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Anyone have a recommendation for a no till, shade to semi shade food plot mix?

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  • Anyone have a recommendation for a no till, shade to semi shade food plot mix?

    Every few years I get the urge to toss some seed along the trails and sight lines I keep clear in the woods behind the house. I've had varying results, and am willing to clear some open room so it at least gets some sun, and rake the seed in.. but no more.
    Anybody have a fall blend that's worked for them? I have no recommendations partly because I don't even remember the name brands or mixes that I've used in the past.. and marketing is marketing.

  • #2
    Alyce clover is somewhat shade tolerant and will grow no-till if you sow it right before a rain, but go a little heavy on the seed to make up for what doesn't sprout. It's pretty hardy stuff and will volunteer in diminishing amounts in subsequent years.

    Japanese honeysuckle is quite shade tolerant, but you have to plant the individual seedlings, then keep it pulled down out of the trees as it grows to sunlight. Deer absolutely love it. If you have some old fence rows, that works great. Very hardy stuff.

    Didn't think about this until later, but don't be surprised if what ever you plant doesn't get eaten to heavily. It has been my experience that the plants really need the sun to mature or fully develop and may not taste great to the deer. I've had some real pretty stands of wheat and oats go virtually undisturbed on woodland roads, while nearby plots get eaten down like putting greens. This is not a scientific study, but an observation that I've repeatedly noticed. I wonder how those daikon radishes, or some of the brassicas might do??? Best of luck with your planting and kudoes on your good stewardship of the land.

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    • #3
      Clover is about the only thing I know of that will grow in the shade.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd agree that clover would be the best bet if you want to plant something. You might be better off just setting up a feeder though...we have been using feeders in front of trail cameras past year or so and it really helps catch pictures(I am new to the trail camera frenzy). Just have to remember to take them down before any seasons open up, but depending on the size of the food plot you are wanting to plant much of it would be eaten/dead by the time hunting seasons and winter roll around.
        -
        And from my experience if you do plan on planting a food plot, make sure you do it right the first year. That way it is just minor tilling and trimming to replant the next year etc etc. We tried "half-assing" some food plots in hard to access areas, and it just never worked out very well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JM1993 View Post
          I'd agree that clover would be the best bet if you want to plant something. You might be better off just setting up a feeder though...we have been using feeders in front of trail cameras past year or so and it really helps catch pictures(I am new to the trail camera frenzy). Just have to remember to take them down before any seasons open up, but depending on the size of the food plot you are wanting to plant much of it would be eaten/dead by the time hunting seasons and winter roll around.
          -
          And from my experience if you do plan on planting a food plot, make sure you do it right the first year. That way it is just minor tilling and trimming to replant the next year etc etc. We tried "half-assing" some food plots in hard to access areas, and it just never worked out very well.
          One possibility is to simply throw out some 13-13-13 along the sides of the road to encourage the natural forbs and grasses.

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          • #6
            Perhaps a mixture of turnips and clover? Both are shade tolerant and the two should compliment each other as the clover would provide fall graze and the turnips are more of a late fall/winter food source as they don't "sweeten" until after a freeze.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by country road View Post
              Alyce clover is somewhat shade tolerant and will grow no-till if you sow it right before a rain, but go a little heavy on the seed to make up for what doesn't sprout. It's pretty hardy stuff and will volunteer in diminishing amounts in subsequent years.

              Japanese honeysuckle is quite shade tolerant, but you have to plant the individual seedlings, then keep it pulled down out of the trees as it grows to sunlight. Deer absolutely love it. If you have some old fence rows, that works great. Very hardy stuff.

