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Backyard Food Plot

Brett Morris

PMA Member
Hey Guys. My wife and I just bought our first acreage (which our home and shop are situated on). We have acres and acres of solid timber bordering our yard and want to put in a nice sized foot plot for hunting and watching deer. Having never done a food plot Id love to hear any/all advice.

I'd like to put in a brassica/turnip plot for late season but am open to suggestions on what to plant too! Currently it's mowed yard, and is almost entirely clay/light brown dirt. I'm assuming I'll treat it the exact same as normal and start with a soil test? I'm sure it's going to need all the help it can get to produce results out of poor soil.

Any advice on when to spray/kill the existing grass, when to disc or till, spray again, seed, etc would be fantastic! Has anyone had really good success with a plot on poor soils?
Here's a photo: I'd like to locate the plot in the lower left hand corner of the yard. Maybe 1-1.5 acres in total. Thoughts, ideas, and suggestions welcome!
I've been following the dbltree rotation 20 yds out my living room window for several years now and the deer love it. It really brings the does in anyway. The bucks dont usually use it too much until after dark. I've never done a soil test on it but I have very sandy soil. I fertilize well and keep it watered with the sprinkler. It's maybe a 1/4 acre. I would get the grass killed asap. Till it under after maybe a week. Then spray again in late july. Fertilize, till, and plant your turnip/radish mix in 45% of the plot. The beginning of September, plant the rest of the plot in the rye/clover mix. The next spring, leave 10% of your plot in clover and rotate the rest between turnip/rye mixes. Probably wouldnt hurt to put down some pelletized lime if you dont do a soil test, but like I said I have had good luck without either.
Being yard (sod) I would nuke it with gly and burn it when it gets brown. It will make things much easier to get a good seed bed. From there the options on what to plant are plentiful. Soil test is a great idea. $10 test can save you hundreds. Good luck.
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