Fertilize fire breaks, forest openings for food plots

A good, standard fertlizer such as 10-10-10 can jump-start new growth in areas that have been mowed or bush--hogged

For one reason or another, property owners routinely crank up the bush hog on old fields, fire breaks and other places they want to keep maintained in an herbaceous state. These freshly-mowed areas stimulate the production of tender grasses and forbs, especially in the spring after routine rainfall when warm air and soil temperatures are suitable. Both big and small game will quickly take advantage of the tender greenery, as new sprouts of grasses and shrubs can be palatable and quite tasty.

But if landowners want to encourage more growth in these areas, they can be spiked with a general purpose fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, to stimulate growth and provide more available food resources for wildlife. Fertilizer should be broadcast just after mowing and just before an upcoming rainfall event to allow the fertilizer treatment to melt into the soil and to reach the shallow, herbaceous root systems.

For deer and other wildlife, the boost in nutrient reserves will be well received.  Deer typically consume around 1.5 to 3 percent of their body mass per day. Any thing landowners can do to boost food availability will improve the chances for deer to achieve their daily nutrient intake requirement. And fertilizing native plants is an easy way to fuel the food chain.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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