Food Plots – Early & Late Season
When it comes to food plots there are several ways to go. From how you plant, where you plant and in particular what all to plant. When I am planning food plots for the upcoming year I like to split them up into two time periods; early season and late season.
Food Plots for Early Season
First let’s start with my early season plots. These food plots are the ones that get planted in early spring. They will provide the deer herd and wildlife with added forage throughout the spring, summer and early fall months. For these types of food plots I like to plant perennial’s and mostly legumes. The top legumes I like to plant are white clover, alfalfa, and forage peas. I like to frost seed my clover and alfalfa into existing food plots or new areas in late February into the beginning of March. This is a very easy way to get clover and alfalfa established and growing before everything begins to green up in the spring. Into late April and May is a good time to plant chicory and forage peas. Peas & Chicory give your deer herd lots of high quality forage throughout the summer months.
Early season food plots also make for really good smaller kill plots. Of course this helps you hunt those bachelor groups on their summer feeding patterns. Another good legume that is a great food source is drilling or planting soybeans in late May. Soybeans provide forage all the way through summer and into the late season. They offer great protein while they are green and growing throughout the summer. Plus in the fall and winter the deer can eat the beans out of the pods when the weather gets cold.
Late Season Food Plots
Now moving into late summer around the beginning to middle of August. This is a great time to start preparing and planting your food plots that will offer food source for your deer into the fall and early winter months. For these types of food plots I like to plant a lot of blends containing oats, turnips and radishes. The oats will come up and start growing fast giving your deer some young tender green plants to eat while the turnips and radishes get growing. The deer will eat on the tops of the turnips and radishes while they are growing. Once it freezes and all the sugars get sent down to the turnip and radishes is when the deer will really crave the turnips and radishes themselves. There are also a few varieties of turnips out there that won’t put a bulb below ground but offer a lot of above ground forage that is very resilient to cold weather and give the deer lots of green forage to eat when everything else is brown and crunchy.
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