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Basic Care of Food Plots
by Cedar Hills

Tecomate - Consulting and Food Plot ServicesIt is best to keep food plots free of unwanted plants (weeds & grasses) to maximize forage production.
The use of herbicides is a great tool to alleviate weed problems. First the field should be kept clean to ensure that the unwanted plants are not able to seed out.

It is important to identify the primary plant species you are trying to control. It is much easier to kill weeds at an early stage than to wait.

Pre-emergent herbicides will help stop a majority of the weeds from becoming established. If the problem persist, apply a post-emergent herbicide to control existing weeds and grasses.

Herbicides can usually be purchased in both spray and granular form. It is very important to know what type of plants the herbicides will control.

Cultivation is the process of cleaning the weeds from between the rows of desired plants. This should be done when both plants and weeds are young. Once the food plots are mature it is very difficult to cultivate without harming the plants.

It is best to plant warm and cool season plots on different sites when moisture is limited.
Warm season plots should be kept clean from Sept. or Oct. until time to plant during the spring. Banking the moisture helps food plots to establish faster and produce forage longer.

Areas with high rain fall can double crop food plots without needing to separate fields.

Soil samples should be taken from each field being planted to insure the best results. Some soils are more suited than others for farming.
If a soil test is unattainable, A recommended use of about 300-400 pounds of a balanced fertilizer should be used. It is best to have a pH of 5.8-7.0.

The Southeast has a problem with acidic soils in which can be overcome by adding lime. It is best to know the pH before adding lime. If the pH cannot be determined it is best to add about 1000 pounds/acre of lime.

Consult your County Extension Agent for additional information.

Posted by Cedar Hills on 04/24 at 10:11 AM
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