A successful implementation of any project requires up-front planning. While we are not talking detailed project plans, we are talking about having a course of action to follow with specific goals along the way.
We began this project by closely examining our property. It also helped that we have owned this 30 acre parcel since 1992 and have an intimate knowledge of whitetail movements, populations, food sources and cover habitat. The property lies between Zones 4 and 5 at an elevation of 1300 feet. It is helpful to find out Climate information, a good site for this is the National Water and Climate Center this can help you determine which plants to grow and which to avoid.
We chose an area that sits at the top of the hill where the ground is nearly flat. This was important because much of this land is steeply sloped which would result in washed out soil and seed. But the meadow had not been farmed in some years and small hawthorn trees have grown to maturity. The first step was to remove those trees with a bulldozer.
Once that was done on March 7th, the land looked like this with our proposed food plot:
We carefully took six soil samples and sent them into our local soil conservation service for specifics on soil acidity, nutrients, and soil composition. The results of those tests will be revealed in our next installment - Amendments.
At this point we can only sit back and wait for those reports. In the meantime, I am brushing up on the various choices we have for food plots and the pros and cons to each. Some of our choice are:
Perennial Rye grass
and many more.
We will discuss these in depth in our next installment.