Providing late-season food for deer begins in late summer. Planning ahead helps to put the odds in your favor when Christmas is around the corner.
A good mix of brassicas like those sold by Evolved Harvest, Pennington or BioLogic is an excellent choice. Choosing a mix, you are ensuring a variety of forage for the deer, but long before the planting, your plot needs to be prepared; that begins with a good soil sample. Most extension offices offer reasonably priced soil-sample evaluations.
The best practice is to take samples of the soil from different locations around your plot and mix them together. Examination of the sample will give you a detailed list of what your soil contains and how to make it better.
Brassicas thrive with soil that has a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5. That points a land manager to start with a fertilizer that is around 46-0-0 at 200 pounds per acre and follow that up with a good 20-20-20 at the same ratio a few weeks after the seeds begin to sprout. This plant nutrition will help you to get the best bang for your buck.
An old adage my dad used to say when regarding feeding cows is; “The best feed you can buy for your cow is good fertilizer.” The same is true for your deer. Feed your plants and let the plants feed the deer.