Friday, June 10, 2011

Food Plots

As I said in my first post, we are doing all of our prep work on a budget.  The budget is "be as cheap as possible."  So we have to be very selective as to what we can do to improve the land.  We also have very limited access to areas due to the very dense hard woods we are hunting in.  The land has a good trail system, but not the kind we could drive a huge tractor down to till and disc land.  All of our prep work has to be done with normal hand tools or small implements that you would find around your house.  We do have access to an atv, but no tiller, disc, or sprayer.

All of that leads me to our first food plot trials.  Eric and I decided to do some self testing this year to determine the most cost effective way to get a food plot started.  To get ourselves started we took a trip to Fleet Farm for supplies.  It is a readily accessible store that does not require us to know exactly what we are looking to purchase before we get there.  We may have been able to find seed cheaper at a co-op or seed store, but not without knowing what we want ahead of time.  We also do not want to fertilize or put down lime for this first trial period.  After looking through the selections of product and price ranges, we chose Evolved Harvest No-Till Easy Plot.  A 15lb bag cost us $24.99 and it says it will cover 22,000 square feet.  The seed is a mixture of Tetraploid Forage Rye Grass, Forage Rape and Forage Clover.  We really have no idea what any of that seed really is, but it says right on the package that you can plant it in the spring for fall forage and there is no need for equipment.  

On the back of the package it says we should clear the area of debris, and spray for weeds at least once before putting the seed down.  Being that we are experimenting with how this stuff actually works, we decided we would start with the bare minimum and see how it worked.   Keep in mind these are 2-10'x10' food plots, not a 20 acre field.  The area we planted was a nice grassy opening in the trees that gets plenty of sunshine and plenty of water when it rains.  There was a very nice base of natural grass growing that we cut down as low as we could.  Than we raked the area to get the top debris off and expose some dirt.  Next we spread about 1/3 of the bag of seed over the area.  Here are some pictures of what it looked like before and after.

As you can see, we did not till and did not spray for weeds.  We will be going back in a week to see how it is doing.  At that time we will also be tilling a second food area and planting again so that we can compare the differences.  

If you have any questions or suggestions for us, we encourage you to write them in the comments section below.  

-Dennis LeMire

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