Replanting Washed Out Wildlife Plots
Dr. John Woods 12.13.19
Mother Nature can truly be cruel. After southern area-wide spring flooding conditions followed by a summer of dire droughts, deer hunters and landowners finally toughed it out in dust bowl conditions to plant some wildlife food plots for the fall seasons. Then the rains came, again.
Many food plots were totally washed out. The only ones that survived were on hilltops, or ridges where drainage was good enough to shed the water off. Those with plots down in the flatlands or near regional rivers and streams watched their just planted plots turn into lakes. The seeds had barely germinated or had only grown an inch or two before the deluge hit.
So, what now? Planting wildlife food plots is expensive enough with mowing, disking, seeding, and cultipacking. Fuel, seed, and fertilizer costs add up. What are some options for replanting at least some areas to attract deer for some successful deer hunting?
First, naturally you have to survey the plots you have or had to see what condition they are in. Some replanting can be done once any standing water is off the plots. This can be done without extensive work and only moderate expense if done right. Now is the time to choose some new seed mixes that can be spread by hand or ATV without further soil preparation.
First, look to seed mixes that offer a variety of seeds that will offer a better chance of quick sprouting and growth as fall weather and cool temps approach. One such seed blend is Top Notch Fall Wildlife Mix available at many farm cooperatives and other outlets. Another good mix choice is Seven Card Stud by Evolved Harvests.
These mixes include wheat, oats, barley, triticale, Austrian winter field peas, turnips, rape, and clover. Small areas can be seeded by scratching the soil with a spike rake or running a light disk over the soil. Spread the seeds by hand, handheld seeder, or with a spin broadcast seeder. Lightly covering the seed best to insure seed contact with the soil.
Another good option is the “throw and grow” varieties of wildlife food plot mixes that can simply been cast out over the plot soil. Such mixes are ideal for such conditions where full farming practices are no longer practical in the overly wet soils.
These practices can help deer hunters salvage some of their washed out food plots. Getting some plot plants generated now can quickly add a green up that will attract deer to feeding. Don’t let Mother Nature ruin your deer hunting this year.