Timing of Planting is Critical to Foodplot Success by Don Higgins

After 12 years of operating Real World Wildlife Products there is a continuing trend that is bothersome to me personally. It is a habit amongst many food-plotters that we have tried to address through education but it continues to happen on a fairly regular basis. I am talking about the habit of planting various seed species and blends at the wrong time for maximum success.

Let’s start with the fact that some seed species and blends are best planted in the spring and others are best planted in late summer (known as “fall planted”). There is an ideal planting window for every seed species and every seed blend. Real World has this information on our website as well as the packaging for each product but a lot of customers either miss or ignore this important information.

With spring-planted species and varieties the tendency is to plant them too late rather than too early. It is as if a lot of food plotters are slow to get started each spring and by the time they get motivated to plant their “spring” plots it is actually summer. Not only does this shorten the growing season for these plants but instead of becoming well-established when there is plenty of moisture in the spring, they struggle to take hold in the dry heat of summer.

Ironically, the opposite happens with fall-planted blends. A lot of food plotters get excited for the upcoming hunting season in mid-summer and go ahead and plant their fall plots several weeks early. This typically leads to plants that are too mature and lose palatability by the time hunting season opens. The best rule-of-thumb for fall-planted plots is to look at the average first-frost date for your area and plant your fall plots 45-60 days ahead of that date.

Planting can literally be done during every month of the year including winter months but each species has a planting window where it will perform best. Take the time to learn when this optimum time is for every seed species or blend that you plant. This may seem like an obvious bit of information but every year a lot of food plots fail simply because they were not planted at the correct time.

Those who are planting fall products in late July, you have to understand that you are loosing late season attraction and palatability.

Remember that when you are using products like Real World’s Deadly Dozen, you do not have to have the entire plot 10″ tall on opening day.  This blend is made up of 12 plant varieties that become palatable at different times through the hunting season.  From the time this blend has germinated, it will attract deer.   Other plants will become palatable as the plot continues to grow through the hunting season.

Show patience and have your plot ready to plant around forecasted rain 45-60 days before the first frost.   For most areas, this will be mid August through early September.