Food Plot Planting Tips

The mid part of August offers up one of the few “down times” in our deer management. Trail cameras are up and our fall mix food plots won’t be planted for another couple weeks. So what is there to do? Plan and prepare for your food plot planting in the weeks ahead.

In central Illinois, we utilize two distinct planting times for fall food plots. The difference is in what is being planted. For a pure brassica stand like what we helped Full Draw Hunts plant, we’ll focus on planting around the first half of August if the moisture is there. This will give the plants ample opportunity to grow before the end of the growing season and maximize the amount of forage they provide. In our food plots that are planted in mixes such as Pennington Feeding Frenzy that include cereal grains and legumes, we’ll hold off toward the end of the month. When planting mixes like these, you don’t want the grains to grow too tall. They become less desirable and tough the taller they grow. Planting them closer to the end of the growing season will ensure they don’t have enough time to grow too much.

One tip in our fall food plot program that has provided great success is enhancing areas that are within bow range of our stands by broadcasting chicory after planting the plot with The Firminator. Chicory is one of our favorite forages to plant in our food plots simply because the deer seek it out and devour it. By planting it only in locations that are within range, we can push the odds in favor that any deer that enters the plot will eventually come to the small area of chicory and provide a shooting opportunity. If you have a favorite species of plant that deer seem to eat more than anything else, give this planting tip a try this fall!