If you’re looking for a food plot to grow in hard to reach places with less than ideal conditions, buckwheat provides a great option for you! It is easy to establish with very minimal seed bed preparation, competes well with weeds due to its rapid growth rate, and improves the organic content in your soil. In addition, Buckwheat has a very high tolerance level for soil acidity, reducing the need for the use of lime. Having 9-20% digestible protein, this food plot could greatly benefit your herd and in the end, you!
½ acre: 18-30 lbs
1 acre: 36-60 lbs
(This seed is typically mixed with other seeds that have lower seeding rates.)
Spring, Late Summer (July-August) 7-10 week maturity
1. Check your soil’s pH level with a soil testing kit.
(Kits can be bought at Lowe’s for around $10 or at your local Cooperative Extension office. Visit http://agsci.psu.edu/aasl/soil-testing/soil-fertility-testing for more information).
2. Get rid of weeds. Mowing or weed-whacking the area first may be helpful. Afterwards, kill the weeds by spraying them with an herbicide. Allow about a week for the herbicide to do its job.
(Herbicides are products typically containing glyphosate, a compound used to kill a wide range of weeds including grasses, sedges, broad-leaved and woody plants. Some good examples of herbicides include Butyrac 200, Arrow 2EC, Roundup, Rodeo, Arrest, and Pondmaster.)
3. Once you have received the soil testing results back, apply lime as necessary. You may also choose to do some other enhancements such as fixing the nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus levels as well.
4. Rake off the dead weeds and brush. Till the soil a little bit with the rake. Be sure to note the planting depth…planting the seeds any lower may harm the germination rate.
5. Apply fertilizers, if planned.
6. Broadcast seeds.
You can do this with a hand spreader (approximately $15 at Walmart), tow spreader, truck spreader, etc.
7. Increase your seed-to-soil contact by recovering the seeds with soil.
Suggestions: Walk on it or drive an ATV over it.
8. Leave your new plot alone as much as possible. This will eliminate the possibility of human scent ruining the site.
Grain Sorghum, Cowpeas, Soybeans (Alfalfa and Clover not recommended)