It’s no secret that planting food plots can greatly increase your odds of attracting desired wildlife. However, successful food plots regular planting and management. Here’s seven tips you consider;
- Asking the right questions - Answering some pertinent questions is the first step in successful food plot preparation. How many acres can you successfully manage? How much time can you commit, per week, to the plot’s success? How much money can you dedicate to the success of your plot? Are you planting food plots as a “quick fix” or as a dedicated management practice?
- Stay in for the long haul - If you are in for the long haul, you need plans for spring/summer food plots and fall/winter plots. This is crucial in improving overall herd health. If you are only concerned with hunting-season plots, you will have very different objectives. Either way, you must plan for the maximum output with your given inputs and follow correct food plot management practices.
- Test the soil - Start with a soil test; then apply the needed nutrients. This is really the most important part of the equation!
- Pick your plant - Pick plants that are best suited for your planting date. It’s hard to beat herbicide-resistant soybeans in the summer and bin-run wheat in the fall. But other options are available that provide better nutrition, especially under small acreages. If you choose to go the commercially available food plot route, pick a plant species concentration that is suitable for the environmental conditions (for example, soybeans in the summer and wheat in the winter.) You likely already know this, but many people do not.
- Always start clean - Disk or spray the desired area a week or two before you anticipate planting. Be sure your weed control is acceptable BEFORE you plant. Starting with a clean seedbed is a key to plot success.
- Control your weeds - Have a plan for weed control throughout the growing season. There are grasses, broadleaves, and nutsedge. You have to know the differences, along with treatments, for each class of weeds.
- Prohibit access to a small area - When you plant, always secure a game-retardant structure in the middle of your plot to prohibit access to a small area. For example, a 3-foot diameter piece of page wire that’s about 3 feet high. This will show the extent to which your plot is being utilized by the game and will help in making future management decisions.
These guidelines should help improve your hunting or wildlife-viewing success. Head to your local Stockdale’s to pick up all your food plot needs.