How to Prep, Create and Maintain a Food Plot Using a Compact Tractor

Looking to draw some deer out to your property? Or maybe you are just looking for a beneficial project for your tractor to take on? Food plots are an effective way to provide a food source for wildlife, offering several benefits for you and your land. Proper nutrition is hard to come by for many wild animals, so this year-round source of food will not only aid in bringing deer onto your land, but it will also aid in the growth of fawns and bucks. Deer are what they eat, so why not try and max their antler size?

All it really takes is some preparation, routine maintenance and John Deere determination. Then, you’re good to go! Let’s take a look into some of the nitty-gritty details of creating a food plot. 

Picking Out What Seeds To Use

The options may seem a little overwhelming, but that’s why we’re here! To create a year-round supply of feed, it’s important to use both warm-season and cold-season plants when you plant your food plot. 

Warm-season plants should be planted in the spring so they can grow and thrive all throughout the summer and fall. Soybeans, corn and cowpeas are common warm-season seeds that are used in food plots.

In contrast, cold-season plants are planted in the fall but can typically grow all throughout the year. Wheat, rye, clovers and brassicas are typically used as cold-season plants and are planted to provide nutrition no matter the season.

What Equipment Will You Need?

There are several different ways to go about creating a food plot, but we suggest using any John Deere compact tractor to assist with larger lots of land. Using a rotary cutter, a disk, a broadcast spreader or a tiller can help create a more uniform operation. This will also make the process a lot easier and quicker to accomplish. 

If you need any implements to add to your collection, be sure to check out our website or contact us and we will make sure you are ready to roll. 

The Dos and Don’ts of Planting a Food Plot

  1. Plan it all out. Before getting started, you’ll have to work out the logistics. Pick out a location based on the size of land and accessibility of your tractor, pick the right seeds based on the time of year and the environment you live in, and pick out the fertilizer based on your soil and the seed you choose.

  2. Sample the soil. It’s also important to test the pH level of your soil before you get started. A low pH level can hurt the plants’ ability to properly absorb nutrients while a high pH level can create a toxic environment. After testing, take the proper steps to adjusting your soil’s pH level. Limestone typically raises the pH level while sulfur typically lowers it.

  3. Prep the soil. A couple weeks before you plant, make sure to go in and mow your intended area using your tractor’s rotary cutter, or another mowing implement. A non-residual weed killer will take care of all unwanted weeds and will keep them from growing back and competing with your planted seeds. After the weeds are killed off, go in and till the land. This will allow you to mix the dead weeds back into the soil, creating a better environment for growth.

  4. Plant the seeds. Remember those seeds we discussed earlier? Now’s their time to shine. After making sure the soil is firm enough to hold the seeds, use a spreader implement to uniformly disperse the seeds. Smaller seeds can sit upon the surface, but you’ll want to make sure larger seeds sit one to two inches below the surface. Don’t forget to fertilize.

  5. Maintain the food plot. Now all you have to do is make sure your plot is thriving. Use a second application of fertilizer if needed, and make sure the plants are getting proper nutrients to grow.

Sit back and wait for the wildlife!

Creating food plots is a fairly simple process, and it’s made even easier with a John Deere tractor and Frontier implements. The proper implements will create a more uniform seeding process and will ensure your soil is taken care of properly. It’s also a great way to get some use out of your equipment. Creating opportunities on your land is what having a John Deere tractor is all about. 

Be sure to reach out to any of our locations with questions and our staff will be happy to help you find a solution. At Greenway, we don’t succeed until you do!

Stories Up Next

Customer Support

We’ve opened a Customer Contact Center to help you with all your Greenway needs!

Call (888) 237-7447
Powered by Lapero