Sometimes life just seems to get in the way of your best laid plans. Around my house, we just say "Sheetz Happenz." You can see the pun. The plan was to get the food plots put in the ground starting in April. However, Sheetz Happenz, and we were not able to start the process until last week. So what did we do? We turned to an awesome new product from Chapin Outfitters called Plot in a Box. It comes with everything you need to start creating your own world class food plots. The best part is that you do not need a whole lot room with this kit. It is designed for the hunter that has limited space, time, and equipment.
In your Plot in a Box, you get a Bio Logic gallon sprayer for adding fertilizer, four packets of Miracle Grow fertilizer, a Bio Logic broad cast spreader, a five pound bag of Hot Spot Seed, and a copy of Game Keeper magazine filled with great tips for getting the most out of your food plot.
I am a big fan of small food plots that are 10 to 15 yards wide and no longer than 30 yards long. This is the perfect size food plot to put under or near a tree stand or ground blind. The biggest advantage of this size food plot is that you do not need expensive, heavy equipment to get the crop planted. The Hot Spot seed is great, and within a week you will begin to sprout. A month later, you have a lush plot that will begin to draw in deer. I like to add a mineral lick to my small food plots as an extra incentive for the deer to return.
Before I even begin to head out the door to go to the plot site, I check the weather. I want to put my plots in the ground a day or two before a rain storm is going to hit the area. Not only will the rain give the seeds necessary water that they need for growth, but it will also help settle them into the earth at the proper depth. Some folks like to put Lyme down a few weeks prior to planting. Most wooded areas will not need any additional materials when you have years of decaying matter on the forest floor; you generally have a great natural planting bed. It is almost like planting in a naturally occurring compost bin.
In order to get our plot's area ready, the first thing we do is break out the leaf blower and clear the area that we want to plant. This will also expose any rocks that need to be removed before we rake or till. Any large limbs that are lying on the ground will also be removed at this time. When removing tree limbs from your plot area, remember to not create waste piles that will block the deer's ability to easily get in and out of the food plot. Waste piles can be extremely beneficial to your local habitat, as they provide cover for rabbits, birds, foxes, bobcats, and other animals.
The next thing we do is either rake the ground or till it. It really depends on whether or not we can get a tiller to the stand location. Once the ground is ready, we use the broad cast spreader included in our kit and spread Bio Logic Hot Spot in our location. Hot Spot is a scientifically selected blend of winter peas and buckwheat designed to be fast-germinating, extremely attractive to deer and incredibly easy to plant. If we have the ability to till the ground, we will. We always get better results when we are able to till the area thoroughly before we begin planting our seeds. Once the seed is spread out evenly, we use a hand rake to rake the seed into the soil. Follow the directions on the seed bag to apply the seed at the proper rate. Over-seeding will not give you a better plot: in most cases, just the opposite happens.
The final step that we take is to use our Bio Logic Sprayer to saturate the plot with Miracle Grow. Take your time, and make sure that you completely saturate the area. I normally have to refill my sprayer a few times. The extra time that you spend on this step will help you develop a healthier food plot.
Within two weeks, you will begin to see your lush food plot coming to life. When you have everything complete, hang a trail camera up to track deer movement in and out of your food plot. Check back in a few weeks to see pictures of the food plot in full bloom.
For more information on Plot in Box or any of Chapin Outfitters other products please visit their webiste: www.chapinoutfitters.com