What to Plant: Food Plot based on a Budget
You reap what you sow is a common phrase that is all too true when it comes to food plots. If you want to have a quality food plot, it’s going to take some proper planning and execution to make it happen. Here I’ve penciled out different versions of food plots based on budget. For simplicity’s sake, I’m talking about ¼-acre plots with all of these.
The $20 Plot
You buy 1 bag of Caveman Blend™ for $14.99, and you spend $5 on a lotto ticket so that you can purchase better food plot tools someday. All jokes aside, if you have no tools, there are not a lot of options for you, Caveman Blend™ is the best way to go. This is considered a throw-and-grow option, so it will grow without any prep to the soil. I planted a patch of Caveman Blend™ in the asphalt cracks at our warehouse. It’s literally the easiest plot to grow on the planet. That being said, it will do better if you can prep the soil, but that’s not a requirement. This could mean taking a rake or a leaf blower to remove leaf litter and debris from the soil surface. The main thing this plot needs is adequate moisture.
The $50 Plot
You buy 1 bag of Pro Clover for $19.99, then spend $15 on a soil test. This leaves you $15 for several bags of lime, or if you don’t need any lime, you can invest in a bag of fertilizer. Clover likes phosphorous and potassium, so getting a bag of 0-0-60 (potash) or 0-44-0 (triple super phosphate) will help this plot tremendously. The good part about a plot, such as this, is that it will come back year after year. You can get up to 5 years out of one planting of Pro Clover.
The $100 Plot
The next step up for food plot levels would be to buy one bag of The Perfect 10 for $26.99, then also spend $15 on a soil test. This leaves $58 to invest in a quality source of nitrogen, which the Perfect 10 will need. I suggest using urea (46-0-0) right before a good rain to prevent atmospheric loss. This step should be done about a month to 6 weeks after planting. You should have a bit of money left over for lime if you need it.
The $200 Plot
The Cadillac of food plots would be to buy one 2lb bag of Pro Clover for $19.99 and add one bag of 1lb Chicory for another $19.99. Add a 12.5lb bag of Amazin’ Grains for $17.99 to this plot for fall planting, and you will have a good nurse crop of cereal grains to protect the fresh clover and chicory as it comes up. By buying a $15 soil test, you should have $127 left for soil amendments such as lime and fertilizer. With fertilizer, it’s not always more is better. Follow the recommendations from the Soil Test and you should be all set for a really good perennial plot that will last many years with adequate maintenance. Again, things like potash and triple super phosphate will really help this plot come back strong each year.
With all food plots, the prep work really makes the plot what it is. The soil test lays out your needed amendments and even if you don’t have the money to bring it to flush immediately, putting out a portion of what’s needed is better than doing nothing. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about food plots, we are here to help!