Food Plots

Food Plots

Food Plots

Plants Grown to be Eaten

Evolved hand-selects seeds based on their ability to attract wildlife with a high-volume, nutritious food source. Rather than crop production seeds that harvest a fruit or flower, our forage variety seeds are designed specifically for consumption in the field. They grow to be eaten, then re-grow to be eaten again. This results in more foliage and more food for wildlife, so your property provides a nutrient-rich, highly-palatable diet all year long.

Food Plot Benefits

  • 1 acre provides up to 50-75 acres of natural woodland forage
  • Higher quality forage than native or crop production growth
  • Increase deer density and carrying capacity of land
  • Improve overall herd health, reproductive success and antler development

Seed Blend Types

  • Annuals: These are fast-growing, high-yielding forage varieties that must be planted every year. They can typically be planted during the spring (warm season annuals) or fall (cool season annuals).
  • Perennials: Perennials take longer to establish but have longer survival rates, often lasting 3 years or more with proper maintenance. These plants have a high protein content and are easy to digest.
  • Annual/Perennial Blends: These blends provide the benefits of perennials and annuals in one food plot – with some plants that grow large quantities quickly, and others that provide consistent growth for several years.
  • No-Till: These user-friendly blends can be grown and maintained without the use of heavy machinery or disking. They’re highly adaptable and can grow just about anywhere.

 

Plant Varieties

Clovers

Annual clovers produce high yields of easily digestible forage. Perennial clovers are typically mixed with other perennial varieties and consistently attract large numbers of deer.

Examples: arrowleaf, crimson, ladino, red, white

Brassicas

These true forage varieties can produce up to 30 tons of wet matter per acre and are high in protein.

Examples: canola, kale, rape, turnips

Legumes

There’s a legume for every season and every planting schedule. Warm season annuals are planted in spring and perennials can typically be planted in either the spring or fall.

Examples: Alfalfa, cowpeas, lablab, soybeans, sunn hemp

Grains

Grains are usually annual crops that can be planted in the spring or fall. They produce high tonnage quickly.

Examples: Corn, sorghum, wheat, oats, ryegrass

Learn more about plant profiles here.

 

Food Plot Prep and Maintenance

Selecting a Location

The purpose of a food plot is to draw deer onto your property, so choose somewhere centrally located to keep them on your land (not your neighbor’s). The ideal planting site is secluded from public view and any foot traffic. This will ensure deer feel safe enough to visit regularly. The size of the plot will depend on the purpose: year-round grazing areas require at least two acres, while plots grown for hunting can be smaller. Avoid sandy/rocky soils and areas full of stumps.

Proper pH

Soil pH regulates how many nutrients plants can absorb. The correct pH varies by seed variety – typically somewhere between 5.5 and 7.5. Reference packaging and/or specific product pages on this website to identify the correct pH range for your particular blend. Test soil pH using the Harvest pH meter, or visit your local agriculture office to collect a detailed soil report.

People are often prone to apply fertilizer to a poorly performing plot, when adjusting pH is really the proper solution. Add lime at approximately 2000 pounds/acre to raise pH by one point. (This can take up to 6 months to take full effect.) High pH is uncommon, but can be corrected by adding sulfur.

Soil Prep

Before planting, make sure you’ve selected an area that is the proper pH and free of any weeds. This will prime the soil for proper growth and eliminate competition for water and nutrients.

  • 5 weeks before planting: Spray with Glyphosate herbicide.
  • 1 week before planting: Disk thoroughly, about 4-6 inches deep.
  • Week of planting: Spray with herbicide if any additional weeds have sprouted. Lightly disk again. Drag the seed bed to pack down soil. (A chain link fence with a 4×4 post on each end is an easy dragging method.)

Note: No-till varieties can be planted without the use of heavy equipment.

Planting

The most important factor to consider when planting is moisture. Planting should always be done on slightly damp soil with rain forecasted in the next several days.

Spread seed using an ATV or hand spreader. Take special care with small seeds (clovers, alfalfa, turnips, etc.) to ensure soil is packed down and level so seeds don’t fall deeper than a quarter inch. Rather than a typical square, food plots do best when planted in a unique shape (such as an hourglass, “V” or “L”). This creates multiple access points both for deer and hunting stands. Plant east to west for optimum sunlight, especially if working with a smaller area of land. Once seeds have been distributed, drag to the recommended depth.

Fertilization

Wait to fertilize until growth has established to approximately 4 inches in height. Fertilization should also take place when rain is expected in the forecast.