Summer is in full swing here in Oklahoma. And so is the rain. I am a month behind on food plot preparation and planting. And to my dissatisfaction, there is more rain in the forecast with no chance of drying out anytime soon. Since I can’t get in the field, today we’re going to go through the entire process of preparing the plots and planting them.
My first step in preparing my food plots is coming in with a burndown application of Roundup (Glyphpsate) to kill all the existing weeds. I then come in with a disc, rotary tiller or cultivator of your choice and till up the soil. I typically will work the ground 2-3 times depending on the amount of vegetation the field has. I like to wait a week or so in between tilling’s and a little rain helps out as well. The day before planting I like to come in and lightly disc and drag or harrow the plots to get them good and level for seed.
When trying to decide between the warm season plants it’s important to consider the size of your food plot area. Plants like corn and soybeans can be overgrazed and destroyed in high deer density areas if your plots aren’t large enough. If you have less than two acres to work with I would recommend going with a clover, preferably a Durana White clover. Which is in nearly every brand of food plot seed on the market. Once established durana is a fast-growing perennial that can withstand heavy browse pressure and persist for many years when managed properly.
When planting small seeds like clover I prefer to broadcast the seed over the prepared soil bed and then run a drag or culti-packer over the top to ensure good seed to soil contact. With bigger seeds like soybeans and corn, I prefer a drill or planter to place the seeds around an inch deep in the soil. Not everyone has access to large equipment like this so in this case simply broadcast the seed over the prepared soil bed, then come back through and lightly disc the soil to get seed completely incorporated in to couple inches.
Here in Oklahoma, the climate is not ideal for growing corn so I typically opt for soybeans and clover. Baiting is legal in Oklahoma so I typically throw out corn on the edges of my food plots for extra attraction. Soybean and clover also have much lower input costs because they are legumes (fix their own nitrogen) and they have relatively low nutrient requirements
So if you’re looking to provide a good warm season attractant and nutritious forage to your property it is time to start getting plots in shape. My plots have been sprayed, worked and fertilized and will be planted as soon as we dry up. Good luck out there and stay safe.