Several years ago I made an attempt at a summer/fall food plot. I knew what needed done, but did not have the right weather, equipment or time to get it done. That being said I ended up a mess and only about 1/16 of the plot came up, but the deer did like it. (it was gone in less than a week).
Fast forward two years and here we are. I decided back around the the 4th of July that I wanted to plant a fall food plot again this year. This time we have the right kind of weather, and I was able to carve out the time to do it correctly(at least up to this point). I am planting 3 small areas and I have planted something different in each area just to see what the deer do, and do not like. It total the area I am planting is almost 1/2 of an acre. Not a huge area, but certainly big enough to give the deer in the area a viable food source for the next 3 - 4 months. I have broken the area up into two larger areas and one small area. I went through a serious of steps in these 3 areas to help ensure these food plots would be successful.
I first got two bottles of the Roundup concentrate each made up about 5 gallons once mixed with water. I sprayed the smaller area first, and after it had died off I sprayed the next area and so on. Since everything starts to die within about 24 hours I could go back and hit missed spots normally the next day. So after about a week everything was dead and I raked the area to get the dead weeds and grass that was loose out of there. then waited about another week for everything to be fully dead.
Step 2 was I tilled the entire area, never realized how much tilling 1/2 of acre was, well until it took me 6 straight hours of tilling to get what I wanted, which was mostly just the weeds broken up and a good 3 - 4 inches of soil tilled (Pictured Below). I had success! Man that sure was a lot of work, I need bigger equipment next time!
My next step was to wait for the forecast to call for rain so I could plant. On July 31st 2013 I planted with the forecast of rain that night and/or the next day. We had some great rain the following day which helped out a lot and I was glad I got it planted that night and I did not wait.
In the three areas I planted 3 different types of seed. In the smallest area I planted some old seed I had from 2 years ago (which I didn't know if it would come up). That seed is the Evolved Harvest Throw and Grow which I purchased then at Bassrpo. This was a no till seed, but I wanted to give it a fighting chance which is why I tilled the area anyway. This was the problem 2 years ago, I didn't get enough of the weeds and grass out of the plot and it choked out the food plot and took it over.
In the 2nd biggest area I planted PlotSpike® Quick Stand No-Till Forage Food Plot Seed which I purchased at my local Tractor Supply,
Finally, in the 3rd and biggest area I planted a combination of the PlotSpike® Quick Stand No-Till Forage Food Plot Seed andWildgame Innovations® Clover Rage which I also Purchased at Tractor Supply.
I decided between the 3 different areas something would have to come up, and the deer would like one or all of the 3 different types of plants. From everything I have read up on food plots these deer should love everything that is planted and I am excited to see pictures we get over the course of the plots life.
I will admit I did skip one important step which I decided to ignore which could come back to bit me. That was I should have had soil samples done to determine what needed done for optimal growth. That and I could have added lime to the area before planting as well to help balance the PH in the soil. I had the goal of making sure these plots were planted by August first and I ran out of time to do these steps. Again, this is suggested if you are planing a good food plot, and it could come back to bite me that I decided to ignore it but hopefully not.
Pictured below is what the 3 areas look like 7 days after planting.
You will notice in the last picture above that the far back left corner of the picture still looks like mostly dirt. That is the plot where I planted the old seed from 2 years ago, the soy beans that were contained in it and one kind of clover is coming up but only some of them so the plot will have to be planted with the other seed for it to fully fill in. Otherwise the other two plots are growing very nicely and are now an inch or two high and within another week or two these plots should really start bringing the deer in ( Hopefully!) :-).
Well hopefully I will have trail cam pictures in the near future to share with you thanks to these plots.
Did you plant a food plot or have suggestions for my food plots? I would love to hear from you!