There’s more to creating good groceries for game than sprinkling seed on the ground and letting Mother Nature take over. Planting an effective food plot is a science—a craft that requires lots of planning and knowledge. A food plot expert, Mossy Oak’s Austin Delano shed some light on how to grow the best food plots possible on your property.
“This sounds simple, but it’s often highly-overlooked,” said Delano. “You really need to take the time to study your property and pick the right spot for a food plot. Most guys, especially those with limited open acreage want to plant their plots deep in the timber, but whenever possible, pick an open area where the plants will get good sun exposure. This is especially true for those fall and full-season food plots.
“You also want to pick and grow a plot that’s huntable. When planting each plot keep the prevailing wind direction in mind. It’s also a great idea to make sure that there are plenty of trees for a stand site or enough adequate ground foliage to brush in a ground blind. You don’t want to plant your plot and then discover it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible to hunt.
“The last major necessity and one that can’t be overlooked is soil testing. This needs to be done before your brain even starts thinking about what you’re going to plant. Get a soil test, get that soil amended and get it up to snuff. The most important thing on that soil test is the pH. This is the reading of the soils acidity or alkalinity level. Remember, fertilizers that you add won’t work near as well for you until that pH is brought up to a 6.5 or a neutral level of 7.0. Most planters don’t realize that a pH level of 6.0 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 7.0. So let’s say you have a soil with a pH of 5.0 and you add fertilizer. Well, those plants will only be able to use so much of that fertilizer, very little really, until that soils pH is brought up to more suitable level.”
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