No till food plots for deer should not be confused with no work food plots for deer. Food plots for deer require experience and know how to produce, and if you are here looking for an easy way out, you are in the wrong place. Despite what some seed blend manufacturers may claim on their bags, you can’t just pick a spot in the woods and rough up the ground with a rake, throw some seed out, and expect a deer to come and eat so you can shoot it. It does not happen.
No till food plots for deer refers to the equipment used to work the ground and plant the seed. No till equipment does not break and flip the ground like traditional farm equipment does. No till food plots are put in the ground by slitting a groove where the seed is deposited, and then the slit is closed over the top. The main reason no till is utilized is to save the soil from erosion, and moisture loss.
Erosion occurs from both wind and rain. When we plow and disc, we expose unsecured clumps and pieces of soil to the wind and rain. This loose dirt is easily moved around by water and wind, and the resulting erosion degrades the field. Fields with excessive grade and soils more prone to erosion are prime candidates for no till food plots for deer for these reasons.
Soils in parts of the country with lower average rainfall amounts are also candidates for no till food plots for deer. Every time we flip the soil with a plow or disc, we expose 10 times the amount of the soils surface area to the air. This exposure means the soil dries rapidly and we lose too much of the moisture contained. By using no till ag equipment, we reduce moisture loss and save the water in the ground for our plants to suck up and grow.
No till equipment is the latest in agriculture, making it expensive. In regions of the country where it is required due to conditions it may be your only option, but the normal plotter will be better off buying well worn farm gear to put in his food plots for deer. It may take some extra time, and we may lose some moisture, but the cost vs benefit formula says old equipment is the best way to go.
Now if you came here looking for easy to plant food plots for deer, we can lay that out. The easiest food plot for deer is a late summer planted seed blend made for your area. Most of the seed bed has germinated by late summer so we have less weed competition. In Minnesota this is a late August planting, and if you are further south like Missouri, you may be planting as late as the 3rd week in September. This schedule gives you all spring and summer to get a complete vegetative kill, and a chance to work the seed bed twice for optimal plant growth.
We start when the ground thaws by grabbing a soil sample to test our ph and fertilizer requirements. Take it to the ag office and for $12 they will let you know how much lime and fertilizer you will need to grow your selected seed blend. When the deciduous leaves are dime size, we will spray the weeds in our plot with RoundUp, spread the required lime to adjust our PH, and then we can work the soil 10 days later the first time. We will spray again when the seed bed regerminates in June, and our seed bed should be prepped and ready to plant.
Patience is paramount now, and we will wait until our late August to late September date we picked rolls around, and we will try to time our planting to coincide with a nice late summer rain. Most of the seed blends we will put down now will be spread after we lightly rework the soil with a drag, and then we run the drag one more time for good seed to sol contact to get our food plots for deer the start they need to be successful.
After the seed is down we will add the recommended fertilizer and pray for rain. You will have the greenest bounty in town late fall, and the deer will readily come to the only green growing food source on your entire property.
We can see that even ‘easy’ food plots for deer require planning, prep and work, but if you do not do them right, they simply will not draw in deer. No till and throw and grow are BS in the world of food plots for deer. Do your homework and execute the proper plan and you can enjoy success adding food plots for deer into your whitetail hunting strategies. No till food plots for deer are not an option for most of us, but food plots for deer should be part of every land managers plan.