By Bob Humphrey
Winter may still be lingering, but unless you live in the far north, it’s not too early to hop on the ATV and start working on this year’s food plots.
Frost Seeding - If it’s a perennial plot it may need little or no work. But you can boost production a bit by spreading some clover just as the frost is going out of the ground. Cold nights and warm days cause the soil to expand and contract, creating crevices the seeds can fall into then be naturally covered, improving seed-to-soil contact.
Turn it Over - If the frost is already out and the ground is dry enough, this is a good time to disc the soil and loosen it up in preparation for planting. Even if you don’t plan on planting for a month or more, or even until late summer, it will make the job easier when it comes time to disc it again.
Lime and Fertilize - As long as you’re cutting into the soil, you may as well mix in some lime and fertilizer. Pelletized lime, the kind recommended for food plots, takes time to break down before it can be taken up by plants. Spring liming will largely benefit fall plots but if you get it in early enough it might also help out this spring’s crop.
Start Fresh - If you’re building a brand new plot, there’s no better time to get started, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Get the cutting and stumping out of the way now so you can focus on working the soil and planting as soon as conditions permit. And if you cut before the sap flows you’ll have dry firewood by this fall.