Food Plot & Supplement Feeding for Deer Guidelines

#1 – Site Selection

  • Understand the basic needs of the wildlife you are going to attract
  • Type of seed you are planting (Annual blend vs Perennial Blend)
  • Location: should have at least around 6 hours of sunlight or more per day

#2 – Soil Testing

  • This is the most critical & important part of the food plot planting
  • Take several samples & mix them to obtain the average for the area you want to plant
  • Take samples in a zigzag line or different areas where the plot will be planted
  • Take samples or send samples to the local extension office or other places that test soil in your area
  • A ph of around 7.0 is desired for best growth

#3 – Eliminating weeds and Soil conditioning

  • If existing weeds are present, spray them with a weed killing spray like Roundup or another name brand
  • Wait 10 to 14 days, add lime, fertilizer or whatever else the soil test results recommend. Lime will help raise the ph of your soil if it is running low or acidic.

#4 – Tillage

  • Use a disk, spring tooth harrow, plow or whatever implement you have to work the top 6” of topsoil when possible
  • Work lime, fertilizer and other recommendations into the soil at this time. Apply fertilizer recommendations based on the soil test results otherwise a basic fertilizer such as 10-10-10 is a good option as well. 
  • If applying liquid fertilizer, once the seed is broadcasted, spray liquid fertilizer to the ground
  • Remove debris and smooth area and break up clumps
  • Recommended waiting 10 to 14 days for new growth to occur and then spray again with weed killer. This allows eliminating weeds that might have germinated during the tillage and prep of the soil for seed planting

#5 – Seeding

  • Wait for 7 to 10 days before seeding if a 2nd round of weed killer was applied to the food plot area
  • Plant seed blend using a spreader (handheld, pull behind, broadcast, etc.)
  • Remember to walk fast and spin slow to get proper coverage for your area
  • After the seed has been spread, it is recommended to lightly rake, cultipack, roll, etc. to get good seed and soil contact
  • Be careful not to plant the seed blend too deep. Usually ¼” – ½” is plenty good in most cases for the best performance

#6 – Maintaining your plot

  • Monitor your plot through the season.
  • Clipping or mowing might be needed depending on how tall your perennial crop reaches. For the White Rack perennial blend, mowing or clipping typically stimulates new growth and helps thicken your plot
  • Overseeding – plot starts to thin out so you can sometimes consider overseeding to help thicken the plot
  • Fertilize – apply fertilizer to your plots in a granular or liquid form if needed