These are Michael Waddell’s top picks for fall food plots, and food plots in the south! How to Calibrate a Food Plot Sprayer. However, it is illegal as a food plot in some areas so be sure to check local laws before planting. On this edition of "Deer Factory," Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss tactics for establishing warm-season food plots. In the north, spring planting also works, but you can also plant in September to take advantage of a wet season that typically occurs from October through November. It both maximizes forage and helps put deer in bow range. Wheat, Oats and Cereal Rye Wheat, oats, and cereal rye (not perennial ryegrass) can be an excellent choice for a simple and easy fall food plot. However, in the Deep South, red clover performs more like an annual. It is a little sensitive in the seedling stage to overgrazing, drought or lack of fertility. The brassica family includes several well-known plants including broccoli, kale, turnips and rapeseed. I've seen Lablab germinate and have two leaves per plant within 48 hours of planting. Millet is great for birds and excellent at controlling erosion, but it does not belong in a warm season deer food plot designed for nutrition as it will choke out almost anything else you plant. Oats don’t grow well in colder climates but can be mixed with hardier plants such as clover as an additional nutritional supplement. They are also Round-Up-ready, making them the go-to seed in areas where summer weeds are a significant problem. Fortunately for him, we were able to save the food plot by immediately installing a Gallagher fencing system around the field. Perhaps the best all-around, late-season plants are brassicas. Copyright © 2021 Field & Stream. The legumes are the highly nutritious and attractive species from the time they germinate until first frost. Some areas in the deep South can be planted in April with no problem or chance of frost but they should always be planted with impending rain. You will have to fight heat, drought, weeds and generally high deer densities, but in the end you will be rewarded with better deer and a better hunting experience in the fall. What can you do to ease the physical and mental rigors of being caught at full draw? I once had a client "pick up his own seed" and later found out that the main ingredient in the blend was brown-top millet, currently our second-most invasive weed on the entire property. Aeschynomene also can take browse pressure better than most legumes, thus making it a viable consideration for smaller acreage plots in areas of high deer densities. The cereal grains and legumes mentioned above should be planted about a half-inch deep but can be planted as deep as an inch. Perennial food plots are initially more expensive to establish but long term cost are actually lower than annual plots because all further mechanical seedbed preparations and seed cost are eliminated. The best of both worlds, if you have enough property and resources to support them, is to keep a good mix of both food plots for deer so you have all-season nutrition. Physical barriers, however, can provide up to 100 percent exclusion from installation until removal and come in two different forms; high fences and electric fences. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Be prepared to take care of the carcass and cape after downing your trophy buck. All rights reserved. Planting an eighth acre of soybeans in a thick area with little sunlight and high deer densities will have you giving up on summer plots almost before you start. Brassicas. The seed bed is very critical for summertime plots because it is in this bed that your moisture will be held through the long dry summers. Unlike fall plots that can be "rained" into their seed beds, spring species need to be covered to ensure proper rooting. Most of my clients do not want to look at a rolled up high fence on their food plots during hunting season so they use electric fences. Under the right situation, a one-half acre food plot placed in the right location and planted with the right crop works well. Justin Bair works intensively to manage his Ohio hill-country farm for whitetails. A proper soil test is needed to properly lime and fertilize according to the specific requirements of the species you intend to plant. Its big advantage is its tolerance of soil acidity down to 5.5 pH, its drought tolerance, and its longevity (5-10 years or more). From a deer hunter’s perspective, however, the preferred food-plot brassicas … For those of you with less-than-ideal food plot sites, it may take putting together a more creative mixture. https://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/ What should I plant? Avoiding Glyphosate Resistance. Make the most of your time by planting a crop to satisfy both deer and turkeys. I use the cereal grains in smaller acreage plots and as buffers, cover and travel corridors in larger plots. Trefoil is an excellent food plot choice for the North down to Mid-South (TN, VA, NC, north GA, north AL). Although deer prefer smaller plots, it takes more time and effort to create four, three acre plots than it does to create two, six acre plots. Lablab is one of the most drought tolerant legumes there is; it can survive on an inch or two of rain all season if planted correctly. Implements such as the Firminator and Plotmaster can aid in these efforts. A drag harrow can also be used in loose dirt to cover the seed followed by rolling or culti-packing to ensure good seed/soil contact. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. Installation and take-down of this system can be done by one person with relative ease and the components can be stored until the following spring. For many hunters and landowners, no-till and row planters aren't available, so plowing is the only way to prepare a seed bed. The best option for planting is mowing and poisoning your existing fall plots followed by no-till planting of the spring plots. Selecting the proper species to plant in a given food plot should be dependent on location, purpose, and size of your food plot. Soybeans can arguably be one of the best food plot species to plant. They have no choice; they must find nutrition somewhere. 5 Reasons Food Plots Fail. A client of mine had his Eagle leaves tested last summer by a lab and they tested out at 35 percent crude protein. Perennial warm season mixes in north central Texas should be planted between December 1st and April 15thwhile annual warm season mixes would be planted after the last expected frost for your area. Different crops draw deer at different times in the year, and if you want your food plot to be a truly productive place to hunt deer, you are going to want to diversify your crop. Sweet Spot - Southern Blend - If you want to create high-nutrition food plot that deer simply cannot resist than look no further than Sweet Spot deer food plot seed. Commercial seed blends such as Tecomate's Buck Beans, Lablab Plus and BioLogic's Biomass (pictured) can offer ready-to-plant options for southern plots. Produce mass quantities of leaves and do so very quickly once they are a significant problem maybe best, plot! 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