Sunday, April 26, 2009

Creating a Food Plot Start to Finish: Prepping Your Plot

Creating a Food Plot Start to Finish: Prepping Your Plot

...continued from two previous posts.

You know have sampled your soil, got the soil results back and have the nutrients ready to be applied to your soil. Now what?

Here is the fun part....depending on the size of your plot, you can do this with an ATV and some equipment that can be rented. If you have a larger plot, you will need most likely need a tractor, again you can rent most of this equipment so don't break the bank on a new John Deer, at least not until you realize this is something you plan to do a lot of. I am a frugal person so this is a minor soapbox.

Start by marking your boundaries, either with lathe sticks or posts. This is simply to stay organized and to make sure you measure again and cover your plot with enough nutrients and plot mixture.

If using an ATV or tractor the next tool you will want to use is a cultivator. You can often rent a cultivator at an equipment rental store or even your local implement dealer. I have found it to be very easy to start from the outside boundary and work your way in. This makes it easier to stay within your set boundaries. Another tip I have is, if you have the ability to lower or raise the discs, start the plot by breaking about 3 - 6 inches first to see how many rocks are at the surface. This will allow for you to save the cultivator a few chips and saves you from a little whiplash. Again, if you are using a tractor most of these issues are alleviated so plow away.

Once you have cultivated the area in depth of about 4 - 6 inches, you will want to take another pass over the top of the soil by raising the cultivator. This will take what has been dug up and loosen the soil for easy dragging.

If you haven't guessed, now is the time for dragging the plot. This create a smooth plot and even planting. Most cultivators will come with a drag, if they don't, again you can rent one of these.

Your plot should now be ready for nutrients...give your nutrient time to soak in so you are going to have to water and soak your nutrients or wait for rain. April and May is a great time to lay nutrients, it will give you June and July to lay your seed.

You are very close, next post I will talk about different seeding and crop options.

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