The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Mushroom Food Plot Location

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Mushroom Food Plot Location

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is where landowners should put their Mushroom Food Plot™ on their property?

Fungi have crop needs and like any agricultural pursuit, the amount of care you put into a crop directly reflects the results. Following the instructions included with your Mycohabitat Mushroom Food Plot™ Spawn and watching the how-to video are a prerequisite. 

Mushroom Food Plots don't kill deer, you do. The best food in the world won't help you kill more deer if you arent doing the other parts like access, scent control, wind, pressure, etc correctly.

That being said, Mushroom Food Plots are a powerful tool, but knowing how to use this tool is important. Each application can be as wide and varied as the users mind can incept, provided we satisfy the basic crop requirements.

As a general rule, mushrooms like shade, moisture and fresh air, their enemies are direct sun and wind. Stropharia or SRA, which is the mycelium in your Mushroom Food Plot spawn is a little non conventional. It does enjoy the sun somewhat, it likes a splash or dappling and some strong indirect sun more than others. While many folks equate mushrooms to the old adage about feeding em bull and keeping them in the dark... it's not true with this particular mushroom. Sticking these bad boys in the deepest, darkest, most stagnant space on your farm isn't necessarily the spot. Likewise, on top of a hill in full sun with no shade probably isn't a good location either unless it's a very heavily mulched area. When I select a site, I'm looking for places in the landscape where water pools during rain events and good shade is present if at all possible.

For most habitat managers I work with, we're placing these in the travel corridors between food and bedding. I'm generally creating long linear Mushroom Food Plots™ (MFP) in the transition areas to promote directional travel and concentrate movement to a more defined corridor. Because the bucks tend to scrape hard around the MFP, it sweetens the pot on the already existing features in that corridor and makes a well placed scrape in that zone a prime target.

Anytime you're installing mulch around tree plantings, it's a no brainer to add mushrooms. SRA will accelerate the growth of the tree and result in more fruit when it does begin production. While you are waiting for the planting to produce fruit or nuts, additional food is created on the ground in the mulch you were going to apply anyway. Which of course feeds deer short term and makes it huntable now.

If you happen to have a buried 100-300 gallon rubbermaid tank or other area that's used as a watering hole or are thinking about installing one. Setting up a small drainage to fill the waterhole and letting the overflow pool into a mushroom food plot would be a very smart strategy.  

You might choose to place a mushroom food plot on the South edge of a vegetative food plot just inside the timber. The North facing exposure results in good shade but still offers some sun and is convenient for blowing the autumn leaves from the vegetative plot onto the mushrooms to let the fungi do the rest. 

Putting a Mushroom Food Plot™ in to a pine plantation is a great way to make use of an area that offers little to wildlife aside from thermal bedding. Our original plots at the old farm were nestled under a pine plantation between Ag fields, and the critters loved them.

With all of these applications, if there's enough sunlight to grow something on top of the MFP, then I want to overseed it. Clover works just fine in most shady spots and a good blend of native shade tolerant wildflowers is never inapropriate either. I want to do this first to create a microclimate that encourages mushrooms and secondly to maintain attraction at this location even when there are no mushrooms in the landscape. Plants grown on or adjacent to a Mushroom plot will have elevated browse quality and as a result they represent a nutritious consolation prize for wildlife as they check the spot for their favorite treat. If you feel like there's too much sun hitting your mushroom plots, I highly recommend shading them with something edible. If you think its getting too much sun, you may also choose to pile heavier amounts of coarse woody debris like sawdust or mulch, corn stover, etc over the mushroom plot up to 12''or so thick. 

Ultimately this tool is widely adaptable, but the more moisture it receives and soaks up the better, and the less drying from the sun and wind the better. Other than that, good luck and as always if you have any questions or ideas you want to discuss about where to install a Mushroom Food Plot, I'm here to help.


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