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Old 03-01-2012, 11:26 PM
Tater Tater is offline
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Default Plots in sandy soil

All of my food plot experiance has been in the Piedmont in clay.

I have a new place in Taylor County Georgia. The soil is sandy. There are lots of openings, some have been planted before but lots of areas for plots.

I have heard that lime leaches out of this sandy soil so it will require more than the clay I'm used to.

What can you folks advise?

Stick to oats, wheat, rye, and clover?

Anything that I need to know about sandy soil plots???
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:53 AM
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hrcarver hrcarver is offline
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A few things will go faster than your clay. You could possibly need lime every year, but likely every other year. The good news is that it will not take as much lime to change the pH as it does a clay soil.

Your N will be gone after a couple thunderstorms. Do not apply more than 50 units of N in one application, it will not hold it.

P will stick around pretty well.

You could probably benefit from twice a year potash(K) applications.

Also watch the sulfur, I'd rate it between N and K in the speed it leaches.

Basically, you can not "bank" most nutrients like you can on better soil.

I'd stick with annuals to start with, if you can just a little organic matter in the soil it will go a long way.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:21 AM
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I was thinking about trying to get 2 plantings of Buckwheat in the best areas this summer to try to get some manure in the soil.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:52 AM
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banc123 banc123 is offline
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Have you tested it yet ? Thats up there in Central west Ga, not too far to the NE is GREAT Ga soil. I'm SE of there and while sandy, in some areas, some are still thicker than I was used to before. I limed in 2009 , pH was 5.5 and its remained 6.5-7 with a few 400 lbs / acre added each year at spring planting.

I'd test it and see how low your P/K is , base saturation and what your CEC really is. I don't limit myself to anything when the conditions aren't a drought state. Thats one issue with the more sandy soils is they dry out quick.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:24 AM
broom_jm broom_jm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tater View Post
I was thinking about trying to get 2 plantings of Buckwheat in the best areas this summer to try to get some manure in the soil.

It's hard to beat BW for increasing the OM in light soils and the stuff will grow just about anywhere it can put a root down. You can probably double-crop it before planting a fall/winter mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by banc123 View Post
Have you tested it yet ? Thats up there in Central west Ga, not too far to the NE is GREAT Ga soil. I'm SE of there and while sandy, in some areas, some are still thicker than I was used to before. I limed in 2009 , pH was 5.5 and its remained 6.5-7 with a few 400 lbs / acre added each year at spring planting.

I'd test it and see how low your P/K is , base saturation and what your CEC really is. I don't limit myself to anything when the conditions aren't a drought state. Thats one issue with the more sandy soils is they dry out quick.

Definitely get a soil sample so you know what you've got to work with. Also, don't till in your fertilizer like you would on most soils; apply it to the surface and cultipack, either with your seed or in a separate operation. The idea is for the rains to wash the fertilizer down TO your plant roots, not all the way out of soil. As you build up the OM there will be more particulate matter to hold nutrients, making it more effective when you apply lime and fertilizer. Just keep in mind that it will always BE sandy soil, so don't forget to keep planting those green manure crops on a regular basis.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:59 AM
RJ in LA RJ in LA is offline
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As the others have said get a soil sample first!! I have some really sandy soil in southeast Alabama (at least 2 ft deep) that has grown some great crops with proper care. Adding the right amount of lime if needed and not tilling too deeply has worked best for me. I have used sunn hemp, and buckwheat for summer plantings and rye, red clover (or crimson), and hairy vetch for winter plantings and all grew very well in deep sand. If possible no-till or use minimum tillage to try to build organic matter and save soil moisture because sandy soil will dryout much quicker than clay soil. As others have mentioned you should soil sample every 2 or 3 years on sandy soil to know how much of your soil nutrients are being used.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:12 AM
welka welka is offline
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We are in NW MS and have lots of sand, beach like sand, and even cactus! We have found that once you get the pH to 7, you can hold it there for about 3 years and then need to bump it back up. Totally agree on the N loss as fall annuals yields suffer from not enough N as I never seem to have time for multiple applications. Have tried a bunch of different types of plots and here is where we ended up after 5 years of experimenting:
- 50% of plots are perennial durana (switched over to all durana over time)
- spring annuals - couple plots in iron clay cow peas and couple in forage beans (50-75#/acre). These plots need to be at least an acre to survive.
- BW works good in spring for preparing for a fall clover plot (100#/acre)
- Corn is a must for us to compete with neighbors in late fall for preferred food source. Have 2 corn plots in central of property.
- Fall annuals are rye, radishes or turnips. Make sure any bow plots have rye as deer won't hit turnips/radishes until late Nov-Jan.
- If clover plots get spotty in fall, overseed with 50#/acre rye and spot apply clover for lush plots in spring and next fall.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:50 AM
CaveCreek CaveCreek is offline
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Sandy Soils:

Do be afraid to try ANY of the Winter/Small Grains... but go ahead and always include Winter Rye as a good portion of that mix. The others will work but Rye has the advantage on the sandy soil.

As for other cool season forages; crimson clover and vetch are both also better adapted to their counterparts.

The key: Don't be afraid to experiment with other things, but do so wisely...
Now a days what I like to do is rather than just set up exclusion cages for analyzing use of the planted forage, I also use them specifically to keep deer off of trial plantings of species/varieties I'm not yet sure will work.
Doing this will give you better knowledge for future plantings.
Plant according to rule book, but also don't be afraid to test AGAINST the grain.

Warm Season:
Cowpeas! They just work well (long as you have enough acreage to work against heavy animal use). They are suited for sandier soils, and more acidic soils.

Your main issue with the sand, the top of the soil dries out much more rapidly, so basically smaller seed are a bit more difficult to get germinated (in absence of good rain) and keeping shallower rooted species alive can be a challenge as well. Rainfall conditions are the determining factor there each season. Given the the shallow rooting of white clover, it may or may not for you as a perennial. But the odds are against on sandy soils during the summer.

As others have mentioned: Fertilizing will have to be more regular. Anything you can do to build additional organic matter, will only improve future production on a sandy soil.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:34 AM
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Thanks gentlemen!

We have lots of work to do, but I am excited about this new place.

All existing plots were limed heavy 2 years ago.

Going to try to get 2 plantings of buckwheat on the existing plots this summer. May try some Sunn Hemp too.

We have a field that is over 10 acres. I am planning to do some tropical corn mixed with some Tyrone beans. Want to do some long (250 yards) strips of green in the corn.

Sounds like the other plots need to be rye (Wrens Abruzzi?) and some turnips/radishs, rape,...

One big plot will be mostly chufas for the owner.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:09 AM
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ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/NSSC/S...es/ga_soil.pdf


Boron is another important element prone to leach in low OM sandy soils. Applying 10 lbs/ac of a 10-14% boron product each 2-3 yrs as a guidline for general crops and perhaps each 1-2 yrs for legumes. Granubor is a prilled 14% boron product and can be mixed with your dry fertilizer. Fall planted clovers will help your soil, deer and turkey....either crimson + arrowleaf or a medium white clover....all managed to reseed before summer heat.

Surface residues will help hold moisture in sandy soils, but those same residues also have to fully hydrate before the soil underneath will hydrate. Veryify soil mositure status before planting with a shovel!
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Good white clover read: search for 'white clover'
http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/B1251/B1251.htm

Back-to-basics - fertilizer information
http://www.back-to-basics.net/home

Quality of Native Plant Forage Species Important to White-tailed Deer and Goats in South Central Oklahoma.
https://www.noble.org/global/ag/wild.../cdversion.pdf
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