Planting food plots for wildlife is not uncommon among avid hunters and outdoorsmen. Food plots provide much needed nutrients for deer, turkey, and other wildlife, giving them a better chance of making it through the tough winter months. They also promote antler growth and solid nutrition for breeding season. In addition, food plots are also effective at keeping wildlife on your property, as animals do not have to travel as far to obtain the nutrients they need. While these are all crucial issues to hunters, many people do not realize that even for non-hunters, food plots offer many benefits to other landowners and the environment.
To have robust wildlife, there must be healthy ecosystems that allow the population and wellbeing of different species to thrive. One key to having a healthy ecosystem is biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. Planting food plots on your property is a great way to create biodiversity which in turn will lead to healthier wildlife. Biodiversity is crucial for nature because it allows for ecosystems to adjust back to normal after natural disasters like fires and floods. It helps protect the soil and keep it fertile, and it also helps to protect freshwater resources such as ponds, creeks, and other watering holes. You don’t have to be a hunter to benefit from food plots. Anyone can take part in providing for the environment and for the health of the wildlife around you.
One of the largest threats to biodiversity is monocultures. Monoculture is the cultivation of a single crop in a given area such as vast wheat or corn fields. Monoculture can threaten ecosystems by killing naturally occurring plant life, spreading diseases and insects, and even soil erosion. One great example from history of the danger of a monoculture, is the dust bowl. In the 1930’s vast wheat fields began to destroy the soil, which lead to unhealthy crops unable to withstand the wind. This monoculture situation, along with other contributing factors, caused the wheat to die leaving the unfertile soil to be displaced by wind and erosion. It was not long before this unfortunate situation negatively impacted the entire ecosystem, not to mention local economic conditions and the wheat industry overall. Planting food plots is a great way to combat monoculture on your property, keeping the soil nutritious and promoting healthy ecosystems and wildlife.
Food plots are not the only way to take care of the environment, but if this is something you are considering, you will need a reliable seed mix. One great option for a new planter is Tecomate’s Backyard Mix. Backyard Mix contains premium clover mixed with brassica and various wildflowers. This is perfect for supporting deer and birds, and it will attract butterflies and bees as well. This is a mix that does not require a tiller or a planter which makes it very easy to use. Simply spread the seed over an area with a broadcaster or even by hand and watch the wildlife it attracts.
Another great option is Tecomate’s Upland Gamebird Mix. This mix is perfect for feeding doves, quail, pheasants, and turkeys. Upland Gamebird Mix contains Hybrid Sunflowers from Argentina, Hybrid White Grain Milo from Texas, and Millet from the Western US. This blend of seeds will create the perfect environment for any North American game bird by providing the nutrition and habitat they need to thrive. For best results find a sunny location and plant in the spring.
Planting food plots for the wildlife around you can go a long way in providing better habitats and ecosystems. It is also a fun way to get outside with friends and family and enjoy the outdoors. The idea of planting a food plot may seem intimidating at first, but the feeling of satisfaction that comes from watching wildlife enjoy it should be experienced by everyone! Remember to not shy away from asking questions or for help. The team at Rohrer Seeds/ Tecomate is always eager to offer suggestions or assistance in any way you may need. Good luck!