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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My buddy and I will have our first food plot, which is just shy of an acre this year in Eastern IA and we are at the point where we have sprayed and are about to disc/fertilize/seed.

We did a soil test and sent it into the Whitetail Institute and it said we should use 34-0-0 or 0-0-60 for fertilizer. That is for planting Imperial Beets and Greens. We are planning on planting a variety of things, with our primary goal being to have something available after crops are harvested because our property is surrounded by ag fields. Here are the other Whitetail Institute items we will be planting: Radishes, Winter Greens, and Whitetail Fusion. The Whitetail Fusion would be something for earlier season they might be interested in.

Here are my questions:

1) Can I simply use 13-13-13 as a general fertilizer for all of this? I would prefer to buy bagged fertilizer because it would be much simpler than going to our local Ag supplier and having them mix a special blend and put it in a big 6 ton cart and use the tractor to spread it on such a small plot. Any suggestions on ONE fertilizer for all would be great.

2) Do we disc in the fertilizer or simply use a broadcast spreader to drop it on the plowed dirt?

3) How soon after spreading fertilizer do we drop the seeds?

4) Can we plant all these items mixed together, or do we need to put one blend in one place, another in another, and so on?

I really appreciate any help you all can provide. Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the world of food plotting. A soil test is an excellent start and there is no sense in getting one if you are not going to utilize it. Otherwise you are just wasting money. Take your soil test with you to Ag store and they should be able to tell you how many bags of 34-0-0 or 0-0-60 you would need.

1- You could use a general fertilizer but I feel you will be wasting money on nutrients already available in your soil. Follow the soil test. For 1 acre, bagged fertilizer is great.

2- Disc in the fertilizer after spreading. This will minimize runoff and loss of fertilizer with rain. Also, you want the fertilizer down in the soil where the plants can use it.

3- We fertilize the day of planting.

4- Depending on the size of the seeds would dictate planting order. A bigger seed that needs to be down 1-2 inches should not be mixed with a small seed like clover and planted at same time. Plant your bigger seeds first and then lightly disc them down in or even drag a harrow over them to get them down. Then spread and small seeds and do nothing. Let the rain push the small seeds in. You could cultipack after, but I have good success letting the rain handle the seed to soil contact.

Good luck in your efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the world of food plotting. A soil test is an excellent start and there is no sense in getting one if you are not going to utilize it. Otherwise you are just wasting money. Take your soil test with you to Ag store and they should be able to tell you how many bags of 34-0-0 or 0-0-60 you would need.

1- You could use a general fertilizer but I feel you will be wasting money on nutrients already available in your soil. Follow the soil test. For 1 acre, bagged fertilizer is great.

2- Disc in the fertilizer after spreading. This will minimize runoff and loss of fertilizer with rain. Also, you want the fertilizer down in the soil where the plants can use it.

3- We fertilize the day of planting.

4- Depending on the size of the seeds would dictate planting order. A bigger seed that needs to be down 1-2 inches should not be mixed with a small seed like clover and planted at same time. Plant your bigger seeds first and then lightly disc them down in or even drag a harrow over them to get them down. Then spread and small seeds and do nothing. Let the rain push the small seeds in. You could cultipack after, but I have good success letting the rain handle the seed to soil contact.

Good luck in your efforts.
Thanks for the info. I just found another ag supplier that has the mix I need in bags, so that problem is solved.
 

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If you don’t follow the recommendations given you might as well just plant clover or grains and hope for the best.
What were their recommendations for lime ?
Without the proper ph of the soil any fertilizer applied will be of essentially no use except for growing weeds.
I would suggest doing a google search for articles and videos related to foodplotting/foodplots. There is lots of information to be had on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you don’t follow the recommendations given you might as well just plant clover or grains and hope for the best.
What were their recommendations for lime ?
Without the proper ph of the soil any fertilizer applied will be of essentially no use except for growing weeds.
I would suggest doing a google search for articles and videos related to foodplotting/foodplots. There is lots of information to be had on the subject.
I did find a dealer that had exactly what I needed in bags, so I will be picking that up. Whitetail Institute recommended 1250 lbs of lime/acre.
 

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I did find a dealer that had exactly what I needed in bags, so I will be picking that up. Whitetail Institute recommended 1250 lbs of lime/acre.
It will take that lime about 6 months to really start working well and it should be added ASAP. You can use pelletized lime that will work faster but it is pretty expensive.
 

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1250 pounds of lime per acre is not to bad at all. My 1st lime recommendation was 2 tons of lime per acre.
I fertilize when I have time and disc it in. I also drag it smooth. Maybe two weeks or so early.
I then wait for the forecast to be favorable and plant my plot. I plant 1/2 acre of WTI Tall Tine Tubers (aka turnips) and one acre of their Oats. I plant the turnips early along with 1/2 acre oats and then a few weeks later I plant the final 1/2 acre of oats.
 

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I just watched a video the other day that was showing the difference between planting brassicas with other plants and planting them separately. It has convinced me that they should be separated as they were really stunted when mixed but grew about 300% larger when planted alone. I had noticed in the past couple of years that my brassicas were not doing real good and suspected it was due to overcrowding.
 

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A little tip when planting brassicas or turnips, Mix the seed with a 50 lb bag of pelletized lime. With only 6 or so lbs of brassicas/acre, it is easy to go heavy at the start and find out you run out halfway or 3/4 thru plot. If seeded to heavy they will not produce like they should. The lime acts as a nice carrier that distributes the seed nicely so you don't overcrowd.
 
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