By Austin Delano
Now that everyone’s deer seasons are over with, we all start to daydream about chasing those magical longbeards around the spring woods. This is also a great time to start making some plans for the upcoming planting season and plant some food for your turkeys that will be around during the next fall and winter.
One of the first things I like to do in February and March is pull soil samples on my plots and get them sent in to see if I need to add any lime and see what fertilizer will be needed for my warm season annuals that will be planted in April and May.
Getting a fresh sample pulled and lime spread this early in the year will give the ag lime time to start working on the soil for your spring/summer plots and also those fields that are left fallow through the summer.
BioLogic has a great spring/summer planting called WhistleBack that includes multiple varieties of millets, Egyptian wheat, sorghum, sunflowers. This blend needs about 90 days of growth to mature and will provide tons of seed to feed all types of game birds during the fall and winter. Keeping a high quality food source for turkeys on your property during the cold months will pay off big time when the spring rolls around.
BioLogic’s Turkey Gold Chufa is also a super attractive planting for your turkeys. Planted anytime from the spring into the early summer, chufa grows peanut like tubers just under the soils surface that your birds will go wild for. Chufa is easy to grow and will provide some serious groceries that will keep those big toms on your side of the property line.
Many of us spend a good deal of time throughout the spring/summer managing and manicuring our perennial clover and chicory plots. If you spent the money to plant perennials this past fall be sure and take the time to mow, fertilize, and spray them through the warm season so they will stay weed free and thriving.
In the south you may lose your clover to the hot weather and dry conditions in July and August, but if these fields are maintained properly through the spring and early summer, they will jump back out from dormancy in late summer/early fall much more quickly and back to that lush field it was in the spring. You also can take this time to go to your local co-op and figure out what herbicides you will be using and get them ordered as well as reserve any spreader buggies or spray rigs you intend to use.
Another great time saver for this time of year is equipment maintenance. Your spray rigs, bushogs, tractors and trailers have been sitting most of the winter and it’s a great idea to go ahead and do some routine maintenance. Getting your bushog blades sharpened and spray rigs calibrated and working properly can be a big time saver when done ahead of time instead of fighting leaking hoses, wore out bearings, and wore out pumps the day you need to be spraying or mowing.
For any questions on warm season plantings for turkey or other food plot questions, email Austin Delano at firstname.lastname@example.org.