Question: “We have land that we’ve recently purchased for deer hunting in Central Texas. We want to plant food plots for whitetail deer this year but have not decided on what to plant. We want to use species that are work well in the area and provide good nutrition for the deer on our property. I am just wondering what you would suggest on planting or are going plant this spring, summer and fall for the deer in the Central Texas area?”
Food Plots for Deer: There are many, many options when it comes to spring, summer and fall food plots for whitetail deer any area. Some, however, will be better adapted to the soils found on your property. Others, not so much. There are three things that are necessary for successful food plots for whitetail: The seeds must grow, the plants must provide good nutrition and deer should want to eat it. If any of these elements come up short, so will your effort and providing supplemental foods.
I don’t know which soils are found on your property, but I would recommend doing a little research to find out. You can get this information online. Once you know this bit of information a commercial “seed guy” will really be able to help you. I would call a reputable seed company. Douglas King Seeds and Turner Seed Company are good ones for your part of Texas and either of them should be able to point you in the right direction. Do not just buy a food plot seed mix off the shelf from Wal Mart or Academy. Those mixes do work, but they may not work well or at all in your soils. You will also save some money if you buy any amount at all.
As for spring food plots, I would recommend staying away from clover. In your part of the world it may not get enough rain to last very long. A variety of clover could be mixed into your winter food plot at about 35 to 40 percent. Planting legumes during the fall cool season is generally better because of the opportunity for more moisture, cooler temperatures and increased chances of success. If the fall-planted clover does well in your area then you will not have to plant in the spring. Or, you can plow up part of it and plant some additional offerings into your deer food plot for spring forage. If the clover does not perform, then you can seed your spring plot on schedule without worry about the clover.
There are many options when it comes to food plots for whitetail deer in Central Texas. Cool season plots tend to perform better in Texas, but warm season plots can do great when you start with the right seeds/plants for your soil/s. Some helpful rainfall will go a long ways too. Food plots that grow during the winter tend to benefit the deer found on a property the most, especially when the deer population is at the right density for the area.