Start your Best Food Plot in the Dead of Winter
The traditional thought of the ideal food plot is acres of lush green food with whitetails pouring in, all within view of a giant heated box blind, and maybe some cable TV… reality punches the hunter right where it hurts, your time and your wallet. But reality also reveals that the most effective food plots are the tiny, back in the woods plots that rarely get pressured. Winter Food Plots you may ask?
In the very near future an opportunity presents itself that can achieve the reality of a food plot without the hurt.
As the winter gives way to spring we experience Mother Nature’s own cultivator. The last weeks and even days of frigid weather can plant your seed for you. The process called “heaving” or frost seeding, is the result of the moisture in the top of the soil freezing and literally raising the soil up with it. It is very similar to running equipment over the plot such as a light disk or wing cultivator. This process mixes well with small plots, little sunlight, and off the grid locations. It works even better with food plot species that are associated with small plots.
Bigger seeds and warm season species such as soybeans or corn should not be frost seeded. Small seeds such as clover and alfalfa make for perfect selections in tiny food plots. They are tolerant of shade, supply nitrogen, can take a lot of browse, and can compete for space when it counts. They also become very appealing during certain times of the year. The small seeds fall perfectly in the cracks and crevices during the thaw-freeze-thaw process. This allows them to settle at the textbook depth, and ensures good seed-to-soil contact. This warrants a healthy head start for your plot and gives your deer herd some lush greens to munch on once the woods warm up.
This process should be done in the last week/days of winter giving way to spring. Even if you have snow on the ground weeks before the thaw, seeding directly on top will give you the desired effect. Again the process works great to install a food plot where money, equipment, and access are lacking. The only equivalent effect could be achieved by getting friends together and putting hard rakes in their hand. The process is a sure fire way to save your back and those friendships.
If you are dreaming of putting food plot this year that will be effective, the time to start is rapidly approaching. Many food plotters over look this time period for planting, but saving time, saving money, and getting antlers in hand cannot be ignored. Start your food plot even before the snow melts!