Locate an opening for your low-cost food plots and put in some human horsepower.
It's obvious previously farmed land is often easier to work with, but woodland sites attract cautious wildlife more than wide-open spaces. Not to mention crops require significant sunlight and suitable soil.
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office regarding soil pH testing to maximize your time and space.
Once you have a handle on the soil pick a couple of small openings with a focus on ambush sites or funnels. This style of site, due to its small nature, serves best as a location to waylay a buck or turkey en route to another location. It can attract and make your target pause in the perfect hunting location.
Good locations to research include interior openings in large stands of timber, edges of large meadows or grasslands, and any sunny area along a river bottom doubling as a travel corridor. Be sure to note how much sunlight hits the spot because a brief window adds up to mixed results.
Soil should have been limed several months in advance along with some initial soil preparation. Now watch for rain. A shot of rain allows you to easily break the ground further with a rake, hoe or even hand cultivator. Plus, moisture allows the seed you spread to germinate quickly. After scratching the soil, scatter your seed by tossing it or use a hand spreader. What you plant depends on the time of year, but clovers offer year-round nutrition, while brassica and alfalfa stand up to severe Midwest and Northern climates.
This style of plot works along prairie river bottoms. Other, much larger croplands are good to surround your sites, but their open nature often makes mature creatures think twice about visiting them in daylight. On the other hand, small plots in cover adjacent to these fields are often visited during shooting light as deer travel to nearby agriculture fields.