We are currently working on several habitat improvements to a 5 acre parcel about an hour west of St Louis. This property is surrounded by large tracts of land with a lot of woods & streams. The area has very little high nutrition agricultural fields, as most fields are hay. Our goal is to make the property a beacon for wildlife by adding year round nutrition & high grass bedding areas.
This process will take several years due to both time constraints, financial costs & growth rate. Our plan is to complete the process in 5 steps.
1.) Priovide More Dense Cover
2.) Plant Orchard
3.) Plant Food Plot
4.) Plant Bedding Area
5.) Supplement Feeding
This year we planted nearly 100 trees & bushes to start to provide more dense cover. We were lucky & bought out a nursery that was closing! We are planning on planting a 10′ swath of tall grass around the entire property perimeter in the spring to complete the process.
We also planted our orchard this year, as it will take a couple years before producing a good amount of fruit. We added 24 fruit trees between 5 & 7 feet tall, a couple crab apples & blackberry & raspberry bushes. We watched for sales & ended up doing this very inexpensivey. We have several trees already bearing fruit & the deer are taking advantage. Be sure to do your research on the fruit trees you are buying and especially the pollination requirements, this can become quite involved. A few years from now we will have apples, peaches, plumbs & pears, crab apples & berries ripening at different times throughout the entire summer and fall. These will be a great attractant along with the large amount of acorns that fall each year.
We are hoping to add a food plot this fall and the bedding area in the spring.