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Horny D
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If all you had was a small suburban tract with about 1/8-acre of open grass that you could till over and turn into a food plot, what would be the best thing to plant? With the limited space and the fact that this will likely be the only food plot in the immediate area, I'm not looking to manage anything or try to grow big bucks. I'm just looking for a good feeding alternative to what otherwise might be found in a suburban area, so that it might be a nice attractant while I'm out hunting the early bow season. There is already plenty of clover around, for instance, so I'm looking for something different that deer really like to eat.

What should I go with?
 

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I'd probably plant brassicas like rape and turnips since you're operating on such a limited acerage. These plants produce a lot of forage and are really high in protein, so IMO they would probably give you the most bang for your buck.
 

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Preferred pronoun-Stud Muffin
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Problem with such a small area is that if the deer REALLY like it, they'll destroy it within weeks. Beans are an example.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, you just have to plant often.
Make sure you put out a salt or mineral block... that's something they don't find in the flowerbeds.
I've got small plots. After the initial kill of the grasses, I've just kinda scratched in or disced in various things as the seasons go round. Wheat and oats grow easy. Beans will sprout with a rain when it's warm. Red clover is not as plentiful as you may think.
Brassicas so far have been a bust, but I'm counting on them learning about them!
Right now I've got wheat/oats with turnips and beets mixed in.
 

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If your herd size is fairly small, I'd go with beans with a well prepared seed bed and plenty of fertilizer. If you've got a fairly large population, clover.
 

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Horny D
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[rquote=1480454&tid=103499&author=jaytee]If your herd size is fairly small, I'd go with beans with a well prepared seed bed and plenty of fertilizer. If you've got a fairly large population, clover.[/rquote]

Okay, the deer herd seems to be fairly large, so more clover then. Like I said, there is already a bunch of it around, but I suspect it's the native type. Should I go with a certain type of clover or does it matter? Also, there's another 1/8-acre of open grass that I can till up as well, but it's awfully close to the house. If I did both areas, they'd be about 500 yards away from each other. Should I go ahead and do both areas come Spring?
 

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Jenny's Lackey
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[rquote=1480610&tid=103499&author=Detrhoyt][rquote=1480454&tid=103499&author=jaytee]If your herd size is fairly small, I'd go with beans with a well prepared seed bed and plenty of fertilizer. If you've got a fairly large population, clover.[/rquote]

Okay, the deer herd seems to be fairly large, so more clover then. Like I said, there is already a bunch of it around, but I suspect it's the native type. Should I go with a certain type of clover or does it matter? Also, there's another 1/8-acre of open grass that I can till up as well, but it's awfully close to the house. If I did both areas, they'd be about 500 yards away from each other. Should I go ahead and do both areas come Spring?[/rquote]

You could always try alfalfa. It's expensive though & needs the right soil condition.

For a fall plot, winter rye is hard to beat. Super easy to grow & can be browsed heavy & still survive.

As for clover, for the most part, clover is clover. I typically plant a mixture of ladino & red. Same stuff the farmers plant.
 

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wheat, because in a 1/8 ac opening you are going to have a very hard time growing anything. Plus if the deer complete eat all the wheat it is easy enough to just go scratch the ground and throw more wheat out and in a week you will have more wheat growing. Don't plant anything expensive, because the deer will find it no matter what and when they do they will eat it all, and there is no point in paying a bunch of money for such a small area to plant to only have it barely come out of the ground before it is eaten and don't amount to even a plot. Also, if this area is so small; have you considered how much light is going to get to it, in terms of adequate lighting to grow anything??
 

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Horny D
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, and finally, what kind of preparation measures do I need to take? Is there anything I can do now to facilitate planting come Spring? I could probably start tilling as the ground isn't frozen yet, but do I need to disc in some lime as well?
 

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Horny D
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
[rquote=1480639&tid=103499&author=Woodchuck]wheat, because in a 1/8 ac opening you are going to have a very hard time growing anything. Plus if the deer complete eat all the wheat it is easy enough to just go scratch the ground and throw more wheat out and in a week you will have more wheat growing. Don't plant anything expensive, because the deer will find it no matter what and when they do they will eat it all, and there is no point in paying a bunch of money for such a small area to plant to only have it barely come out of the ground before it is eaten and don't amount to even a plot. Also, if this area is so small; have you considered how much light is going to get to it, in terms of adequate lighting to grow anything??[/rquote]

Yep, both spots should have plenty of light. The one near the house is definitely open enough, and the other spot has wildflowers and grasses there, so I'm assuming the light is adequate in both areas.
 

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my deer seem to prefer oats. i will say that just because there is clover already in the area that if it's in one solid patch i would expect them to hit it pretty hard. a lot easier to browse a 1/8 acre patch than hunting around looking for it in peoples yards or where ever else you have it in your area. they will stage on your food plot and move to the neighborhoods after dark to eat shrubs, acorns, etc.
 

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Horny D
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think if I can get both areas tilled up, I'll go ahead and put clover on the one near my stand and maybe something else at the one closer to Dad's house. Make a little experiment out of this endeavor... Is it possible to mix wheat and oats and have them grow together in the same plot?
 

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Yea you can mix ww and oats. If that is what you plan to do on one or both spots I'd spend the summer spraying a couple times w/roundup then scratch the soil a bit and broadcast in early to mid sept. In your original post you said there is grass currently growing so I would concentrate on killing that before I planted anything. Assuming it is fescue it will likely out compete anything you plant if it isn't killed first.
 

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Horny D
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
[rquote=1481139&tid=103499&author=nastyjack63]Yea you can mix ww and oats. If that is what you plan to do on one or both spots I'd spend the summer spraying a couple times w/roundup then scratch the soil a bit and broadcast in early to mid sept. In your original post you said there is grass currently growing so I would concentrate on killing that before I planted anything. Assuming it is fescue it will likely out compete anything you plant if it isn't killed first.[/rquote]

Yes, it's fescue in the middle with other weeds and wildflowers around the edges. They put a sewer access cover there years ago and that's probably why there's grass there now. I'm wondering if I were to use a soil neutralizer to kill the grass if it would be suitable for growing as soon as this Spring.

Thanks for all the replies on this...
 
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