Chicory for Deer: The Facts You Need to Know and How to Plant It
Hunting for deer isn't just about finding and shooting your prey. Many skilled hunters set up traps or learn to raise their prey until such time comes that the deer is plump and meaty enough to catch! It's the reason why people have open gardens with enticing plants deer would eat. Not only does it keep up the deer's health, but your prey will start going to your area, making it an easy target. If you're wondering what kind of plant to plot on your garden, chicory for deer is quite beneficial and will attract your prey easily.
Learn more about chicory and how to effectively plot it in your garden here!
What is Chicory?
Chicory is a perennial herb used for forage, especially during the summer and fall season. It has a deep taproot and resistant to drought, making a plant easy to maintain.
The plant is from the sunflower family, grown on drained soils. It has the similar looks of a dandelion, growing leaves from its crown and the flower stems reaching heights of up to six feet!
Not only is chicory used for feeding cattle and deer, but it can also make a great substitution for your coffee because of its natural stimulants without the caffeine. As for deer, they love it because of its flavor and crunch!
The Benefits of Chicory for Deer
Like turnips, chicory is very beneficial for both people and deer, but exactly how can they supply the proper nutrition? Here are some of the benefits chicory has when planting it for deer:
Compared to alfalfa, well-grown chicory will be able to have a better nutritional value, as it has potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and zinc.
Chicory contains a lot of protein. It contains 32% of protein per serving, with its leaves being up to 95% digestible. Through its nutrients, it keeps the deer healthy and active with better meat quality.
The taste of chicory is irresistible to deer and other animals, as it leaves a slightly bitter and spicy taste. It's the reason why many hunters choose chicory for deer hunting.
Though this isn't a benefit for deer, planting chicory is inexpensive and very easy to do, since it's resistant to drought and can be spread in many types of soils. It's a great crop during hunting season since they sprout all year round.
How to Plot Chicory in Your Garden
If you want to plant chicory for deer, then you can follow these tips:
- Choose the appropriate seeds by the season. You can look for chicory seeds that have an early maturation date. Plant it in a cooler climate a few weeks before it matured and moved outdoors.
- Plant chicory seeds during the spring and fall, as these are the seasons where it grows quickly and efficiently.
- When creating the plot in your garden, make sure that you sow the seeds about ten inches apart and in rows three feet apart.
- Chicory seeds must be planted on soils that are either well to moderately drained. It should also have good fertility levels with a pH of 5.5 or higher. Use weed killer and fertilizer on your soil before planting. Wait for two weeks before applying the seeds.
Tips for Maintaining Chicory
Here are some tips to follow when keeping your chicory healthy and growing for deer consumption:
Weed or mow the chicory once a week. Keep it free from any form of bacteria or unwanted leaves that would kill off its nutritional value. Do NOT mix it with any weed killer or other potent chemical substances, as this would harm both the chicory and deer. You can apply grass herbicide a few times during the season.
While chicory is drought resistant, you'll need to give two inches of water to it at least once a week for moisture and prevention of drought stress.
Once you have planted the chicory seeds, make sure to mow or graze it after about 100 days, leaving its height to about two inches. This will help produce leaves better.
Chicory is a healthy plant you'll want to plot on your garden to attract deer. It's very easy to take care of these plants, and it helps you improve your skills as a hunter since more deer will visit your garden once the leaves begin to grow.
I hope that this article helped you learn all about chicory for deer and how you can plant it on your own. So what are you waiting for? You can purchase chicory seeds in your local gardening store, so try it out today and see how it changes your hunting experience.