Casie Becker wrote:I think it's too late in the year to establish amaranth, but you might consider it for next year. Once established it's very drought tolerant and produces abundant seed to replant itself. The whole plant is extremely nutritious for humans. I can't see it being less healthy for deer.
Here's an off the wall suggestion that's not started from seed. Despite their reputation as finicky plants, many varieties of roses are very resilient. Especially if you aren't obsessed with keeping perfect foliage. When we were in drought here, the deer came by like clockwork the day before our roses bloomed to eat all the rose buds.
If you've ever heard of the 'Texas Rose Rustlers' they made a name for themselves by propagating the roses they found surviving at abandoned homesteads and old cemeteries. Propagating roses from cuttings is actually pretty straightforward. This is even a good time to start the cuttings to have them ready to go into the ground in spring.
William Bronson wrote: Are you hunters? Or do you just like deer? Altering the soil so it will retain what little rain does come might be a good bet. One hole, deep and amended to hold water, surrounded by flat stones and sloped soil, might be a good home for a tree and some guildmates.
Maybe grape vines would be a good plant for you.
They have deep roots,prolific foliage,they love heat,deer love them, and they readily come back from being chopped to the ground.
The foliage can be arranged on minimal infrastructure to create shade,which might shield morning dew from evaporation.
Tyler Ludens wrote:There are usually some native plants which deer love to eat, plus they can be important food sources for various butterflies, pollinators, and birds. If you can give your location I can help research native plants for your locale. This is the right time to plant seeds of most natives, at least in my region.
You might want to protect the plantings for a year before letting the deer at them, otherwise they may not get established and just get completely eaten down. If you have enough space to plant a lot, you can protect the plantings in rotation with movable fences so there's always some coming up and some available for eating.