By Brandon Wikman
Wildlife food plots are a key part of building bigger and healthier animals. Whether you are planting chicory, alfalfa, clover, or perhaps turnips, you must know that a plant must have an assortment of resources to reach its maximum growth.
A seed must have proper soil, fertilization, minerals, pH levels, and an adequate amount of sunlight in order to thrive to its full potential. If you happen to lack in any particular area mentioned above, you are not only cheating the groceries in your food plot, but also short changin’ your consumers – deer, turkey, and other wildlife.
Plants must have the essential ingredients in order to provide your wildlife the best nutrition available. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your time. Whitetail deer digest the plant matter in order to grow larger racks and beef up their bone structure. Food plots that lack in any specific category will counteract against the animals consuming it.
A food plot must have an adequate amount of sunlight to survive. However, too much is actually not a good thing. If your plot experiences more than 6 hours of harsh sunlight, it is apt to grow thirsty and dry. Shade or a tree canopy becomes an unsung hero in this case.
Soil testing is one of the most important steps before spreading any seed onto the ground. You must figure out your properties pH level to uncover and nutrient deficiencies. After you acquire your pH level, you may want to spread lime and fertilizer to increase the maximum potential of the seeds’ growth.
Secondly, another critical asset you must understand is the size of your food plot. An important step before planting your food plot is deciding how exactly big it should be. The average plot most outdoorsmen allocate to wildlife may range from ¼ acre to ½ acre. In most cases, size matters, however size does not comply in this case.
A strong and healthy ½ acre of groceries is a lot of great forage. In fact, it can produce up to two tons of forage in simply one year if you take the necessary steps in assuring your soil is up to par as well as your other variables.
Large and expansive food plots will only increase cost, time, maintenance, and efforts without truly benefitting the deer herd in a way that is worth your while. As you also may realize, whopping food plots are extremely tricky to hunt considering all the space it occupies decreases your odds of getting into range with a bow and arrow.
These tips are a basic outline of what you need to know before, during, and after planting season. This week I will be finishing all of my food plots in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. I can’t wait for this fall already.