Do Deer Eat Radishes? Planting Tips for Successful Deer Food Plots

As a nature lover and avid deer enthusiast, I often wonder: do deer eat radishes? After careful research and personal experience, I have found that not only do deer find different varieties of radishes highly palatable, but they also have a tendency to overeat them. In this blog post, I will share some planting tips for successful deer food plots that incorporate radishes.

Deer are known to eat radishes and find their different varieties highly palatable. Radishes are a popular component of food plots, especially during hunting season. However, it is important to note that deer have a tendency to overeat radishes, leading to negative effects on their digestion and overall health. Additionally, other wildlife such as rodents and insects may also be attracted to radishes, potentially causing damage to the crop. Careful management and monitoring of radish plots is recommended for optimal results.

Do Deer Eat Radishes?

Yes, deer do eat radishes and they love the different varieties available. Radishes are an excellent addition to food plots, particularly during hunting season when they offer good nutrition for deer. However, it’s important to note that deer tend to gorge themselves on radishes, which can lead to digestive problems and overall health issues. It’s also important to note that other wildlife like rodents and insects may be attracted to radishes, which can damage the crop.

Nutrition Benefits of Radishes for Deer

Radishes offer several nutritional benefits to deer. They are high in fiber and low in calories, which makes them an excellent food source for deer during the fall and winter months when they require more calories to maintain their weight. Radishes also contain high levels of vitamins C and E, which help to boost deer’s immune systems and protect them from diseases. Radishes are also an excellent source of minerals like potassium, iron, and magnesium, all of which are essential for healthy deer.

What Radish Varieties Do Deer Eat?

Deer are not picky eaters and will eat a variety of radishes. However, some popular radish varieties that deer love include the Daikon radish, black radish, and watermelon radish. The Daikon radish, in particular, is an excellent choice for food plots as it has a deep taproot that helps to break up compacted soil and improve soil health. Additionally, the Daikon radish is high in protein, making it an excellent source of nutrition for deer.

How to Plant Radishes for Deer

Planting radishes for deer is relatively easy, but it’s important to follow some basic guidelines to ensure successful growth. Start by testing the soil to determine its nutrient content and pH. Radishes prefer well-drained soil with a pH between 5.8 and 6.8. Next, prepare the soil by tilling it to a depth of at least 6 inches.

Scatter the radish seeds thinly across the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Water the seeds gently to help them settle into the soil. Radishes prefer cool temperatures and mature quickly. They can be planted in early spring or fall.

Soil Preparation

Soil preparation is a crucial step in planting radishes for deer. Begin by testing the soil using a soil test kit. The test will reveal the soil’s nutrient content and pH level, which will help you determine if any soil amendments are required. Radishes prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Till the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches to improve drainage and add organic matter to the soil. Apply any necessary soil amendments like lime or fertilizer based on the results of the soil test.

Seed Selection and Planting Techniques

Choosing the right radish seed and planting technique is essential to ensure successful growth. Start by selecting a radish variety that is well-suited for your growing conditions and soil type. Scatter the seeds thinly across the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Space the seeds at least 2 inches apart to allow for proper growth. Water the seeds gently and consistently to help them establish roots.

Maintaining and Caring for Radishes in Deer Food Plots

Once the radishes have germinated and established roots, it’s important to maintain and care for them properly. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and monitor the growth of the radishes to ensure they are growing correctly. Remove any weeds that sprout up around the radishes as they can compete for nutrients and water. Additionally, monitor the crop for signs of pest or disease damage and take corrective action if necessary.

Watering and Other Maintenance Tips

Keeping the soil consistently moist is essential to the success of radish crops. Water the radishes regularly to prevent the soil from drying out and to encourage healthy root growth. Additionally, add a layer of mulch around the radishes to help retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth. Monitor the growth of the radishes carefully and take corrective action if necessary to ensure healthy growth.

Other Plants for Deer Food Plots

In addition to radishes, there are several other plants that make excellent additions to deer food plots. These include clover, chicory, alfalfa, and sunflowers. Each of these plants offers significant nutritional benefits to deer and can be planted in conjunction with radishes to provide a diverse food source for wildlife.

Common Problems and Solutions with Planting Radishes for Deer

Some of the common problems that arise when planting radishes for deer include poor growth, pest infestations, and disease. To prevent poor growth, be sure to plant the radishes in well-drained soil and follow proper planting and maintenance techniques. To prevent pest infestations, monitor the crop for signs of damage and take corrective action when necessary. To prevent disease, maintain proper soil moisture levels and avoid over-fertilizing.


Do deer consume radish foliage?

It is possible that deer may consume radish leaves due to their high protein content and essential vitamin content. The green tops are a nutritious source of food and may contribute to the growth and yield of the plant. Furthermore, the long taproot of radishes can provide energy-rich nutrients for deer and aid in naturally tilling compact soil.

Can deer obtain protein from radish leaves?

Deer derive great satisfaction from munching on different parts of Trophy Radishes, including their luscious tops and robust roots. The tops are an excellent source of protein and vital vitamins that promote deer growth and produce healthy yields. Meanwhile, the long, energy-filled taproots are very efficient tillage agents, particularly in hard-packed soils. Therefore, deer nutritionally benefit from munching on the radish’s green tops, besides having a natural plowing resource with the taproots.


In conclusion, the question of whether deer really dig radishes has been answered – yes, they certainly do! Radishes make for a delicious addition to deer food plots and can attract these beautiful creatures in droves. However, as with any food source, moderation is key – too much of a good thing can lead to negative consequences, even for deer! It’s important to manage and monitor radish plots carefully to ensure optimal results and promote the health and longevity of these magnificent animals.

If you’re thinking of planting a radish food plot for deer, remember to monitor your crops closely and experiment with different management techniques. With some planning and luck, your backyard could become the ultimate hunting destination. Don’t be afraid to be imaginative when it comes to wildlife management.

You may also be interested in reading: