QUESTION: I have a spot in south Louisiana where I'd really like to plant a food plot. It is an old oil field location and has a residual amount of salt in it.
The open area is about two acres and has some small, woody-stemmed trees growing in a few spots. There is a small amount of grass in the opening, but the little that exists is very thin and just barely covers the ground.
Is there a type of plant that can tolerate these super salty conditions and would make a good food plot?
Am I foolish for even attempting to plant a food plot in such a location, and do you think it's best for me to simply stick with a feeder? --Ron
ANSWER: It's difficult to say without observing the site to see what is currently growing there, and without having tested the soil to see just how saline (salty) it is.
To be honest, it sounds like your odds of successfully planting a food plot in an area with the conditions you've described are quite low.
Furthermore, saline soils cannot typically be reclaimed by chemical amendment, conditioner or fertilizer.
Depending on local conditions and resources, it might be possible to reclaim the soils by applying enough water to leach them thoroughly. This means irrigation, which requires a means of getting the water on the site, holding it there temporarily, and then draining it off.
When you take all of the above into account, it might actually be less expensive and labor intensive to reclaim some nearby forested areas by cutting, stumping and grading.
Or, yes, just stick with a feeder.