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September 24, 2020 2 min read

Do deer eat radishes? Deer love diverse varieties of radishes, making them excellent for food plots if you are preparing for hunting season. Still, there are a few more details, you need to know, and they are outlined in this article.

While preparing for the hunting season, many plants can come to mind preparing a useful wildlife food plot. Before now, turnips, rape, and kale were the established members of this food crop, and this seemed to be working fine. However, in the past few years, research and development have changed the way we use radishes. Still, you might want to ask – do deer eat radishes? Am I better off planting the usual as against using Radishes in my food plot?

Great Source for Intense Deer Use

Unlike the popular notions before 2007, Radish (Raphanus sativus) is an excellent addition to your wildlife food plant and for many reasons. They grow quickly and have long taproots, which can prove an advantage with intense deer use. Still, not all Radish species provide equal benefits. For instance, red salad radishes aren’t ideal for wildlife food plat, but forage radishes offer a lot of advantage.

Furthermore, their long taproots will help prevent soil compaction and boost nutritional value, making the resulting plants very attractive to deer. Radishes are not native to America, but instead Asia, however, there has been latest developments of varieties that can be used in food plots. Some of them include Tillage, Trophy, Diakon and Groundhog radishes.

Excellent for food plots

Another reason, we are beginning to love radishes is their versatility. They can grow in the harshest soil conditions and are relatively drought resistant. However, they don’t do well in wet soils but loamy soils. They are also less cold tolerant than members of their family, making them attractive for use in late season. Besides these benefits, Radishes are also known to reduce weed biomass, protect against pests, and organic residue. Even more, as nitrogen scavengers, Radishes will help absorb nitrogen at high levels, thereby preventing nitrogen from leaching into groundwater.

How to plant radishes

To plant radishes for deer, it is best to spread the seeds onto a well-prepared seedbed at 8 pounds per acre. If you can, use a cultipacker to cover the seed and ensure that it mixes well with the soil. We recommend planting the radish seeds at least 1/4 to ½ inch deep. Concerning the timing, you can grow in the South, in the early weeks in September and for the North in early August. Bear in mind that in sandy soils, radishes can provide reliable protection against water and wind erosion.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat radishes? They do, which is the reason you should consider Radish for your food plots. With their lengthy roots, they can reach nutrients in the soil faster than shallow-growing plants. Even so, radishes can act as scavengers, harnessing all forms of nitrogen, thereby reducing the number of fertilizers you need for your food crops.