When most hunters think of food plots for deer, they often envision a football-sized spread of lush green vegetation that requires lots of preparation, attention, and equipment to maintain. But food plots can be nearly last minute and can be a stretch of logging road or a small opening in a remote forested area. In fact, the Whitetail Institute offers two specific seeds for just such places, and all you need is a garden rake or a small garden tiller. Unlike standard food plots that are planted months in advance, these fast-growing seeds will pop up in a few days and are instantly attractive to deer. I’ve had my best success when a hurricane, tropical storm, or other rain-making event is forecast; that’s when know that my few hours of efforts will get maximum moisture.
Hollis Ayres covers this concept from A to Z in this post about no-plow and secret-spot plantings:
No-Plow and Secret Spot are “annual” forage products, meaning that they’re designed to last up to one year after planting, and both can be planted either in a fully prepared seedbed or with minimal ground tillage. They’re also designed to establish and grow extremely quickly—it’s not unusual to see them growing above ground even just a few days after planting, and they also begin attracting deer right away.
No-Plow is ideal for planting in the late summer or fall. Packaged for areas one-half acre and larger, No-Plow consists of specially selected forage grains and grasses, annual clovers and brassica. Secret Spot, which is specifically designed for fall planting in smaller, remote hunting plots, contains very similar components plus small amounts of other cool-season grains and WINA chicory. Secret Spot is packaged in two sizes: Secret Spot (4-lbs. covers up to 4,500 square feet), and Secret Spot XL (10-lbs. covers up to 1/4-acre).