Supplemental food plots are land areas where locally adapted annual and perennial plants are established for wildlife. These areas provide a highly nutritious food source and shelter during critical periods of the year, such as the dry summer months when plant growth slows. High protein supplemental forage is especially important for white-tail deer management.
The shape, size, location and percentage of the total land area of the plot being considered should be based on the requirements of the type of wildlife you would like to accommodate. If you are interested in wildlife management, you should plant at least 1 percent of your property in winter and summer food plots. Planting a variety of forage and excluding livestock from your supplemental food plots are great ways to help ensure plant survival.
Fertilizer can greatly improve forage quality in preferred plants such as honeysuckle, greenbriar and blackberry. Fertilized plants remain favorable and have higher nutrient levels longer into the summer than surrounding vegetation. Applying a balanced fertilizer in the spring and then ammonium nitrate or a high nitrogen fertilizer at 60-day intervals during the growing season often yields the best results.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Agrilife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and local seed dealers can provide guidance on food plot mixtures suitable for your area, as well as local conditions. A soil test should be conducted prior to planting.
Wildlife Planting Guide (PDF, 227KB)