At GearUp2go we are extremely excited about this upcoming Spring food plot planting season. There is not much that gets me more excited about the prospect of the winter snow melting than thinking about getting out and playing in the dirt. The amazing creation around us is absolutely astounding and getting an opportunity to connect with nature and be a part of working the dirt and growing something that will feed and grow the wildlife for months to come is such a joyful experience to me. Even more exciting to me is that fact that the hard work I put in this spring can potentially result in a Pope and Young record book buck the next fall!
Many of you reading this article are owners of smaller tracts of land and don't have the luxury of having huge farm equipment available to you for planting your food plots. Well, I am in the same boat. I do most of my food plot planting at our family farm in South West Wisconsin (around the Platteville, WI area). The farm consists of 80+/- acres of varied to moderate farm land and timberland. On this land we plant about ten, 1-2 acre food plots that are mainly for the whitetail deer.
Like many of you, we use ATV’s and side x sides for food plot planting. We have a 2005 Bombardier and a 2008 Kimco XUV 500. These machines have provided me with years of food plot planting success, not to mention a little good luck from Mother Nature. We mainly use the Kolpin Dirtworks system for working the ground and planting. I will go into the individual implements from the Dirtworks system that we use a little later on, but it is has certainly been a reliable system over the last 4 years, with no problems, except for not enough time to use them.
In this article I will give you step by step directions on how to plant a food plot in using the Kolpin Dirtworks System. You'll love how easy it is!
Step 1 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
Use a pull behind ATV or UTV rough cut mower to prepare the area you want to use to plant your food plots. Once you have rough cut the areas, you can go back and use a finish mower if you want the grass even shorter, this is an optional step that I often don’t do because of time restrictions. There are many good manufactures of ATV and UTV mowers but I personally like the Kunz mowers the best, they have provided years of worry free cutting for me.
Related article: Pull-Behind Mower Comparison for ATV, UTV or Garden Tractor
Step 2 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
Use a quality ATV or UTV sprayer with boom extensions and apply Round-Up to all the areas that you have recently mowed and that you would like to plant your spring or fall food plots. Round-Up is used to kill all the forage and roots of the grasses and weeds, this make the ground possible to work up and get pre-pare for planting. This step is important for ensuring you create a nice seed bed for the foundation of the seed to grow and prosper.
Step 3 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
Attach your Kolpin 3-point hitch to your ATV or side by side, which includes an electric motor for moving your hitch up and down with a thumb control located on the handle bars of your ATV or dash of your side by side. Once the Dirtworks 3 point hitch is attached apply the Kolpin 48” or 60” tool bar (I have the 48”) with the Kolpin Dirtworks disk. For those of you that don’t know the disk is really the first implement used for breaking up the ground. I like to make about 10 passes over the food plot area to make sure the ground is very nice and broke up. I am probably take it the prep job a little to far, but I enjoy creating an awesome seed bed to ensure the hard work I have put in on my food plot is worth it, because I don’t have time to re-do this work.
Related article: The Kolpin Dirtworks System with 3-Point Hitch
Step 4 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
Attach your Kolpin heavy duty drag harrow to your ATV or UTV. I like to make about 10 passes over the disced up ground to break up any larger pieces of dirt that the disc did not get. Again, ensuring the seed makes a nice contact with the dirt and will grow well, and have the minimal amount of failure rate when the seed is sprouting.
Step 5 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
Plant your selected food plot seed. In the next article I will go into all the different types of planters there are on the market and why each one is good for planting certain types of seeds. For this article I will just say the easiest is the ATV or UTV drop seeder-spreader. It can plant most types of food plot seeds or varieties and is the easiest to use.
Step 6 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
I like to take a light weight Kolpin Drag Harrow (not the heavy duty one) and go back over the seed a time or two to ensure the seed has good contact with the soil. This raises your sprouting success rate by as much as 25%.
Step 7 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting:
Make sure to clean off all your ATV and UTV equipment and make sure everything is in great working order. Like I said, my Kolpin Dirtworks implements have lasted me a long time but part of that is due to the fact that I take great care of them and make sure they are clean, put away in a dry area that is out of the way, and lubricated properly every time I use them. Like most quality farm implements and equipment, they will last as long as you take care of them.
Step 8 for ATV and UTV Food Plot Planting: (my personal favorite)
Sit back and enjoy a cold beer while taking pride in the wonderful food plot you planted and imagine all the animals that will look at that food plot as a buffet and will appreciate it! Not to mention dreaming of the huge Boone and Crocket buck that will be walking under your tree stand this fall!
About the Author: M. Lutes is the Business Unit Manager at GearUp2Go.com. He keeps the team in line and the business moving forward. He is full of "great" ideas and is always game for another cup of coffee.