What To Plant for Small Food Plot Success

JEREMY FLINN

04/15/2016

Small food plots (under an acre) are by far the most common food plot planted for wildlife. So what should you plant in small food plots to succeed? Here is our number one choice of species, the reasons why, and some other small food plot tips.

Today is step 2 of our short little food plot series that we wanted to do for spring. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about which species I’m choosing to plant this year, why, and what I’m doing to make this a successful plot. Last year this small food plot was soybeans, we hunted it but it was a lot of time and pressure like I mentioned in part 1 of this series. This year we are planting white clover.

What To Plant In Small Food Plots

 We have 3 reasons why we like white clover (ladino) for our small food plots. First of we have just finished up some turkey scouting, we are going to plant clover for turkey season. The second reason we like white clover is it’s easy to maintain with some basic herbicides. Finally, white clover is the king of small food plots, it’s as simple as that, so let’s dive into these with some more detail.

Which Food Plot Species Is the Best For Clover?

Last year we did several videos on small food plots, and we covered clover quite a bit, and several other articles or videos will tell you the same about clover. The fact is that white clover (I’m using ladino) in this plot is hands down the easiest, most attractive, longest lasting bang for your buck when it comes to food plots. It is easy to establish, last year we tilled this food plot for our beans, all we had to do this year was bus hog the beans down, spray glyphosate and we just waited for some rain to broadcast the seed out. Clover works perfectly for small kill plots just like this plot because its shade tolerant and can take a lot of browse pressure. I plan on making this a killer hotspot for deer and turkey making this a central hub of communication in the form of scent and scrapes, food with a feeder and the clover, water in a small watering hole, and minerals over the summer.

How To Plant Small Food Plots

So a little bit more about clover in particular over other species, and really I loved the beans we did last year, we used eagle seed and they did outstanding, but it was just a lot of work, money, and ended up being too much pressure on the plot. Clover will be far better in this situation. Now we are already about a week and half into planting this clover, as you can see all the weeds are killed off now, and the leftover weed and bean residue has kept the seed in place after some rain and now we have germination. Now the seeding rate for white clover is about 1 or 2 lbs. drilled, or around 5 lbs. for broadcasting. For this plot I used 8lbs. because I am seeding alone, I did not combine with any other species and I suggest you do the same, especially if you are not preparing the soil or using equipment.

How To Keep Weeds Out of Small Food Plots

The reason I suggest that is ease and maintenance, I can get this clover plot to easily survive 3-5 years or longer with some simple techniques only available in pure clover stands. These are 2-4-D B (for Butyrac) and Clethodim or Sethoxydim. These are herbicides that in combination that will wipe out both broadleaves (2-4D-B) and grass ( Clethodim or Setoxydim) species from the clover without harming the clover. If you were to put in chicory or wheat into this plot, you would be far more restricted on your herbicide selection. I prefer to get a pure stand so I can get the most out of my investment.

That’s everything that I really wanted to cover for step 2, selecting the species and how to plant a small food plot like this, the next video or step 3 will be how to monitor this food plot as well as the addition of some other things you can do to boost this plot through the spring and summer to get it going and maximize growth, attractiveness and your hunting opportunities.

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