Wildlife Food Plots

These sites are generally small clearings in wooded areas or farmland. They typically receive at least four hours of sunlight a day. Planting dates differ between annual and perennial mixes; however, most are designed for spring or fall planting.

Examples: Woodland openings, remote areas of large, residential lots, abandoned fields or timber harvest and loading areas.

Site Preparation

Eradicate existing vegetation by having a licensed spray technician apply an approved herbicide, such as glyphosate, or tilling the weeds into the soil. Spot spray or hand pull problem weeds. Perennial weeds not addressed before establishment will be difficult to remove later. Good pre-seeding weed control may require repeated tilling or spraying two applications of glyphosate at least two weeks apart. Once the weeds have been controlled, add lime or fertilizer as recommended by soil analysis. Lime and fertilizer can be incorporated into the soil using a tiller. After amendments are incorporated, smooth out the soil to develop a good seedbed. If broadcasting the seed, run a drag or ATV over the site to help incorporate the seed into the soil 1/4”-1/2” deep. With adequate temperature and moisture, the seed should begin to germinate within about two weeks.

Habitat: Grows best in well-drained or moderately well-drained sites in woodland openings (ideally near water sources); may be planted to UPL, FACU and FAC species, as well as plants with no indicator.

Fertility: Check your soil pH and fertility. If there is a weed problem, the addition of lime to the food plot site can improve the nutritional value of vegetation which is beneficial for wildlife. For more information, see FAQs.

Seeding Method: Hand seed, broadcast or drill seed.

General Maintenance

Fertilizing with a starter fertilizer (such as an 18-24-12) in the spring and fall will help provide plants with essential nutrients without pushing a lot of top growth. It may be necessary to mow some mixes to a height of 4”-6” in order to help keep plants young and tender. Annual food plot mixes must be planted every year.

For more establishment information, see Life of a Meadow.

To view available seeds and mixes for this site type, see Species/Mix Search