Spring……….flowers start emerging, birds are singing, and the earth starts to receive increasing amounts of energy from the sun. This energy leads to a rise in ground temperature which in turn prompts the onset of renewed plant growth. I love to get my hands dirty and there’s no better time than spring time. This is the time to plant!
Spring food plots serve as nutrients for wildlife. This time of the year is crucial for the whitetails antler growth and for moms carrying fawns. High protein forage gives your herd top end nutrition during those hot summer days, not to mention the critters love fresh food sources. Turkey love green fields, why not bring those elusive birds in closer. I harvested this nice Tom on a plot I planted in BioMass last spring.
Spring planting is very dependent on where you live and what your goals are. Determining the correct seed to plant has a lot to do with where your property is located (North/South). Certain species perform better in certain areas. Additionally, seeding times and management practices vary with frost dates and the amount of growing days in the season. Make sure to check the proper planting guide for your region. According to Austin Delano of Mossy Oak’s Biologic, “People in the north and midwest can plant spring perennials like Clover Plus or Chicory. These perennials will spend the spring and summer getting established and be a great food source for the fall/early winter hunting season. They can also plant warm season annuals that are so popular in the south such as LabLab and BioMass. The difference in the north is a shorter growing season for warms season annuals, especially if you are using these same plots to plant cool season annuals in for the hunting season which may need to go in as soon as mid-July for guys that live in the far north. For folks in the south, warm season annuals are more commonly used because of a longer growing season, for example in the deep south you could plant LabLab in late March and have it last all the way to November.” Biologic suggest that the southern region do not plant perennials in the spring because they seldom have time to get a good root system established before the brutal hot temperatures and lack of rain arrives.
To plant my plots I use the Plotmaster Hunter 400 model. This model can be pulled by any ATV (500cc or larger for the Hunter 400) (300cc or larger for the Hunter 300), or large mowers. It also comes with a one-point hitch system and a heavy duty electric lift system which is used to raise and lower the unit for transport and proper depth control for tillage and planting. With a revolutionary custom-designed electric “Versa Seeder” you can plant virtually any type of seed, from as small as native grasses to as large as corn and sunflower. The seed dispenses directly behind the area you just cultivated rather than broadcasting your seed in areas you do not intend to plant. The 400 model comes with 16″ Pneumatic tires that make the Plotmaster easy to transport virtually anywhere and retract electrically, with a push of a button, when you are ready to cultivate and/or plant. The Plotmaster is a must have for those of us that plant multiple small plots.
Don’t forget to test your soil! Knowing the characteristics of the soil not only helps determine the most productive species to plant but gives land owners the information needed to properly improve the soil for the up-and-coming season. Since soil acidity levels are so important in establishing and creating a successful food plot, you can send a small sample of your soil to Mossy Oak’s Biologic and they will send you a detailed report of what your soil needs to produce a successful plot. Go to http://www.plantbiologic.com/t-soil.aspx to find out more.
There’s nothing like the sight of seeing your freshly sown seeds pop up as the sun warms the earth in the spring, this is your promise of another GREAT HUNTNG SEASON!
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