When should I plant brassicas in Minnesota?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersFood Plots
Hello Grant,
I will be making my first food plot attempt this coming spring. I live in Minnesota in an agricultural area with scattered patches of woods. My property is 60 acres which we rent to a local farmer who rotates beans and corn. There is an unused corner about 1.5 acres in size where I’ll plant. I was thinking of planting a portion in a brassica mix in late July or early August. I asked our farmer his thoughts and he asked why the heck would I try to plant in the hottest dryest part of the summer? He suggested planting everything in spring when we have the most moisture. I value his opinion but would like to have yours as well. It is not uncommon to have frost here in September. Being that our growing season is shorter than yours, does he have a point? Thank you.


I like to plant brassicas about 45 to 60 days before the date of the average first hard frost. I realize this may be during the summer at the latitude of your farm.  If you plant brassicas too early they will mature and progress to the seed production stage before deer season and not be very palatable or attract critters while you are hunting.   Different brassicas have different maturation dates. Many take about 75 days during the primary growing season to mature.  

I agree with the farmer that it’s not wise to plant when soil moisture is in limited supply.  I suggest waiting till about 60+ days before the average date of the first hard frost and postponing a bit if the conditions are dry.

Enjoy creation,


February 24, 2016