LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – How is your vegetable garden doing these days? Probable answers are not good, lousy, it's dried up and dead or – if you are fortunate – fair.
Prolonged hot weather and lack of rain have taken a toll on Arkansas gardens, but cheer up. Deer season is coming in a few weeks.
Your leftover vegetable seeds can help with deer. Plant them, and the deer will come, maybe, just to check out the new green growth or to take a few bites. Fall favorite food for Arkansas deer is acorns. This is true year in and year out, according to wildlife biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Young, green vegetable plants, even if they haven't fruited and filled out, can draw attention from deer. Many, perhaps most, gardeners have odds and ends of seeds left from last spring's planting.
Plant them on the edge of your wildlife food plot, if you have one, and this will remove the temptation to use those old seeds next year. Germination will be lower then, and a gardener will likely be ahead to buy fresh seed for planting in 2012.
Till a strip or a patch near your deer stand, and sow the seed. Forget about neat rows and just broadcast the things. You are not planting a crop to be cultivated. You are throwing out a little potential deer food.
What kind of seed? It doesn't much matter. Turnips planted in the fall are often nibbled on by deer. Young, tender beans and peas draw attention. Who knows about watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, beets, carrots? A deer may take a taste of any of these.
Yes, conditions at present are not conducive for vegetable gardening, but the goal is not something for your dinner table. It's for a deer attractant. Plant the surplus seeds and surely nourishing rain will come – sometime.