While Forested Trail Blend is a shade tolerant mix, it does need some sunlight. East/west trails work well. Also look for openings with southern exposures on the top of ridges. Trim back as much brush or small trees as you can to provide maximum sun exposure. Forested Trail Blend contains our hand-selected New Zealand type ladino and a grazing style subterranean clover. Plant in the spring, as soon as conditions permit.
When planting in forested areas, a soil test is extremely important. Once you have a soil test, it is critical to get the lime down as far in advance of seeding as possible since it takes a while for the lime to start working. Forested Trail Blend works best in 6.5 to 7 pH. Lower pH affects germination and growth rate.
The type and amount of tillage is dependent on what you can get to the site. Remove litter and trash from the surface. Using a hand rake, the soil surface needs to be roughed up to improve seed to soil contact. Incorporate fertilizer using the same drag and then broadcast the seed and “pack” with the lawn roller. If the plot has a lot of grass in it, you may want to spray with a glyphosate weed and vegetation killer after you’ve removed leaf litter. Then wait for the period suggested by the spray before proceeding to plant.
Frost seeding is also an excellent way to seed Forested Trail Blend. Till the soil in the fall and apply lime. The best time to frost seed is just before a final freeze in early spring. You can also spread the seed on a late snow. Both ways will suck the seed into the soil, giving better germination.
Control weeds and grasses post emerge, only if absolutely necessary, by mowing slightlyabove this food plot. This slows down the grasses and gives the food plot a chance to grow and shade out the undesirable plants. It is preferable to wait until the plot is a few inches high before initial mowing. Do not leave too much trash on top of the plants. Be careful about mowing this plot. Any needed mowing should not disturb blossoms until after they have gone to seed.
The subterranean clover in this mix is an annual that reseeds itself. Therefore, it has to go to seed so the longer the growing time, the better. Seed as early as possible. Plots need to be big enough so that a few blooms will survive browsing. Where deer populations are fairly high, make sure you put out enough plots to total at least 1/2 acre. This will help disperse the browse pressure on any one small plot.