While several southern states have recently passed legislation to allow for legal baiting for deer, having several food plots are always a good idea. You don’t have to be an expert to have a nice successful food plot. Just follow some basic rules and you’ll have no problem.
- Location, location, location…always try and find a suitable plot location close to existing trails or near bedding spots. If possible, a location with as little slope as possible to avoid seed wash if a heavy rain occurs. Having a location with as much sunshine as possible also helps. Try to choose a location that is not visible to neighboring leases or roads helps keep wandering eyes and potential trouble at bay also. Remember food plots don’t have to be very big or square. Following the natural contour and features or the land with a slimmer profile may be better than one large field.
- Probably the best starter advice is to take a couple of soil samples to your nearest county extension service to evaluate your soil needs. They can advise on lime and fertilizer suggestions to make sure you start off with the right soil conditions.
- Seed choices are dependent on your general location. Again a phone call to your county extension agency can be beneficial in having the best chance of choosing a plant that grows the best in your area. Also take a ride around your area and determine what local crops are planted by farmers. For example, if there are hundreds of acres of corn, you may choose something entirely different such as turnips, radishes and clover, because they can be used long after the corn and soy have been harvested.
- If possible, spray any existing vegetation with a herbicide to kill off any weed and grass growth then disc or till several times to kill remaining vegetation. It goes without saying that choosing a planting day shortly after some light rain and before any forecasted heavy rain will help seeds germinate and take root before any wash off potential. Probably the biggest problem most newbies make is planting seeds too deep. Most seeds perform better with only ¼ inch of dirt on top. That’s about the basics, now you’ll only need some cooperative weather of moisture and sunshine to do the rest. Happy Hunting!
Be sure to check back in next Tuesday for more tips from our expert staff and pro staff from around the country.