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Blends or Not


There are so many choices available today for food plot mixtures. Some crops and plants are good regardless of where you live and the climate. Soybeans, corn, clover are all excellent choices when planting crops. But most landowners and hunters want to provide a variety of nutrients to their deer herd and get the most for their money. This is where blends are especially nice.

Blends, to put it simply are premixed seeds that when planted will provide a variety of crops in the same plot. For example, your blend will contain cereal grains such as oats, wheat, and barley. It can also contain some clover, a few brassicas, peas, and basically any combination you can conceive. The benefit of blends is that it offers a buffet style of food choices to the wildlife.

But the best part of blends is that the maturation rate of the different plants vary as much as thirty to forty five days offering different choices during different parts of the season. For example, your peas may be ready and being fed on as early as August, while the brassicas, turnips, radishes etc may not be palatable until late October or later. This keeps the plot active for a much longer timeframe and offers hunters greater opportunities while offering your herd different nutrients. Lastly, the blends also offer excellent late winter offerings to help your herd recover from hunting season and get them through the winter.

Most popular seed distributers offer blends in a wide variety of combinations and different price points. The other alternative is to create your own blend based on your particular soil, climate and what the deer seem to prefer. On our property we have clover in all of our plots, its low maintenance and winter tolerance make it a great choice. In our opinion good clover stand is difficult to improve upon. But to mix it up, we will annually use a seed drill and drill into the clover different crops to enhance the plot. We have drilled in soybeans, corn, millet, oats, and even turnips. The drilled seed will sprout quickly and soon get to a sustainable height above the clover and grow very well. These annuals will spend their life during the fall offering excellent feed for the herd and when they die; their residue will quickly compost and provide more nutrients to the clover.

Whether you purchase premixed blends, or make your own, the offering of blends over single crop offerings is certainly something to consider as you plan your plantings for this season.