Fall Food Plot Seeding Methods

Midwest Whitetail • August 04, 2023

There are four primary ways that we at Midwest Whitetail go about getting a food plot in the ground for fall, and we’re going to summarize them here for you.

Direct Broadcast

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The first and simplest way is broadcasting seed directly into a standing grain. Normally in August we will take a Brassica mix and broadcast directly into standing beans. We generally already have bare dirt underneath those beans, and, while they're a little shaded out, we often still get some reasonable germination. Then we can have a green food plot underneath once the crop gets harvested.

Classic Tillage

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We’ve used the classic tillage method a lot over the years. Just using small equipment, whether that be an ATV with a disc, a small tractor with a little rototiller, or even a hand tiller, we’re just tilling up small micro plots, seeding them, and using a cultipacker to pack them down. It has been extremely effective for us for many years. You want to be sure to pack the soil afterward to get the best germination. You also need to stay on top of keeping the soil moist.


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The third seeding technique is the no-till method. That's what we're doing this year. There are lots of advantages for soil health. We spray the plot with Roundup 24D mixture to kill the grasses and the broadleaves, and then follow that with spreading fertilizer on the ground. We used a stabilized fertilizer this time, which didn’t have to get worked into the ground or be put in right before a rain. Now we just come in here with the drill and drill seeds into the ground.

Poor Mans’ Plot (Hand Tools Only)

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The fourth method is one that we've often referred to on Midwest Whitetail as “The Poor Man's plot,” which refers to a minimal tool/minimal equipment type of approach. In some cases, it’s the only plausible method, such as when you want to put a plot at a location where you can’t get larger equipment, or that is beyond crops you don’t want to run over on the way to reach it. It’s also useful in other situations such as when you’re planting in a lease or permission-based location and just want to install a honey hole plot in the back of an area surrounded by timber where there’s no access. Essentially, you’re just using hand tools and a “where there’s a will there’s a way” approach to food plotting.

In Summary

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The concept behind our food plots in general is A) spray it to kill the competitive vegetation, B) fertilize where possible (in our case, we’re using Brassica, which loves nitrogen, so we apply a stabilized 46-0-0 mixture of urea before laying the seed), and C) get your seed into the ground. All four of the aforementioned methods can be quite effective for achieving this, depending on which stage you’re in and what sort of property you’re hunting. They can all turn an average hunting ground into a great one, adding excess food above and beyond the native browse, and creating more deer encounters—thus, a more enjoyable hunting experience.

--Midwest Whitetail