This can be a very tough subject to talk about because of the many levels of food plotting. But I get more questions on what options hunters who do not have access to heavy equipment or a 4-wheeler have. There are tons of seed companies out there that have great plotting seeds. But in the hunting industry the two most popular are Evolved Harvest and Bio-Logic. You can’t turn on a hunting show without seeing one of these two industry giants. Evolved Harvest has several no till formulas available for sale that can be planted in the spring or fall of the year. Most of which will come packaged in a 5lb bag that will cover 1/4 acre or approximately a 25yd by 50yd patch of ground. This is an ideal size for a nice personal plot within bow hunting distance. Their throw and grow line is one of the most popular seeds on the market with hunters today from their original Throw and Gro ($15.99) which is a combo of ryegrass, forage clover and brassica mixed in. They also have Throw and Grow Extreme Radish ($21.99) which has everything that the original has plus the addition of a great late season draw: Radishes. A fairly new addition is the Throw and Gro Extreme Oats ($13.99). Oats, clover and brassica all mixed together is a great all round seed.
Now to address the name - Throw and Gro. You can just throw it out on some bare ground and get some growth. But you will have a tremendous amount of better luck if you take the time and prepare the seed bed beforehand. At the very minimal, you should clear your intended area of any rocks, log, weeds that you can. A weed eater, machete, rake and a spray bottle with weed killer is your friend. You want to make sure your seeds have every possible chance to make contact with the soil. If you can go through the area several days in advance of planting with some Round-up or something of the same category. It will make the job of weed eating 10 times easier. Then you can Rake the area clean before planting. Also before planting, take a look at the weather and if possible try to place the seeds out right before a nice soaking rain. The rain will help push your seeds to the desired depth of about 1/4 inch or so under the surface. Remember this basic - if you do everything as above you will get modest growth. The better plants will come if you apply the right amount of fertilizer and lime to the soil. A soil test is the proper way to figure out how much of each you need to apply. It’s not as hard as you may think. You can go to your local MFA or COOP and they can get you going or there are plenty of websites available such as www.plantbiologic.com or you can subscribe to a magazine like Farming For Wildlife. Any of these will give you loads options for your new food plot. If you do not want to do a soil test then most of the company's will recommend you use 75 lbs of 13-13-13 Fertilizer and 500lbs of lime per 1/4 acre. Which in most cases is a little more then you need.
BioLogic has countless seed combos on the market but two of my best and most attractive to deer food plots every year is Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets $21.99 and Maximum $19.99. Both come standard in 2.25lb bags that will cover a 1/4 acre. These are not no till formulas. So tilling is the proper way to get the most out of these two seeds. I know some of you are thinking. I need to get a Tractor or ATV. It is nice having access to them but here is a cheaper trick to get you by. There are a lot of company's small and large that for a small fee you can rent a very nice rear tine tiller. Yes a tiller. Think of it as gardening for deer. As long as you already have the area clean of debris and mowed. A 1/4 acre plot will take no time at all to till up. A tiller gives more options on how to plant. I like to divide my fall plots and plant two different types of plants like the maximum in one and sugar beets in the other. Plants like these are a dual purpose plot. You get that early push where they are eating the green tops of the plants and then later in the year when everything is getting thin they will start digging up the big root bulbs and beets and in turn allows you to have a great late season food source. After your plants get to about 3'' in length, I like to go back and spray BioLogics M.E.E.N Green Fertilizer on them. For $24.99 you get a 15-40-5 mix that comes in a 5 lb bag that will cover up to 1 full acre. By mixing 5 oz of Meen Green with 1 gallon of water you will be well on your way to a much healthier food plot.
To Be Continued
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