It took me a couple of years of doing it the hard way, but once I started treating my food plots with chemical herbicides, I couldn’t live without them.
They keep your plots growing strong and can double (or even triple) the life of a perennial food plot like clover or a clover chicory mix. Basically, 90% of food plotters can get by with two herbicide products: Roundup® (Monsanto) and Poast® (SASF). Roundup is a nonspecific herbicide that will kill any growing (green) plant it comes in contact with, while Poast is a grass-specific herbicide that kills most grasses. They are both spray-on products and can be applied with anything from a handheld 2-gallon sprayer to a 500-gallon tractor-mounted sprayer.
Food plotters use Roundup when they want to kill everything growing in a given area. It could be a 2-acre weed patch or a perennial food plot that is growing more weeds than deer forages. Food plotters wage an eternal war against weeds and invasive grasses, but eventually the undesirables prevail; you have no choice then but go back to bare ground and start clean. Its active ingredient glyphosate will typically turn green-growing plants brown in a week to 10 days. The dead matter gradually decomposes, leaving plenty of room for a seedbed to be prepared and a new seeding to be started.
Poast is a grass-specific herbicide. Unlike Roundup, which kills every green it comes in contact with, Poast is engineered to kill only grasses. Invasive grasses are a constant issue for food plotters. Mother Nature has designed them to invade a space occupied by less rigorous plants like the stuff we plant in food plots, and little by little invasive grasses will turn an acre of clover into a patch grass and weeds. A once (perhaps twice) per year, spraying Poast will keep most grasses at bay. The active ingredient in Poast is sethoxydim, which gradually weakens any grass species it contacts. Unlike Roundup, which
creates a large scale die-off, Poast is more subtle. As grasses gradually weaken and die, they are replaced by more desirable plants. You’ll notice the change in a few weeks and by a month you’ll wonder what happened to all the grass that was threatening to take over your plot.
There have been volumes written on herbicides but as far as food plots go, you
can get almost anything done with these two types (and some selective mowing). They will save you tons of money and the deer will thank you for it. Both are brand names that cost plenty. Using less costly products with the same active ingredients (that were mentioned above) is perfectly acceptable and a great way to save money. Do some homework on the Internet and take it from there.