Summer is coming and even though nature is outdoing herself with lush grass and the promise of a good mast crop, its still a perfect time to consider planting some food plots on your farm or ranch.
Depending on the types of plants you choose, food plots provide nutritional boosts than can result in increased antler growth, more nutrient-rich milk to help fawns grow faster, and a good source of stockpiled forage for white tail deer and wild turkeys to feed on during bad weather this winter.
The best food plots are always going to be those that will do well with little attention, once the planting is done. This means selecting crops that will be naturally hardy, even when rainfall is less than optimal, while still providing optimal nutrition and appeal to help boost wildlife health and attract it to your land.
Spring and summer food plots play an important role
While fall crops will always be critical for wildlife survival, spring and early summer plantings will also help provide a consistent food source that our deer herds need. In addition, food plots can help to keep deer from becoming pests and damaging gardens and landscaping near homes, as well as helping prevent over-browsing of natural vegetation.
Plant when spring and summer temperatures are optimal for germination
For the best germination rates and plant health, seeding for early spring plantings should be timed for when soil temps are between 55 and 65 degrees. Summer seeding for food plots works best at temperatures a little warmer, usually near the 70 degree mark. Just like garden plants, it is always important to wait until after the last spring frost to sow the seeds, although it is fine to till, fertilize, and perform other food plot preparations much earlier in the spring.
What to plant in your summertime food plot
Deer require a considerable amount of protein to grow antlers and thrive in the wild, but they also need high-energy foods to help them lay on some fat for winter and to fuel their highly physical lives. A good mixture of seeds to consider for planting includes both legumes for protein and corn for energy.
The legumes should include some mixture of soybeans, peas, and peanuts, all of which grow well in the Carolinas. When planted along with corn, this variety forages will offer differing maturity dates to help keep white tails interested and coming back to feed throughout the summer and right up to fall deer season.
One of the best things about food plots is that you can make them as large or small as you like. Tucking a few into hidden areas, along with some larger areas will help to provide a variety of places for deer to feed, as well as creating some excellent places for a deer blind or stand, come season.
Food plots are a natural addition to the perfect North Carolina farm or ranch. Email us for preferred vendors that we use for food plots! Food Plots in NC are fun to make!
Planting food plots on your North Carolina ranch or farm property is the perfect way to help protect and nurture our state’s wildlife population, while continuing to enjoy exciting hunts, season after season. If you, or someone you know, hasn’t yet found your own piece of rural paradise, we may already have just what you are hoping to find.
If you see something you like and want to take a look, or have a specific question about rural real estate in general, call us and let us know – Gardner can be reached at (919) 749-3177 and Frank at (919) 696-4249. As always, we would be honored to help you enjoy a great buying or selling experience.
P.S. Just a heads up: Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday, May 13th, 2018. You still have a little time to remember that special someone in your life, so don’t forget!