The time to plant fall food plots is rapidly approaching. But to do so effectively, you’ll need the right food plot tools.
Ever been in a situation where you didn’t have the right tool for the job? It’s very frustrating and can make a simple task all but impossible.
That being said, can you plant a honey hole plot without a garage full of the latest food plot tools? Absolutely. But once you scale up to larger plot sizes, that’s no longer an option.
The list that follows gives a good summary of the necessary food plot tools that most people will require, regardless of the acreage they’re planting.
One of the most useful food plot tools a land manager can have is a chainsaw. Obviously it’s necessary to clear timber when first starting new food plots, but it’s nice to have for ongoing maintenance activities, field edge feathering, or trimming up shooting lanes.
While not as glorious or fun to use as a chainsaw, a rake is a very useful food plot tool for small plots. Especially if starting a new plot, you can clear the area quickly of dead vegetation, loosen up the seed bed, or rake seeds under the soil surface.
Along the same lines as a rake, a shovel may be one of the most unappreciated tools we keep in our sheds. Whether you’re doing a soil test, digging out damaging rocks, planting an apple tree, or simply shoveling fertilizer, a shovel is absolutely necessary.
Machinery is nice for larger food plots, as using hand tools alone for plots over an acre begins to be prohibitive. ATVs can be a land manager’s best food plot tool simply because they can be used for reconnaissance, transportation, hauling fertilizer, spraying, etc.
However, tractors are necessary to do the same for larger acreages. If you already farm your land, there’s a good chance you have one at your disposal.
If you’re going to use an ATV or tractor, you’ll also need various farming implements. Some examples include discs, harrows, plows, cultipackers, etc. If you own a tractor, it’s fairly safe to say you’ll have access to some of these implements.
To first eliminate competition from broadleaf weeds and grasses or to maintain your plot over the years, you’re also going to need a sprayer of some sort to apply herbicide.
You can choose a hand or backpack sprayer for your small plots, or mount a sprayer onto your ATV or tractor as well for larger plots.
Depending on what you’re going to plant, you’ll need some type of seeder. Some seeds (e.g., corn, soybeans, etc.) need to be drilled into the soil, while other seeds (e.g., clovers, brassicas, etc.) can just be broadcast onto the soil surface and rolled in.
If you’ll be applying lime and fertilizer (and you probably should be), a spreader is a nice food plot tool to have on hand. It will make the application process much more streamlined and uniform.
If you’re planning a fall food plot, take inventory of the existing food plot tools in your garage. If one of these are missing, you may want to consider adding a couple.
Even if you just buy one a year to spread out the costs, you’ll soon have all you could need for planting lush and productive food plots. And your garage will be filled with tools, as any garage should be.
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