Planting Food Plots in Pennsylvania for Hunting

Planting food plots is a lot of fun but comes with challenges and cost. One of the biggest challenges we faced was access to farming equipment. The first thing I did was have a soil test done to determine our PH and it came back at 5.9 not terrible but far from ideal for most food plots. I wanted to plant Durana clover because of its ability to withstand heavy grazing and outlast weed competition. Surprisingly the soil test only called for 10 pounds of potash per acre. But it called for around two tons of lime.

Because of not having farming equipment I used a herbicide called Compare-N-Save Grass and Weed Killer Concentrate from Amazon. it cost around $25 and will cover 25,000 ft. it kills pretty much everything. After killing the weeds I spread the clover seed and mowed the remaining dead grass/weeds in to mulch to cover seed.

Clover came very well in the spots it came in and not so well in the spots it didn't as seen below.

I am hoping that the clover will spread and come in fuller next spring. I might also frost seed some in the end of winter.

Besides clover we decided to do some brassicas. They do best with fertile high PH soil 6.5 to 6.8 so we limed, fertilized and tilled three different spots totaling about 3/4 an acre.

We are very excited about this brassica plot. It is remote and surrounded by woods on all sides the field was overgrown with dead weeds and was not being used at all by deer. My 3 year old boy was very excited to see the process and help. We had about 1/4 Rape 1/4 Kale and 1/2 Purple Top Turnips. The idea with our three brassic plots is to provide food for the deer when the agricultural fields have been harvested.

I don't intend to hunt directly over any of my plots, my plots are there to increase the nutrients to the deer by providing higher protein than other native food available as well as keep the younger bucks on our property of 80 acres so the neighbors don't mow them down. I will post pics later of the brassicas growing.

Below are some fantastic resources I used for gaining knowledge on food plots.
Can Food Plots Grow Bigger Bucks (New perspective on why to plant food plots not only as an attractant but to increase the quality of the bucks on your property.)

PA Game Commission Food Plot Article (Breaks down different plants used for food plots in a nice table with browsing preference.)

 QDMA Food Plot Page. 
(Great resource that lets you know required PH, planting time, sun requirements, and planting rates per acre plus everything else you need to know.)

Compares Oats, Rye and Winter Wheat (Great article with well done illustrations on good options for late fall food plots)

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