              Didn't think about this until later, but don't be surprised if what ever you plant doesn't get eaten to heavily. It has been my experience that the plants really need the sun to mature or fully develop and may not taste great to the deer. I've had some real pretty stands of wheat and oats go virtually undisturbed on woodland roads, while nearby plots get eaten down like putting greens. This is not a scientific study, but an observation that I've repeatedly noticed. I wonder how those daikon radishes, or some of the brassicas might do??? Best of luck with your planting and kudoes on your good stewardship of the land.
              Never knew that about the plants possibly not maturing. Interesting.
              As far as good stewardship? It could also be thought of as "twisting to my own purposes."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JM1993 View Post
                I'd agree that clover would be the best bet if you want to plant something. You might be better off just setting up a feeder though...we have been using feeders in front of trail cameras past year or so and it really helps catch pictures(I am new to the trail camera frenzy). Just have to remember to take them down before any seasons open up, but depending on the size of the food plot you are wanting to plant much of it would be eaten/dead by the time hunting seasons and winter roll around.
                -
                And from my experience if you do plan on planting a food plot, make sure you do it right the first year. That way it is just minor tilling and trimming to replant the next year etc etc. We tried "half-assing" some food plots in hard to access areas, and it just never worked out very well.
                It's not a bad suggestion, but I can't do a feeder. Admittedly it's parsing hairs, but it never quite feels right to me. Plus our 'no baiting' rules include an 'at least 30 days prior to the hunt'. Now.. on the one hand a warden has to provide proof that their had been bait in the last 30 days, vs me saying there wasn't, and there wouldn't have been. BUT having talked to a few WCOs after I'd seen them at odd times at odd locations leading up to the season, the issue is that people call in bait locations early. Come the lead up to and during the season, the WCOs will periodically investigate the locations where they got reports of bait over the summer. I don't need anyone repeatedly tromping up to my stands pre and during the season just to be sure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Seems like everyone is on the same page, and the Throw and Grow fits the bill.
                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JM1993 View Post
                    I'd agree that clover would be the best bet if you want to plant something. You might be better off just setting up a feeder though...we have been using feeders in front of trail cameras past year or so and it really helps catch pictures(I am new to the trail camera frenzy). Just have to remember to take them down before any seasons open up, but depending on the size of the food plot you are wanting to plant much of it would be eaten/dead by the time hunting seasons and winter roll around.
                    -
                    And from my experience if you do plan on planting a food plot, make sure you do it right the first year. That way it is just minor tilling and trimming to replant the next year etc etc. We tried "half-assing" some food plots in hard to access areas, and it just never worked out very well.
                    Yep, I get it. I believe it is only 14 days prior here, but the feeders for us are strictly for off season pictures. From my limited year or so experience, deer will associate a feeder with a safe area even when no food is being let out. Something to remember in the future. We have food plots, but the feeders help "condense" deer for pictures, haha.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PigHunter
                      Bought two bags of Throw & Grow last week. I'll wait until early September to plant. This will be my first time using this product.
                      Yep, I'd say something like this would be perfect for jcarlin. I might pick up a bag of this stuff also just to test in an area that would basically be impossible to get a tiller into.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a 3,300 acre hunt club our food plots are 50'x50' We all use a JD tiller set-up for most of the 29 members 40 in all but some don't hunt but help out with planting and loading pole corn feeders, we use Harvest Alfalfa seed as the deer come in and eat it grows back. and we are a QDM 6pt or bigger.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PigHunter
                          Bought two bags of Throw & Grow last week. I'll wait until early September to plant. This will be my first time using this product.
                          is a good point. I do have a walk behind tiller that I can get across the creek basically to anywhere I want. I wouldn't want till till a field with it, but a couple thousand sf of total area would be the work of a morning... but I'm lazy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by country road View Post
                            Alyce clover is somewhat shade tolerant and will grow no-till if you sow it right before a rain, but go a little heavy on the seed to make up for what doesn't sprout. It's pretty hardy stuff and will volunteer in diminishing amounts in subsequent years.

                            Japanese honeysuckle is quite shade tolerant, but you have to plant the individual seedlings, then keep it pulled down out of the trees as it grows to sunlight. Deer absolutely love it. If you have some old fence rows, that works great. Very hardy stuff.

                            Didn't think about this until later, but don't be surprised if what ever you plant doesn't get eaten to heavily. It has been my experience that the plants really need the sun to mature or fully develop and may not taste great to the deer. I've had some real pretty stands of wheat and oats go virtually undisturbed on woodland roads, while nearby plots get eaten down like putting greens. This is not a scientific study, but an observation that I've repeatedly noticed. I wonder how those daikon radishes, or some of the brassicas might do??? Best of luck with your planting and kudoes on your good stewardship of the land.
                            Honeysuckle is a fence line pest around here. I don't see it often in areas with full shade and am hesitant to spread any more around as it is notorious for pulling down fences that you haven't checked in the last month. My place isn't big, but I don't walk with an eye to repair as often as I might.

                            Comment

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