-By Randy Cooper
It's mid-August and the heat is unbearable. The past 8 days in Georgia have been over 100 degrees. And, to top it off, with the drought we've had most of the spring and into the summer, there is a rain deficit of over 18 inches. The last thing I want to do is bake in the sun, but as the old saying goes, "No pain, No gain." It's hard to grow anything in weather like this. We're less than a month away from opening day of the season and we need to make sure our food plots are coming up.
Let's take a few steps back and see what I have done so far this summer to get prepared. First, I picked out my food plot locations. I then cleared openings using my tractor (my buddies use dozers and bobcats). One of the most important steps was taking soil samples from several locations within each plot to get a respective sample of the area. I sent my samples to the closest Agriculture Department for an analysis. They recommended the addition of lime in order to bring my PH level to 6.5-6.8. Some people choose to spread the lime themselves, but sometimes it takes literally tons of lime to make a difference. The addition of lime takes up to 3 months to affect a real change but its well worth it.
The first of August brought scorching temperatures, but I had to rake and disk the soil in my food plots. I spread a good fertilizer like 10-10-10 and then turned it under again.
Now that my soil is prepared, I'm going plant shopping. Next week I'll cover what to plant and the use of annuals and perennials that both deer and turkey can benefit from.
Keep practicing with your bow.