLAYER
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/07 18:31:02 (permalink)
    Thanks everyone. Like I said before, hopefully its pays off and grows. If not ill have a better game plan for the next go 'round. I did drive the 4 wheeler over it some trying to set the seed, but I'm sure I missed some areas.

    Coyote, your reply made me go back and inspect said mystery bush some more. Upon further inspection and some reading i actually believe it to be a barberry bush with its needle like thorns, although I may be wrong. Regardless, it's still an invasive and I will most likely introduce it to the chainsaw.

    Also, whilst taking the dog for a short walk today I spotted something a ways out that looked like a shed lying on the ground. When I got up to it, it actually turned out to be a few weed stalks laid out just so that deceived me. Dismayed, I looks up and surprisingly there was a shed laying another 10yds out. I'm hoping the guys that dropped this off stops back in and sees me this fall👍

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    fishin coyote
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/07 20:45:15 (permalink)
    C Slayer, That’s a real nice shed hopefully you find the other side and he sticks around.   Autumn Olive would’ve been my second guess on the mystery shrub. 

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    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/07 20:50:22 (permalink)
    Cool, finding a shed antler like that, looks like a good omen to me.

    Keep us updated on your food plot.

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
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    BloodyHand
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    Re: Foodplot questions 2020/04/08 06:23:47 (permalink)
    Like I said before, hopefully its pays off and grows.
     
    It should grow. Unless your soil PH is way way way off. Clover and chicory take very easily.
     
    BH
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