When to Plant Turnips And Radishes for Deer: A Guide to Maximizing Your Hunting Season

When to Plant Turnips And Radishes for Deer

Are you an avid hunter? Do you want to attract deer to your property for hunting season? Consider planting turnips and radishes, two popular food sources for deer. These root vegetables not only provide essential nutrients for the animals but also serve as an effective attractant. But when is the best time to sow these plants? Read on to find out.


Turnips are cool-season crops that deer find incredibly appealing. They are rich in carbohydrates and provide a great source of energy for deer, especially during the colder months. To ensure optimal growth and deer attraction, it’s important to plant turnips at the right time.

If you are looking to provide deer with a source of food throughout the hunting season, you should plant turnips in late summer or early fall. This timing allows the plants to establish themselves before the first frost. The cooler temperatures during the fall season are ideal for turnip growth, as they thrive in temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

When planting turnips, it’s essential to consider the expected maturity time of the crop. For hunting season, it is recommended to select turnip varieties that have a maturity period of around 60 days. This will ensure that the turnips are fully developed and ready to attract deer by the time hunting season begins.

Additionally, if you plan to use the turnips as forage during the winter months, you may want to consider planting a second crop in late summer. This will provide a continuous food source for deer even after the first crop has been consumed.


Radishes are another excellent food source for deer and can be planted alongside turnips to diversify the attractant. These root vegetables are highly nutritious and have a high moisture content, making them an attractive choice for deer, especially during dry periods.

The best time to plant radishes for deer is also during the late summer or early fall. However, radishes tend to have a shorter maturity time compared to turnips. Most radish varieties can be harvested within 30 to 45 days after planting.

For deer hunting purposes, it is advisable to choose radish varieties with a maturity period of around 30 days. This allows you to have a quick food source for deer when hunting season arrives.

If you want to extend the availability of radishes for the deer, you can consider planting multiple batches throughout the fall season. This staggered planting will ensure a continuous supply of radishes for the deer to enjoy.

Preparing the Soil

Before you start planting turnips and radishes, it’s essential to prepare the soil properly. Deer prefer well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and make any necessary amendments to ensure optimal growing conditions for the crops.

Clear the planting area of any existing vegetation and debris, and loosen the soil to a depth of at least six inches. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, into the soil to enhance its fertility and drainage capabilities. Smooth the soil surface with a rake before sowing the seeds.

Sowing and Caring for Turnips and Radishes

When sowing turnip and radish seeds, follow the instructions provided by the seed manufacturer. Generally, each seed should be planted at a depth of approximately one-fourth to one-half inch. Space the seeds according to the recommended spacing on the seed packet.

Water the planted area thoroughly to ensure good seed-to-soil contact and promote germination. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the growing period. Depending on the weather conditions, you may need to water the plants regularly.

It is essential to protect newly sprouted seedlings from deer and other animals. Consider using fencing or mesh to prevent the animals from accessing the plants until they have grown. Regularly inspect the plants for signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate measures to control them.

In Conclusion

Planting turnips and radishes at the right time is crucial for attracting deer to your hunting grounds. Late summer and early fall are the ideal seasons for sowing these root vegetables. Ensure that the plants have enough time to mature before hunting season begins, so the deer can benefit from the abundant food source. By following proper planting and care techniques, you can maximize the attractiveness of turnips and radishes to deer and enhance your hunting experience.

Frequently Asked Questions On When To Plant Turnips And Radishes For Deer: A Guide To Maximizing Your Hunting Season

When Is The Best Time To Plant Turnips For Deer?

The best time to plant turnips for deer is in late summer or early fall, allowing them to establish before winter.

How Deep Should I Plant Turnip Seeds For Deer?

Plant turnip seeds for deer about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, ensuring good seed-to-soil contact.

What Are The Ideal Soil Conditions For Planting Radishes For Deer?

Radishes for deer thrive in well-drained soil with a pH level between 6. 0 and 7. 0.

Can Turnips And Radishes Be Planted Together For Deer?

Yes, planting turnips and radishes together provides a diverse food source for deer throughout the season.

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