Late Season Food Plots
So it’s almost labor day and the start of deer season for most people is little over a month away. You’ve got the family vacations out of the way. The kids are headed back to school soon. Football is starting to pop up on the TV. You know it’s getting time to head to the stand or blind.
“Can I still plant a late season food plots?” Of course you can!!
The hardcore food plot guys that have been planting plots for years may say it’s too late for clover or alfalfa to get any use out of it. This may be true. But, fall seeding of clover and alfalfa is excellent for starting establishment for NEXT YEAR. As all deer hunters have said one time or another. “There’s always next year…” and that’s the case with late season food plots of clover and alfalfa.
One of My Favorite’s Is the Turnip
One of my favorite late season plants to seed would be the all mighty turnip! With the advancements in cover crops over the last decade, turnips are a go to for any local cover cropper like myself. Ease of use and the amount of leaf material that is generated by the plant in such a short order is a no brainer!
A few other products I like for late season would be rape seed, kale, sugar beets, and chicory. These planted later in the year will stay green late into hunting season. Deer can’t resist the lush green, leafy plant structure it provides. Especially when all other plants, such as corn and soybean fields, are dried up and brown come deer season. Also I have found that oats planted at a higher rate have had some success attracting those late season deer to an area. Not only for a food source but also they can become bedding areas as well.
Ok, you have your plot seed. It’s labor day weekend. You and Dave are headed to the honey hole with a case of beer….now what?
As far as choosing an area to seed your late season food plots, I’m a big advocate on using a food plot to draw deer your way. Because we all know that 200 inch swamp donkey you’ve seen for the last 6 seasons is always across the fence at your neighbors place who you may not see eye to eye with. With that being said put your plot in a natural travel corridor so deer feel safe and want to come back for some grub again and again!
It’s Good Idea To Turn The Plot Area Black
When it comes to application there are many different ways to apply your seed to your plot area. A lot of guys will enlist the help of a neighbor or friend that has access to a disk. Use the disk to turn the plot area black. Which is a good idea to have done to eliminate the competition of other weeds and grasses.
From this point there are a few options. If you have access to a grain drill of sorts, guys can drill the seed into the soil to ensure good seed to soil contact for good establishment. If you don’t have access to a drill, broadcasting with a spreader can be an efficient way of getting your seed into your plot. A small piece of advice – always keep your drill or spreader set low to begin with because you don’t want to run out half way through your plot! Speaking from experience here!
Don’t Get Discouraged
After applying seed to the desired area I always like to suggest harrowing the area to guarantee that tree seed is covered. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. An old hog panel with a few cinder blocks tied to it will usually do the trick! I myself have tried to do the old “throw and grow” method. Haven’t had the best success with it, so I wouldn’t suggest it. For any first time food plot guys, don’t get discouraged if your late season food plots do not work out exactly like you had envisioned. There’s always next year!
Contact Dan Miller at Millermatic Seed to learn more about your seeding options and our LaCrosse Seed Brand of products.
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It was a little later than I planned but got my fall plots in the ground! Now praying for some rain to get them going. I’m sure they won’t be great this year as it’s been a lot of work taking it from completely overgrown to a plot. Mowed and sprayed it all twice and still a lot of weeds. Next year with some more work they will be looking nice! Great advice on not getting discouraged for sure…