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>>GRANT: Recently, we’ve shared the results of The Release Process™ and the Summer Release blend in larger, what I call, feeding-size food plots. One was here at The Proving Grounds, and one was at my friend’s place, George, in Texas. Man, both of those looked awesome, feeding a lot of deer, attracting a lot of deer, and suppressing weeds.
>>GRANT: But what happens if you apply those same techniques with hand tools in a small food plot? This is a little hidey hole food plot. Gosh, it’s, you know, you can see it’s almost bow range. I’ve tagged some deer out of here.
>>GRANT: And we’ve shared this spring how we planted this just using hand tools. We terminated the last crop, the Fall Release from the past year, with herbicide – glyphosate. And then just broadcast this Summer Release blend in here using the hand seeder.
>>GRANT: And, you know, when we’re doing that, we try to put about half the seed going one way and half the seed going the other; so we get good coverage, and it looks like we’ve got great coverage in here.
>>GRANT: Now it’s not as productive as the big fields. You can see the sunflowers have been removed. Most of the beans and peas have been removed – I see a few.
>>GRANT: And the seedheads, they’re not as big as in the big plots where they’re getting full day sunshine.
>>GRANT: But I’m still giving this an “A”. I call it great success because seedheads are starting to fill out. Man, they’re going to be great. Now, you know, you wouldn’t put a combine in here. But here’s the magic. These are going to be ripe right about the start of season before acorns, even early, as the white oaks are hitting the ground at least here at The Proving Grounds, and probably on most properties.
>>GRANT: That time of year deer are seeking carbohydrates. They’re going to be in here just hammering these milo heads.
>>GRANT: It’s like having a feed tree. We’ve talked about a feed tree before. You find the only white oak making acorns in an area. Well, you want to put your blind right there.
>>GRANT: Well, we want to have a blind right here because this is going to be like the only white oak tree dropping acorns for way around us. And the bucks are going to be feeding right here.
>>GRANT: Now there are other things in here. I see a little sunn hemp right in front of me and some hubam sweet clover. Deer don’t tend to eat on it much, but it makes a large amount of nitrogen and, of course, it’s suppressing weeds. There’s a little bit of collards down in here.
>>GRANT: So, the species are here. They’ve browsed the more palatable ones a lot. And you’re thinking, “Well, you’re not feeding deer here.” But you’re right. This is less than a tenth of an acre.
>>GRANT: We didn’t plant this to grow big antlers. We planted it to suppress weeds and have an attractant, so we’ve got something that’s really attractive to deer that’s not anywhere else in the neighborhood and that’s right here.
>>GRANT: Another huge advantage we got out of this, of course, the hubam clover and the sunn hemp they’re both legumes. They’re pumping a little bit of nitrogen in the ground for the fall crop.
>>GRANT: It’s a small food plot. We could broadcast some fertilizer in here. But why pay for it when you can get it? And we’re suppressing weeds. I see almost no weeds in here – certainly not enough that I would come use a herbicide. So, I’m just gonna let this keep maturing.
>>GRANT: And then, here, about August 15th or so, and when there’s a rain in the forecast – don’t forget we need rain in the forecast – we’ll come in and broadcast seed. As this is drying up and allowing more sun to get to the soil, that Fall Release will just germinate in here really well. And I have a combination of grain that’s already been produced and those new greens coming on. It will be a super attractant for deer.
>>GRANT: So, if we spend just a little bit of time, we use a backpack sprayer, whatever, terminated that fall crop and any weeds that might have been in here. There probably were some weeds because it’s a small area and deer are browsing on it hard. Broadcast, just, you know, ten minutes worth – broadcast this Summer Release blend in here.
>>GRANT: That has worked awesome to suppress weeds and improve the soil quality. It fed a few deer. That’s really irrelevant when you’re talking about a tenth of an acre. It’s just not enough pounds. But making a great attraction for the start of hunting season.
>>GRANT: Suppressing weeds and improving the soil, well, that’s saving me money. And then having this grain here, you can bet somebody’s going to be hunting here really close to opening day.
>>GRANT: I’m constantly learning and tweaking on blends. And I’m kind of thinking I’m going to take what I learned out of several plots like this, not just this one, and create a summer blend just for small plots.
>>GRANT: We’re not trying to attract deer. We know they’ll browse it quickly. We’re trying to suppress all weeds and improve the soil’s health and produce something that’s going to be attractive to deer opening day.
>>GRANT: You know, by working throughout the whitetails’ range and constantly experimenting, we can really fine tune these blends and make it where they work in every situation.
>>GRANT: If you’re still not convinced and you’re looking at this, saying, “Uh, I don’t think it’s worth my time, Grant.” I want to take you down the mountain, get on another ridge, show you another food plot about this same size where we didn’t plant.
