Blends and individual seeds are guaranteed and meet all the requirements and specifications of the US Dept of Agriculture. Each package lists the percent breakdown of the seed varieties in each pack. Each package is attractive for the customer, and contains information such as site preparation, planting instructions, plot maintenance, fertilizing, mowing, etc.
Planting Food Plots
One acre is approximately 200? x 200? or 43,560 sqft. Planting trails, a 16-foot wide trail, ? mile long roughly equals one acre. If the soil is not cultivated, or you are seeding over an existing food plot, without tilling under, it is recommended you double the seeding rate.
Site Preparation and Planting Instructions
The better prepared your seed bed, the better your results will be. Your food plot needs moisture, sunshine, properly prepared soil, fertilization, a proper pH level, calcium and other nutrients if you want optimum results. If your plants do not have the nutrition obtained from proper growing conditions, they will not provide that potential trophy buck with the nutrition he needs to get big. If you want to attract that trophy buck and hold those turkeys and ruffed grouse on your trails, soil preparation, planting and moisture are crucial to your food plot?s success.
Soil Testing and Fertilizing
Prior to fertilizing and planting your food plot site, it is highly recommended you have the soil tested if you want optimum results. You can purchase a do-it-yourself test kit at most hardware or lawn and garden stores, or have this simple test done by your county extension agent to reveal your soil?s acidity level. The soil test will tell you how many pounds of lime per acre you need to use. A pH in the 6.5 to 7.5 range is recommended.
Spreading lime on a plot helps neutralize soil acidity, which, if too high, will stunt or kill the root systems of clover and alfalfa. Both plant varieties are intolerant of naturally acidic soils. The best time to spread lime is just before tilling or cultivating in the spring of fall so that it mixes well into the soil. It can be spread at any time, however, not just when spring or fall plantings are made. On larger plots it pays to use finely ground agricultural lime spread by truck or tractor. On smaller plots where road access may not be available, bagged lime pellets ? also called dolomitic lime ? are a good alternative, however it is more costly then ordinary lime. Once lime is spread you will not need to add it again for 3 or 4 years. If a soil test cannot be done, we recommend applying up to 1 ton of lime and up to 300 lbs of 10-10-10 fertilizer of equivalent per acre.
Cultivating and Planting the Site
We recommend you break the ground and cultivate your soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. If you have heavy sod or an abundance of competing weeds, it is not a bad idea to use an herbicide such as Roundup before you plant your site, to reduce competition for available nutrients in the soil.
Once the seedbed is prepared, you are ready for planting. This mix contains preinocluated seed, which ensures better germination and a faster start. The seeds in this forage blend are small and do not need to be fully covered in a properly prepared seedbed. The seed can be either drilled into the soil or broadcast. We recommend broadcasting it, and then lightly pack the soil using a roller or an ATV to get good seed-to-soil contact. If your site does not have a nice soft seedbed, after broadcasting the seed, drag the site with an ATV before packing it with the roller.
If seeding over an existing food plot that is dying out, or if seeding sites that have not been cultivated such as trails, dragging the site several times to expose the soil is adequate as long as good seed-to-soil contact is insured. Never cover the seed with more than ? inch of soil.
Moisture is critical if you want your food plot to survive. The soil needs to be moist when planting, with a reasonable expectation of future rainfall if your food plot is to establish itself and flourish. Without soil moisture, your plants may become stunted or not establish themselves at all. Once they are established, they are drought resistant and hardy, but they need to get established first. These perennial and annual forages are cold climate plants and can be planted in either the spring of fall anywhere in the country as long as there is moisture there for them to get established.
Maintaining Your Food Plot
Mow it! If your deer cannot keep up with the growth of your food plot, it is beneficial for the food plot and your deer to mow it once or twice a season. The new growth, which is generated by the mowing, is tender, nutritious, higher in protein, and is preferred by the deer, grouse, and turkeys. If you mow it once during the year, do it in late July or early August. If you mow it twice, do it in early-July and again in late August. Do not mow it any shorter than 8 inches!
It is also recommended you fertilize your food plot at least once a year.
If your perennial food plots are properly planted and maintained, they should remain very productive for 3 years and should not need to be replanted for up to 5 years.