Clover experts - educate me!

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Chipdasqrrl, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. farmhunter

    farmhunter Well-Known Member

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    Central NY State
    We've been planting clovers on heavy upland soils for 25 years now. I have some favorites, and the deer have some favorites - its not always the same.

    The deer like white clovers best for me - and Ladino is the white I like the best. It establishes well spring or fall but I like fall best. White clovers never get very tall and weeds creep in - I don't spray either - I only mow for weed control in clovers. When grasses get more than 1/3 - I start to think about rotating to corn/beans or turnips.

    For clovers planted in crop rotation - I like a 2-3 year Medium Red plot. Fall planted with rye is best for me. And in the next two years - it grows well enough on our soils to build soil Nitrogen and dominate. The deer like it - but not like they like white clovers.

    This is a good example of YEAR 2 red clover plot -
    and same plot Year 3
    Same YEAR 3 plot summertime - after at least one mowing - red clovers get stalky - but the deer can still relate -

    I like the ladino for mini-plots - its a little more like a deer candy

    Red clover likes the drier soils, whites can handle wetter soils a bit better.

    I don't like to mix them - I used to but I do not anymore - they get mowed differently and I like the way a single variety can dominate

    the broad leafs in the last picture are horseradish. Its an old grounds at the original homestead that burnt down in the 1940s. couple old foundations here - and great soil from the old farm. barnyard basically.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  2. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Northern Michigan
    Hardiness Zone:
    Man, all this food plot talk has me anxiously waiting for Spring...
    Here’s a picture from July 2nd. Medium red clover + chicory, and of course some ragweed made an appearance IMG_5956.JPG
    DIY likes this.
  3. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Fordville, ND
    Hardiness Zone:
    I've fertilized most everything I've planted very well. It seems clover responds the best to great fertility or lack thereof. This includes sulfur. For you guys that have never managed sulfur in your clover, find a 40 or 50 pound bag of pelletized gypsum and put in on an area 75 feet by 75 feet (1/8th acre) and see how the deer respond. Make sure you've got some untreated clover next to it. The deer will likely draw a line for you. Best $6 experiment you'll ever do.
    Chipdasqrrl and catscratch like this.
  4. KSbowhunter

    KSbowhunter New Member

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    eastern kansas
    Have went away from my ladino plots after the ones on the thin soil burned up and died last summer. And it wasn't even that bad of a drought. Reseeded to a more drought tolerant variety of white clover and am anxious to see how well it grows and takes the dry weather. Also interested in front seeding some frosty berseem in some alfalfa plots that are on year 7 or 8 and getting thin.
    Chipdasqrrl likes this.
  5. DIY

    DIY Member

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    SE Tennessee
    Same here. I planted several annual clovers for the first time in the fall and I'm looking forward to see how well they take off and if any of them are noticeably preferred in the spring. One plot includes Apache arrowleaf and Frosty berseem. Another plot includes Frosty Berseem and Fixation balansa. Another plot has crimson only. The last plot is an Antler King BOB mix of mostly crimson with some ladino, balansa and one other variety that I can't recall. All of these plots had oats and/or winter rye added at time of planting. I also have some well established perennial white clover plots that I know the deer will hammer come spring.

    I'm most interested in seeing if the small alfalfa plot I planted in the fall takes off this spring. I couldn't quite get the soil pH to the recommended range, but it is close so I'm hoping it works out. I included a little chicory and Frosty berseem in that plot just in case the alfalfa crashes.
    Chipdasqrrl likes this.

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