>>GRANT: We just let last fall’s crop mature. It probably lasted into May, maybe early June. And I want to show you the difference between this and that little hunting plot and let you decide if it was worth the effort.
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>>GRANT: I’m standing in another hidey hole food plot here at The Proving Grounds but this one looks much different. Now, last fall I had a fall blend in here and, of course, one of the species was cereal rye. Gosh, you can see it got, you know, almost six feet tall, probably taller throughout here.
>>GRANT: But just as a test I didn’t do anything. I mean, I just let this mature. I haven’t sprayed it, I haven’t crimped it, nothing. So, you can see some standing, some laying over.
>>GRANT: If you look around, it kind of looks like a bad spray job. There’s a lot of brown. There’s some clumps of green in there. And it did a pretty good job of just suppressing weeds, just the volume we had in here that grew, you know, this spring. The deer browsed it down. It starts bolting in the spring, puts on a lot of tonnage.
>>GRANT: So, again, this is less than a tenth of an acre, and very few weeds. So, if you’ve got a really good fall crop that’s got the appropriate blend, you could do this. Now, you’re going to have to come in here with a herbicide and treat the weeds.
>>GRANT: The primary one I’m seeing is goosegrass. It’s not a bad weed, but it makes a gazillion seeds. I’ll show you that in a second. I would rather have something growing here that’s been producing grain all summer, something that’s going to attract deer. Boy, opening day of deer season, and suppressing weeds than having this.
>>GRANT: Now if we’d have crimped it, it likely would have done a better job of suppressing weeds because we’d have created that weed mat.
>>GRANT: Another negative is, of course, green plants are living. They’re pumping carbon in the soil. And carbon is the most limited resource for a plant.
>>GRANT: We’ve talked about nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. But plants are about 70% carbon. And you get carbon in soil. You take it out of the air and get it in the soil through photosynthesis. And dead plants don’t photosynthesize.
>>GRANT: So, I just did this in a small area as a test – kind of a – I guess an illustration or demo area. And we showed it to you. We probably won’t ever do this again. Let’s go back to this footage. But, left it here. Nothing for the deer to eat; nothing coming on for that early hunting season.
>>GRANT: Now we can, of course, plant it. We’re going to have to use a herbicide because, of course, weeds are going to come through. And we definitely weren’t improving the soil. It takes living plants to improve the soil.
>>GRANT: So, big difference between this plot and the plot we were just in. I strongly prefer the results of the other plot. We’ll herbicide this, get it planted and won’t do this again.
>>GRANT: This is goosegrass. I don’t know if they call it that because maybe that looks like a goose’s foot. But all these little fringy things are making seed by the gazillion. So, this – and I didn’t get them all off this one little thing here. So, making that many seeds.
>>GRANT: Now the advantage we have – you have very small seeds like this. This is smaller than even a – a clover I would plant. Very small seeds. And those go on the ground and then you’ve got a really thick layer of mulch like we’ve showed you several times.
>>GRANT: Well, those will get warm in the spring and germinate but they won’t have enough onboard energy – the energy stored in that seed – to get up through all the mulch and be able to make leaves and photosynthesize. And if they can’t photosynthesize, they starve to death. So, not too worried about this.
>>GRANT: If this was really bad like pigweed or something, I’d be really upset. We’ll come in here and herbicide this pretty soon because the – the seeds are still green. They’re not hard, they’re not mature yet, so, we’ll knock this down and be ready to broadcast the Fall Release blend.
>>GRANT: Now, I’m sure a lot of folks are sitting there saying, “Ah, I’m not using no herbicide. I’m just gonna mow it.” Well, you know, for mowing, most grass species are not terminated from mowing. Think about your yard or other places. You’re just setting them back; you may keep them from making viable seed.
>>GRANT: But if you mow this and you, say you cut it right there, you’ve just got that stem. Well, that’s a real small area for a herbicide to hit. And most of them, like glyphosate, they need to land on leaf surface area. They want to land on the big surface of this leaf. And that’s where you get termination.
>>GRANT: If you mow this all off, and it’s got a thousand little stems sticking out there, you probably won’t get a very good kill. If you’re going to use a herbicide, it’s much better to go ahead and spray over this and hit all this leaf surface area than it is to mow it and then try to treat it.
>>GRANT: I like these comparisons that are, you know, really close together, same year, same property, same rainfall, same cold days, same cloudy days, all that. I like that because it’s a great way for me to learn and hopefully share with you.
>>GRANT: Man, I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy Creation. And more importantly, I hope you take time every day to be quiet and seek the Creator’s will for your life.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.