Ask The Biologist

A Plot for All Seasons

A Plot for All Seasons

By Bob Humphrey

Why a seed mix can be a great choice for a multi-season food plot.

QUESTION: My property is in south-central Indiana. I have about a 1.5 acres cleared in the center of my property, and I would like to put in a food plot for deer and turkeys. What would you suggest I plant?

ANSWER: If your goal was merely to build a fall hunting plot, I might suggest an annual that will grow fast and reach peak nutrition and attractiveness during hunting season. However, as you mentioned both deer and turkeys, I’m going to assume you want to something that will attract turkeys in the spring and deer in the fall, while also providing nutrition in between. The most cost- and labor-effective way to accomplish that is with a perennial.

You have several options, depending to some extent on slope, aspect and soil moisture. For starters, I would suggest a blend containing several different species. I like to mix it up. Some species struggle if it’s too warm or to cold, too wet or too dry. My personal choice would be something containing several varieties of perennial clover and chicory.

Clover is a turkey magnet, provides protein for growing deer and will attract deer through the early to mid fall — and it tends to do better in moist soil. Chicory is more of a deer attractant and has a deeper root system so will do better should you have an exceptionally dry season when clover might struggle.

Whatever you choose, the most important step will be to take a soil sample and send it in for analysis. I also suggest you settle on a mix first so you can identify on your soil test form what your crop is. That way you’ll get more specific instructions on how to treat the soil for best results.

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Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd