Brassicas for Fall Planting

Brassicas for Fall Planting

Posted by Elk Mound Seed on Jul 27th 2021

As we enter the fall food plot planting season, many land owners begin to ask questions about planting brassicas. What are the best to plant? When should I be planting brassicas? What brassica stays green the longest? And many more questions.

Brassicas are extremely popular in the northern regions due to their cold weather tolerance. Additionally, brassicas can become very attractive to deer after a few hard frosts. All brassicas are annual plants. 

  • Turnips
    Both cold-hardy and drought-tolerant these can be planted late as a second crop. Turnips provide high-quality grazing late in the fall and MonsterBuck customers have even claimed deer will paw through the snow to devour the frozen turnip bulbs. Turnip leaves will continue to maintain their nutritional value even after repeated exposure to frost. One of the brassicas that 'stays green' the longest.
  • Kale
    This brassica produces more forage then any other. Large amounts of leafy top growth forage and tolerates cold weather better then other brassicas. Their is no below ground growth from Kale that deer will dig into, however the large amount of top growth provides large amounts of forage deep into the winter. 
  • Radish
    Similar to turnips, radishes provide both above and below ground forage. Typically more attractive to wildlife before frost then other brassicas, so can be effective for early season hunts. These can also help breaking up hard pan soil, however, be careful not to plan radishes too early if your main goal is wildlife attraction. The larger the radish becomes, the less palatable it becomes to wildlife. Radishes are the least frost tolerant brassica so will be the first to be killed by a frost.  
  • Dwarf Essex Rape
    Germinates very quickly and contains high protein levels. After the first deep freeze of the year, a chemical reaction occurs where all the starch in the plant turns to sugar, making rape candy to the wildlife. Commonly used in fall food plot mixes and is contained in the MonsterBuck Frosty Forage Mix
  • Winfred Forage Brassica
    A cross between a turnip and kale. Suitable for the widest range of soil types, growing conditions and environment. Has better then average frost tolerance and stays green longer when compared to other brassica's. 

Always consider rotating where you plant brassicas. Planting brassicas on the same plot of land for more then two to three years can bring insect and soil diseases that will inhibit proper growth. Just as farmers rotate their crops, food plotters must consider the same technique. Brassicas are best planted 4-6 weeks before your areas average frost date. 

As always, if we left any questions unanswered questions on planting brassicas please don’t hesitate to call us at 800-401-7333 or email us at sales@emsseed.com