When to plant food plots

Have you decided what wildlife or deer food plot seed to plant? If so, the next question is when to plant. There’s no perfect answer to this question. The easiest way to decide is to follow the seed company recommendation. You can find those here. If you want to be more precise, keep reading.

Factors to consider when deciding when to plant deer food plot seed

The decision of when is impacted by a number of factors, including freeze risk, rainfall, soil temp, and others. We generally recommend planting within the recommended planting window for your geography. However, you should consider the following factors to fine tune your decision for each deer food plot seed.

Schedule and availability

This goes without saying. If your property is a long drive, you may only have certain dates at your disposal. The best thing you can do is to try to keep time open to plant during the preferred window. If not, your second option is to tailor your deer food plot seed choice to your availability. Schedule is often the limiting factor for those unable to visit their property frequently. If you are more flexible, you can adjust to other factors as well.


This is usually the most important factor when deciding when to plant. If you are flexible, try to plant when there is a good chance of rain in the coming days. If the 10 day forecast shows no chance of rain, you should push back your planting if possible.


Certain spring plantings, such as corn, are susceptible to freezing if planted too early. While earlier plantings often result in larger crops, too early creates a risk of freeze harming your crops. Check out the USDA planting zones map to understand when your risk is reduced.

Spring versus Fall

A number of perennial deer food plot seeds, such as clover, can be planted in spring of fall. The preferred planting timing varies with geography. If both are options, you’ll want to choose the season that allows you to be best prepared to plant. Perennials take time to prepare the seedbed and spray ahead of time. If you’re not ready, delay until you’ve properly taken care of the plot.

Resources you should utilize when deciding when to plant

Fortunately, there are many resources to help us decide when to plant. Here’s a handful we’ve found to be helpful.

History and Log

There are few substitutes for personal experience. This is why we keep a food plotting log for each log and deer food plot seed. If you’ve had success in the past with a plot, use that information to inform your future decisions.

Local Co-op and other hunters

Your local co-op advises farmers every day on planting timing and condition. If you are planting a seed for the first time, ask if they have any suggestions.

Seed Company Guides

A seed company guide is the default source for deer food plot seed planting time. They generally provide a wide time slot, so it is up to you to find what timing in the window is best for you. However, for the first time plotter they will help ensure you don’t miss big.

See more links in the Resources section below.

Related Products

Blog Posts


User Submission

Have anything else to add? Submit resources, links, photos, and other items here. Or submit your own write-up on the topic!


Join the Plotter’s Edge newsletter!

Get updates on the latest products, blogs, seed reminders, and more!