Food Plot Management—Crop Growth And Wildlife Guidelines

Food plot management can include soil testing, adequate planting and property upkeep, and consideration for the whitetail deer that reside on your land. These steps will support the balance between crop growth needs and wildlife security.

Soil Testing

Soil compaction or rocky surfaces that contain mixed soil components can impede crop growth. Soil testing is a preliminary step that is critical to the success of a plot. Loose dirt that does not contain rock fragments will allow water to infiltrate evenly into the ground.

Soil testing should be performed along the entire expanse of the area where a plot will go. This may require you to use flags or stakes to mark the outer edges of the plot. A testing kit will outline how many soil samples should be taken and provide distance variables that will dictate where the soil should be collected from. If soil variables are unfavorable, a treatment product that is designed to add or remove chemicals can be added to the land. This type of product will provide the soil with a pH level that will support crop growth.

Planting And Property Upkeep

Always consider the size of the seeds that you will be planting. Miniscule seeds should be planted just below the surface of the ground. The energy that seeds will need to expend will make deep planting processes ill-suited for the new food plot.

Land that won't be accessed on a daily basis may require the use of a timed irrigation system. There are drip and spray systems on the market that can either be installed above or below ground. Property upkeep will require mowing around the plot and harvesting crops at targeted times. Since weed growth could occur as a direct result of weed seeds winding up inside of the plot, using a mower that contains a bag attachment may be best-suited for grass cutting.

Wildlife Support

Wildlife support involves providing whitetail deer with dense foliage and ground covers that they can feel secure walking through or resting on and under. Deer will seek solace in an environment that contains natural materials that they are accustomed to.

Wildlife should be supplied with drinking water, especially during dry seasons. An open trough-like container can be used for this purpose. Wildlife support should include monitoring what the deer have been consuming and cutting back overgrowth that could prevent the animals from being able to access fruits and vegetables within the plot.

Contact an organization that offers information about food plot management to learn more.