You may think this is weird, but I look forward to the first week of August almost as much as opening day of bow season. And when you start creating food plots yourself, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re already creating food plots, you know what I’m talking about.
Since I live and hunt mostly in Michigan, I plant all my food plots during the first 2 weeks of August. That gives the plants about 7-8 weeks to grow before the first frost. Not that the plants will stop growing after a frost, but many of the plants I grow are brassicas which are bitter before a frost, but turn sweet after a frost which is due to the alkaloids in the leaves.
Now if you have real small ambush food plots in an area of high deer numbers, those plants could get wiped out before bow season starts. That’s why planting brassicas makes so much sense. The deer will leave them alone because of the bitter taste, allowing the plants to grow to maturity before a frost…just in time for bow season when they start getting hit hard.
The frost or freeze will also cause much of the native vegetation in the surrounding natural habitat to become unattractive, soybeans also start to dry out and turn yellow and then brown. All this makes your food plot that much more attractive and effective for drawing in deer.
So what is a brassica anyway? The term “brassica” covers a large group of plants that include radishes, turnips, rutabagas, cabbages, cauliflower, canola, rape (first image) and kale. However, when deer hunters talk about brassicas, they are usually referring to kale, rape and turnips, as these are the most common type of brassicas planted in deer food plots.
Read more: best all predator calls for hunting reviews.
The one brasssica you will probably hear a lot more about in the future is the radish. Not just any radish, but a trophy radish or (diakon radish). They’re not the little round red radishes you’re used to seeing. Trophy radishes have a root which is white, grow up to 18 inches down into the ground and 2 inches in diameter. The tops are green and leafy and the deer love em!
They eat the tops in the early season and dig for the root in the late season, even dig through the snow.
What I have found is these radishes grow very quickly. They were sprouting out of the ground after just 4 days! They grew faster than anything else I ever planted.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go to the video from last year to see a real small food plot being planted. I call this a micro plot. It’s only 10 yards long x 4 yards wide…that’s small!
Remember this first video is from 2009. Further down this page you’ll see a video where I plant new seeds around the outside of it to make it bigger in 2010. Sorry for the delay in getting these videos up online, hopefully you’ll find the wait worthwhile.
This next video was taken at a piece of property that an acquaintance of mine, Rich, was able to get permission to bowhunt. That’s right, we’re planting a food plot on a piece of property that’s not his, just permission to hunt and plant a plot. Keep in mind some people may allow you to plant a small plot on their property. You may want to wait until the second year before bringing up the food plot question to the land owner.
Below is the video of the 1/8 acre food plot I hunt in the middle of an Industrial Park. That’s right. It’s surrounded by buildings and a busy road. But with my plot, the deer have everything they need.
1. Undisturbed bedding areas
3. And now some great forage to attract them before they head out to the huge neighboring ag fields of soybeans. My daughters and I have taken plenty of does off this food plot the last 3 years. This not a plot for shooting big bucks…..not in the middle of an Industrial Park.