Visit your local agriculture extension office, or feed and seed store. Find out which plants work best in your area, and after doing a soil sample determine what fertilizer and lime requirements are needed to help your plots. I actually prefer planting seeds from local producers, rather than major national brands due to the similarities in soil conditions the plants were in that the seeds originated from. I also like to plant a mixture of different seeds with different maturity times so that the plots will provide something over greater periods of time. Alabama soils are probably very similar to coastal SC, in that there are some very rich black dirt areas, and others that are somewhat sandy, and still some that have a good bit of clay. You may encounter all three on the same piece of property, and even in the same plot location. Usually soy beans, clay peas, and sunflowers will do very well, but the deer will also aggressively graze these to the ground before they can reach any decent size. Oats, rye, wheat, or triticale will usually take a little longer to grow, but will last throughout an entire winter/spring or summer/fall. Depending on your soil, you may have success with clovers, or even corn. Also, never forget turnips in the fall, since once there is a frost, the deer can't refuse them. Today, there are also various forage carrots, beets, and radishes that are proving to be very good attractants while also supplying some excellent nutrients. Another thing I do, is plant alternate strips of different species on my plots. For example, I'll plant Sorghum or a cereal grain on the outer edges next to the cover, this adds a sense of protection to the deer as they come into the food plot. Then I'll plant beans or sunflowers, with clay peas in the next strip. I'll then plant clovers and chicory or some type of brassicus in the middle of the plot. It's similar to having a deer smorgasboard, and the plot will last longer before having to replant for the next seasonal change.
I'm lucky in that I can access all of my plots with my small Massey Ferguson tractor, or my Yamaha ATV, so that helps to eliminate the really hard work, which is mandatory since I'm disabled.
Good luck, and happy farming for deer!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NRA LM, NAHC LM, Buckmasters LM, The Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, NAGR, Palmetto Gun Rights, , ASAdisabled sportsmens' alliance, EDH, and Proud SC redneck REBEL still flying the Stars and Bars!