If you own a lawn tractor and have some small and accessible clearings on your land, putting in some food plots does not need to be expensive or physically taxing. I am 52 years old and have some physical disabilities, and I was able to make a few plots for under $150.
Other items you will need:
–A tow-behind lawn spike aerator; this Brinly 40” model (about $80) works great.
–Seed. For ease in planting I use seeds that do not need to be covered with soil: clover, chicory, brassica, oats, beans and peas. Antler King No-Till Mix ($14.99 Amazon) is great, and I also like BioLogic Winter Peas ($19.99). One bag of either of those covers 1/4-acre. I seem to spread the seed a little thick and usually need to purchase a second bag.
Keep in mind that most places need a PH soil test, and then possibly lime spreading and/or fertilization. This is a simple application and not expensive. I didn’t do any PH testing, as I have extremely good soil thanks to the glaciation thousands of years ago in my area of northwest Wisconsin. Heck, here the deer even consume it and its diatomaceous nature.
First step in your plot build is to watch the weather. Look for a forecast that will bring a couple days of rain. It is tough to sit and hope for rain, so just wait until a forecast is favorable.
Second step is to mow your clearing as short as your mower will allow.
Third, connect your aerator to the back of your tractor, place weight upon the aerator (cinder blocks, etc. which help to push the aeration spikes deeper into the earth). Now go back and forth and across your small clearing until it is well aerated. The clearing should be mostly cut up soil when finished.
Fourth, simply hand sow your seed, or you can use one of those hand-crank seeders if you’ve got one.
My camera caught the eager buck above shortly after I planted a plot, and I also had several waves of turkeys come through. The peas I planted were easy pickings, but I over-seeded like I normally do and there was plenty left for sprouting, which occurred 5 days after the planting with the 3 days and nights of rain we got. Another food plot success!—Kim
Have you shot a big deer with a unique story? Seen something weird and wild in the woods? Got an awesome trail camera image? Have some great how-to advice like Kim’s that you’d like to share with other hunters? Send your stories and pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org and if we post them you’ll receive a BIG DEER cap and sticker.