The process of planting food plots


If you’ve never planted a food plot, or a field of crops before, we’ve provided an overview of our preferred process for preparing an undeveloped piece of property into a food plot. Many of the steps of planting food plots are broken out in further detail in other sections, so if you have questions check those areas first. Also keep in mind, there are different ways to order these steps. Some seed varieties have different requirements, and some individuals have different preferences or strategies. If you’re planting your first plot, this method should give you a good chance at success.

1) Plot clearing and sod breaking (pre-planting)

We detail this in a separate section. Keep in mind that you may need to undergo plot clearing even if the plot has been planted before. Some crops leave enough residual matter that planting can be difficult if not cleared.

2) Spraying (pre-planting)

To ensure you get a relatively weed free plot, you should spray glyphosate prior to planting. We recommend spraying within two weeks of your target planting. Glyphosate is a fast acting herbicide, allowing you to spray even up to the day prior to planting. Your weeds won’t be brown, but they will be dead.

3) Tilling

Tilling marks the start of the true planting process. The goal of this is to have a soft seed bed for good seed to soil contact. We detail the tools that can be used in the equipment section.

4) Cultipacking

This cultipacking step is optional, but is recommended when planting food plots with small seed varieties, or varieties that require a shallow planting depth. Without cultipacking, some of your seed may be planted too deep and not germinate.

5) Seeding

We recommend a hand seeder for this process, unless planting large seed or higher volumes.

6) Fertilizing

This step can actually be performed at multiple different locations in the planting process. We like to fertilize before dragging because some fertilizers, especially urea, tend to evaporate (or sublimate) when exposed to air. Covering with soil will retain as much fertilizer as possible.

7) Dragging

This will ensure your seed is covered with a layer of soil to improve germination when planting food plots.

8) Cultipacking

The final cultipacking is to ensure good seed-soil contact to maximize germination. This is typically the last step in planting food plots, followed by plot management where necessary.

9) Post emergent spraying

If you’re planting a perennial or roundup ready variety, you may have a final step in the planting process. Timing of this spraying will depend on the crop you are planting.

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