Planting Spring Deer Food Plot
Kevin Felts 03.23.17
Spring is a great time to start the deer food plot. This helps kick start things for next deer season.
As if in a tug of war, old man winter slowly gives way to spring. Crab apple and wild cherry trees start to bloom, both of which represent the beauty of nature. It is after the chance of frost has passed that the most loyal of hunters return to the woods to plant their spring food plots.
If the hunter is lucky enough to own a tractor or have access to one, we will start by disking the ground. This breaks the soil up and gives the seeds a place to go.
For the most part, this is not like gardening. The hunter will not usually be concerned about making nice raised rows. This is just a food plot for deer after all. We just want get the seeds and fertilizer in the ground.
Spread the fertilizer over the top of the ground then disk everything up. I prefer 13-13-13 fertilizer for just about everything I plant.
Food Plot Seeds
After the soil is broke up, seeds are cast:
- Greens – turnips, radishes, etc. As bugs begin to hatch, they will feast on leafy greens. I have seen a summer garden planted with greens wiped out in a day from insects. Because of this, greens are best planted in cool weather.
- Ryegrass – this is a cold weather grass and will die off when the weather warms up. A lot of hunters plant ryegrass in late fall, but it can be replanted in very early spring.
I like to plant a couple of days before a good rain. Otherwise, the seeds will usually not sprout until there is rain fall. Since a lot of the seeds will be on top of the ground, birds will feast on them.
As for the seeds, I usually throw some my old garden seeds out for the deer food plot. I keep a seed stockpile in my freezer. Every few years I like to rotate out some of the older seeds. The old seeds are either planted for a garden, or used in the food plot. New seeds are then bought to replace the seeds that were taken out of the freezer.
Hopefully, the spring garden will last through the summer. Then, in late summer and early fall we can plant for hunting season.