With hunting season beginning, it’s time to get boots on the ground! Food plots are all the rage when attracting bucks and does alike onto your tract. A lot of thought and planning should go into the haven and into making sure you have just what the deer crave. Not every plan will be right for your sanctuary, as there is definitely a balance of finding what works for your area and your deer population. Since a deer’s nutritional needs will change as they grow, you’ll want a smorgasbord of delectable choices to pick from. So, here is a list to utilize in creating a lasting food plot.
Before you begin your food plot, you’ll want to make sure you know the soil you wish to use. If you can, do a soil test to find the PH balance; this will help you tremendously as you discover how much lime or DeerGro your soil needs in order to grow the healthiest, lasting foliage. You’ll also want to take in whether your seeds need wetter or drier soil in order to sprout. Is the terrain flat or sloped? These details will help you get a game plan together for your food plot. It’ll be wise to get a good mix of seed to plant at once, this way they will grow as their season comes and provide food for the deer all year long.
Food Plot Plant Options:
A great way to draw in deer is providing winter peas, these annual legumes are made for the cool weather! They are also high in protein, making it beneficial to a deer’s diet. These seedlings do best in well-drained soils and keep in mind that they will need to be worked into the soil!
If you are looking to offer a nice cover crop this fall, look no further than the cereal oats. A productive use for oats is using them in protecting a delicate seedling until the weather has cooled and the plant has matured. This is perfect for certain legumes like peas that cannot take strong heats and sunlight. Oats are also highly digestible and full of protein, making it a great addition to growing a healthy deer.
One thing every plot owner swears by is clovers. There are many pros to take in besides them being a great treat for deer, they will also grow back year after year. Then if you decide to plant something new, just till over the clover will make great natural fertilizer. The clover will add the needed nutrients and moisture to the crop, but it will then grow back in the spring once the crop itself has died off. It is of course suggested to use red clovers as they are great for soil, but some stewards of the land say mixing in white clovers is a smart move as deer prefer their taste.
Another crop that survives in several different climate conditions is lablab, a species of bean. The only thing it won’t tolerate is a wet soil, although it will still grow under intense heat and dry conditions. Deer are attracted to them for their nutritional value.
Rye is another amazing force of nature as it will survive some of the toughest temperatures and grow in nearly any soil. Some people have even found it growing in their truck bed! It is known for surviving well through winter and into spring, providing the deer with great food through those cold, bare winter months. The only reason deer will not benefit from it in the winter is if heavy snow covers the ground so they can’t reach it. Rye will also sprout back in the spring.
And with that, you are now on your way to creating your own food plot! Send us a message and let us know what you planted this year.
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Good luck! We hope you and your property draw in some true trophy bucks this season!