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No till food plots


Junior Member
Dayton, Ohio
Many of us find ourselves wanting to plant food plots, but don't have a tractor, plow, disk, etc........

A used tractor that runs will cost someone 3-4,000+ plus implements. A new 4-wheelers is 5-8,000. After it's all said and done you can easily have 8-10,000 racked up in equipent. Then you have to store it etc. For most of us working class folks making an average wage, that means no food plots right? Not exactly.

There is what I call a "no till" method. When I mean no till I'm not talking about a no till drill commonly used by farmers. I am talking about no till overseeding. With a little prep work, sweat and the proper seeds we can have great looking food plots. Here's what you need........

1) back pack sprayer ($50)

2) Glyphosate (1 gallon $40).

3) Time and energy (free)

4) spreader ($20)

5) of course your seed

For this to work you will be limited to fall food plots because you will be spending the summer months spraying. Which IMO is no big deal because deer have so much to eat in the summer months anyways.

Here's the steps.......

1) end of May- Spray before weeds get too high

2) End of june- spray

3) end of july spray

4) August plant (spot spray before planting can be done the same day)

Now what seeds will grow on top of the soil? Several different types will. The most common include........

1) brassicas (turnips, rape and radishes)

2) All clovers

3) Cereal grains (especially winter rye)

Yes it can be that simple. Spray, spray, spray and then plant. The key is MOISTURE. Try and plant/fertilize the day or so before a rain and up your seeding rate by 50%. For example, when planting brassicas with normal tillage I usually plant around 6-8# per acre. When no till overseeding I'll up that to 12-16#. Rye with normal tillage is around 50#, I'll up that to 100#. Clover is around 8-10# I'll up that to 16-20#.

I tried this a couple years back on some trails. I sprayed several times and then planted the trails to rye and clover in august. Now my trails are knee high in clover and lush weed free. In fact they look better than my clover plots that were tilled.

Think about it, everytime you work the soil you are bringing new weed some up to germinate. By killing off the existing weeds your seeds can grow with no competition whatsoever. This won't work with every type of seed. Stick to clovers, brassicas, rye, wheat and even oats. I like to plant a mix of rye, oats clover and then a mix of brassicas.

Make sure to start spraying in May before weeds get too high. If you have a thatch when planting that is fine, leave it! It will help to hold moisture next to the ground. The seeds will find their way through it.

Next year I plan to do this with an over grown 4 year old clover patch that is currently 6 foot tall in weeds. I'll start spraying after turkey season and plant it in august to a mix of rye and clover.

For those of you with a bush hog, you could actually do it now. Mow, wait a week, spray and broadcast seed. For those of you without a bushhog it is imperative to keep up on your sprayings throughout the summer.

When using a BP sprayer use around 3-4oz of gly per gallon water. This will kill anything it touches, even hard to kill grasses.


Junior Member
Dayton, Ohio
I will try and post some pics of my gasline plot located on the N end of the property. I am actually doing a no till overseed method on it right now. I tried frost seeding clover on it but the weeds took over. The gasline runs the entire width of the property, but I will only be planting a section that is about 75 yards long x 10 yards wide on a nice flat spot (the rest of the gasline is hilly). I sprayed back in late June and I sprayed again about a week ago to hit the spots I missed ( which wasn't many). I just picked up some rye and wheat seed from the local grain mill. I'll try and watch the weather and plant right before a forecasted rain. Due to the shade factor on this plot, brassicas are out of the question. However, cereal grains like rye and wheat will do fine in this situation. Literally I will go in there in about a week or two spot spray and broadcast the seed. The rye cost me $17.50 per bag (it went up....probably because they knew I needed it) and the wheat was $9.50 per bag.