Seed blends in food plots for deer

Seed blends in food plots for deer


Seed blends in food plots for deer are many and varied.  Which seed blend in food plots for deer is a common question, and the answer changes with deer density, time of year, equipment access, and your soil base.  Let cover each topic to get you on the road for picking the proper seed blends in food plots for deer.


Seed blends in food plots for deer in high density areas


When you deal with high deer densities the game changes.  Pressure on your food plots early can wipe them out, or set them back to a point they can not recover before the spring rains quit and the summer heat comes.  In areas with high deer numbers seed blends in food plots for deer should either be able to handle heavy browsing pressure, or we will run a nurse crop to help them get started.


Almost any perennial such as clover, chicory or birdsfoot is a good choice for seed blends in food plots for deer with heavy feeding activity.  The key is to make sure they get off to a good start and we have a couple options.  Our first choice is to simply make the plot larger to provide more feed.  Simple math says the more plants means less pressure on each plant.  Resist the temptation to simply use more seed than the manufacturer suggests as this simply leads to overcrowding and food plot failure.  If the deer are hammering your plots to the ground, make them bigger, or start killing more does.

To get these perennials off to a good start we are going to add some fast growing attractive annuals to the seed blends in food plots for deer.  We call these annuals a nurse crop as they ensure a fast start for the slower growing perennials while they put their first year roots down.   Seed blends in food plots for deer may include winter wheat, cereal rye, and cereal oats along and even iron clay peas, sunflowers and soybeans.  All of these annuals jump out of the ground faster than our perennials that are focusing on root structure, and since the annuals are taller the deer target them instead of the perennials.  Don’t look for a lot of growth from your clovers the first year, but the second year with their roots established they will flourish and soak up tons of browse pressure without blinking an eye.


Seed blends in food plots for deer are easiest to plant late summer or early fall


Conventional wisdom suggests we plant in May or June like the farmers do, but it is not true for several reasons.

– Weed competition is only a fraction of the problem when you plant in the fall versus the spring.  Take the time to disc and spray a couple times in June and Early August and you will eliminate all the grasses and 80% of the seed bed.  This sets the stage for a successful fall planting free of unwanted weeds.   Most spring plots fail because of weeds, so take the spring and summer to prep and plant early fall.

– Fall plantings are still growing and attractive when the rest of the plant world is devoting energy to seed growth and root maintenance.  A growing plant is much more attractive and palatable to a whitetail deer, and seed blends in food plots for deer should focus on seeds that grow well in the cool early fall.


A weed free start means a successful perennial plot that will last for years.


Seed blends in food plots for deer must consider soil conditions


No 2 plants will grow the same in different soil beds.  Clover likes a heavy soil because it has shallow bushy roots while chicory prefers sandy conditions so it can send it’s taproot deep and outcompete other plants in the search for water,  Each specie has optimum ph requirements, fertilizer demands,  rainfall amounts and sunlight needs.  Your job in selecting the seed blends in food plots for deer is to match as closely as you can the growing environment on your land to the seed you lay down.  And don’t worry if every specie in the bag does not do well.  It’s a built in safeguard geared for your success, and the manufacturer knows it will ensure success when picking seed blends in food plots for deer.