How to Plant Wildlife Food Plots

Overview

Establishing a wildlife food plot requires planning. According to Ohio State University, you must decide what type of wildlife you want to attract with a food plot. Another question to ask yourself: Is this food plot going to be used for hunting or observation of the animals? Types of plants and the timing for seed planting are different for each species of animals and forage. Consult your local agricultural extension service for forage crops that will supplement foods for a wide range of animals.

Step 1

Collect soil samples from the food plot site. Walk in a zigzag pattern across the field area. Dig random soil samples at depths of 6 to 8 inches deep. Mix the soil together in a bucket. Dry the soil. Take the sample to your local agricultural extension service for analysis. Results generally take two to three weeks.

Step 2

Remove as much of the ground vegetation as possible and break apart the upper topsoil by attaching a disc cultivator to a tractor. Run the equipment over the field.

Step 3

Broadcast the recommended fertilizer and agricultural lime to the food plot area based upon the soil test analysis.

Step 4

Incorporate the nutrients into the soil by operating the disc cultivator over the field.

Step 5

Broadcast seeds over the field using the spreader. Types of seed and application rates are found on seed-package labeling.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep wildlife food plots away from roads or other vehicle traffic areas. Food plots within sight of vehicle traffic will encourage poaching of the wildlife feeding on the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Disc cultivator
  • Tractor
  • Soil test
  • Fertilizer
  • Agricultural lime
  • Food plot seeds
  • Seed spreader

References

  • Ohio State University: Establishing Wildlife Food Plots
  • University of Tennessee: Growing and Managing Successful Food Plots (PDF)

Who Can Help

  • Mississippi State University: Wildlife Foods
  • Oklahoma State University: Wildlife Food Plots (PDF)
Keywords: attract wildlife, wildlife forage, feed wildlife

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.