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Planting Fall Food Plots

Updated on July 31, 2016
A doe and her fawns enjoying some clover
A doe and her fawns enjoying some clover | Source

Find The Spot

Sometimes this can be the hardest part and sometimes it can be the easiest part. I have always found the best spot to plant my late summer plots are right out in front of and around my stands. Almost any location will work for this endeavor. A small clearing, ATV trails, logging road or landing. Just about any place will do.

Why? Because these plots aren't meant to grow big bucks or even hold deer to your property. Instead, they should be seen and used as a buffet line for the numerous bucks and does that will walk over your place come the rut. So no need to go grab the farmer's tractor down the road and plant a four acre patch of winter wheat. Instead grab a rake, a shovel, and a cooler and lets get planting.

Small foodplot in a logging landing
Small foodplot in a logging landing | Source

Rough Up That Ground

Next its time to rough up the ground. If you can try using a lawn mower or weed-whacker to get all the vegetation as low as you can get it. Then start breaking up the dirt with a rake and shovel. Most of the plants we will be putting down don't need much more than some roughed up dirt as a seedbed.

What to Plant?

This is always one of the harder questions, deer hunters ask themselves as they start getting their plots ready. Below are just a few of the options of there for hunters to use as last minute food plots.

Winter Wheat

Always a good mainstay forage for last minute food plots. With only 7-14 days til germination and sprouting, you will quickly see the fruits of your labor. Seed it at 25 pounds per acre seeding rate and there will be plenty of forage for the deer throughout the winter.


Deer love the sweetness of turnips and other brassicas. The seeds are tiny and don't spread it on too thick or cover it with too much dirt. Plant them in mid to late August and you should have some baseball size turnips come mid-November.

Rye Grass

Rye grass is a simple ingredient to almost all of the "throw and go" food plot mixtures you see in stores around this time of year. This is among the easiest of plants to grow in your last minute food plot. You can just grab a bag and throw it out wherever you want a quick food plot to grow. Just don't go to overboard with rye grass as it doesn't hold much nutritional value for the deer.

Turnip Bulbs
Turnip Bulbs | Source

Hope the Rain Comes

Now is the waiting game. Just hope and pray for some good rainfall in the coming weeks to start growing your food plot.

Big 10 pointer just cruising during the rut
Big 10 pointer just cruising during the rut | Source

Hunt Hard

Now comes the time for the payoff. Hunt the food plot hard but be sure to watch the wind that it doesn't blow across your plot. Enjoy the hunt but like always be sure to be safe.


What is your favorite food plot crop?

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