Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is there any value to deer, planting a small food plot of sun flowers. This would be in 1/4 acre plot right behind my house. If so, any recommendations of any other seed to add to this plot.

Really stupid question. Can you frost seed the sunflowers in the spring???? What type of seeds do you recommend ???? Can you just use the same seed you would use for feeding the birds ???? The plot has been Buck Forage Oats for the past two years. I have limed and fertilized the soil the past few years as well. I would like to plant clover in the fall.

Thanks. I'm a rookie at food plots and would welcome all the help I can get.

Appreciate it.

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Good questions. I was thinking about doing the same this year. Not necessarily to feed the deer but I thought my girls might like it. One year, I took the sunflower seeds out of the birdfeeder and planted them. It was about 30. They all came up pretty good. I was surprised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,090 Posts
Like many other green plants, deer like young sunflowers. It may take a year or two for them to develop a taste for the young plants, but when they do they will feed quite a bit on the plants. Not like alfalfa or beans, but a good amount. I have never seen any sign of deer eating mature plants or seeds. You can plant the seeds in the late spring(June 1st) by themselves or mix with buckwheat which the deer will eat also. Plants that mature will provide good food for birds. Pheasants Forever has a nice mixture of corn, sorghum, buckwheat, & sunflowers that is good food & cover for birds & deer.

L & O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Finnlander- Have you considered a few soybeans with the sunflowers? These soybeans would be only for greens-not bean production. Then take them out when you are ready to put in the clover. Or just plant the soybeans alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,565 Posts
Whitetail Institutes' Power Plant mix, sunflowers, vining beans, vining peas and sorgum. Over 6 foot tall. Wrong date, Mid August pic was taken.

What L & O said


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,824 Posts
Years ago we used to have a garden that we never fenced. However, every year the deer would eat the sunflowers in June or July if they made it that far. We always grow the Mammoth Grey Stripe sunflowers so the plants get big, if the deer leave them alone. This past year we had some sunflowers close to the fence and, yes, the deer ate what they could reach. So I have no idea how they would do in a larger patch than what we grow. All I know is that deer dearly love the taste of young sunflower plants.

An interesting thing though. One time I ran across a fellow who grew corn on some hilly ground. Every so often, there was a big sunflower growing right in the corn. His theory, and it appeared to work, was that the sunflowers looked out of place with the corn and the deer were afraid of it and so stayed out of the corn. btw, this was somewhere around Charlotte if my memory is right.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
30,795 Posts
Finnlander,
Sunflowers in your area will get almost completely browsed off if you only have 1/4 acre and moderate to high deer numbers. Adding soy beans with the sunflowers is an excellent addition because they to will get browsed off early in a small plot especially if planted 2-3 weeks behind the farmers in your area. That being said go with this combo in June for mid summer forage and sow your clover into the plot in early August just before forecasted rains. If the sunflowers and beans don't get browsed down spray them with Round Up 2 weeks before your clover planting.
BTW, you can use the black oiler seeds that are sold for bird feeders along with bin run beans from the previous fall even if they're Ruond Up ready your clover will still do well if the beans aren't to thick.

Big T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
I planted about 50 sunflowers in 04 that came up great. The deer only ate a couple of them. I was really growing them for the turkey. However, in late september the bucks got after them. Over 40 big, tall sunflowers were stripped and knocked over in about 10 days. They never matured to be of any benefit to the turkey. Lesson learned....
 

·
Say My Name.
Joined
·
14,731 Posts
I planted a 3/4 PF plot, which contained the big gray stripe sunflowers, buckwheat, grain sorghum, and some kind of soybean. Planted it somewhere around June 17, 2005.

The deer nibbled a bit on the buckwheat and the soybeans, but never even sampled the sunflowers.

When in full bloom, those sunflowers were the biggest honeybee magnet I ever saw. Must have been a million of 'em in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the responses. Great information.

I have always wanted to try a field of sunflowers not only as a food source but I think it looks very cool. Great picture Freepop

Appreciate you guys taking the time to answer the question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Last summer I planted black oil sunflower (bird seed) end of May. One 15' x 200' strip on the edge of a buckwheat plot, and a 15' x 100' strip on the edge of a soybean plot. I just broadcast the seed and disked them in to about 1.5 inches, and gave them about 50# N per acre. They came up and bloomed great, dispite being 6" short on rain for the summer.

Deer nibbled on the heads along the edges, but not much. The birds cleaned the seeds off the heads before they ripened, goldfinches, purple finches, white throated sparrows, chickadees. When you walked along the edge 200+ goldfinches would come busting out. All seeds were gone by early fall.

Alot of bumble bee action on the black oil sunflowers, not many honey bees. This summer I want to try the grey stripe sunflowers, taller plant, larger seed on larger heads and very attractive to honey bees. Grey stripe sunflower seed is available at pet food stores for parrots.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,936 Posts
So if I plant some sunflowers as far away from where I plan to be working outside this summer it may help keep the "dive bombing" bumble bee's away from me eh?
I think I had a bumble bee outside the cabin last year that just waited for me to exit. I feel he would sit ontop of the house and wait for my ugly mug to exit because for 2 days in a row he would dive bomb me. Really! Infact one morning he was extremely hostile towards me to the point that I slammed the truck door asap and he actually head butted the window of my drivers side of the truck (right next to my face) 2 times!
Yep, maybe a few hundred plants out on the front corner of the corn field 1400' away from my door would keep em away.
Thanks for the info on sunflowers. Has anyone here ever had the heads get to maturity and then still have enough left after the small birds get em to benifit turkeys or grouse?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top