Moultrie Products
Firs plot ever - mistake?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
APauls 19-Jul-19
stick n string 19-Jul-19
APauls 19-Jul-19
Hancock West 19-Jul-19
RIT 19-Jul-19
Shawn 19-Jul-19
Missouribreaks 19-Jul-19
kadbow 19-Jul-19
Corn bore 19-Jul-19
APauls 22-Jul-19
From: APauls
Wondering if I made a big mistake. I had about a half acre for my first ever plot. Want to grow some clover, did some research and decided on a certain variety. Went to the seed supplier and the guy asked what I am using it for. I said for deer, he says "oh then you'll want sweet clover!" So he gave me what I think he called yellow sweet clover. I thought what do I know this guy does it for a living.

Long story short, I planted this yellow sweet clover this spring and it's actually come in pretty thick. Of course, since planting I've done some research and don't think that this yellow sweet clover is necessarily what I want. Wondering if anyone has had any experience with it?

Also to my plan for the fall. I was thinking in a few weeks here I'd maybe throw some winter rye into the works and then mow the clover overtop to encourage some variety into the plot. Wondering if I should go and get some ladino seed as well and throw it in at the same time. The yellow sweet clover is supposed to be a biennial, so it will be done after next year. Is it that bad that I should terminate and start over?

You'd think with all the information available to a guy he'd be able to get it right off the hop. Just being completely green to any kind of farming I fell into the trap of listening to the guy, unless you all tell me he knew what he was talking about and I am good to go ;)

Thanks for any help and/or suggestions. On a side note. I planted some Siberian crab apple trees and they are absolutely killing it. Started at about 6" and are now over two feet tall. I never expected that kind of growth. There is moderate deer and bear usage in this little half acre plot now. They certainly aren't flocking to it, and spending large amounts of time in eating from what I can see from trail camera pictures.

Fence them trees in, and do it way better than you think u need to. Cant help u with the sweet clover tho, not familiar with that

From: APauls
Thanks Justin, I did fence the trees in using stucco wire. Though it seems they may outgrow that soon enough.

From: Hancock West
APauls, is it a 3-4' tall bush looking plant with alot of little yellow flowers? Not sure about deer but its great for honey bees and the nectar it produces makes some great tasting honey. Beekeepers in the dakotas can get over 200lbs of honey per hive off large patches of this clover. In the midwest its blooming right now but will likely dry out soon with the heat. I was thinking it re-seeds itself but i could be wrong on that part. For food plots we plant red or sometimes white clover mixed with chicory. Seems they really like the chicory

From: RIT
I don’t have a ton of experience with yellow sweet clover but I do do know it’s usually associated with bees or a pollinator mix. I have seen it in some clover mixes advertised for deer.

I’d get rid of it and add a variety of clovers to the plot. Biennial and annual clovers can be tricky because some of them can produce a hard seed 45 days post bloom and make an indefinite seed bank. Take Fixation Balansa for an example. It’s an annual clover but sets hard seed. Once it does you will struggle to get rid of it without chemecial applications.

If possible you can spray it add your Winter Rye and clover varieties. Fixation Balansa can be dormant seeded in November depending on your zone. The thing with WR is if left unchecked will grow 5’ the next Spring before it self terminates in June. (Zone 6a for me). It does make an excellent nurse crop and does well in a mix with clover. It’s great for the soil and deer will readily feed and bed in the 5’ stalks. They will stop eating the WR mid Spring but will still return for the clover.

Just as important as caging your trees is to put some window screen around the trunk to fend off voles, mice and rabbits. Take into account the depth of the snow when selecting the height to use. Pretty tough to get a tree established with good growth only to have it girdled in the winter.

From: Shawn
I would leave it and maybe over seed with winter rye. Rye is awesome for deer ecsp planted right around the start of the 3rd week in august where you are. I would say it is getting late to redo the plot. Shawn

Yellow sweet clover is a good early season food source, but by mid to late summer becomes very mature, high in acid fast fiber and not very palatable.

Your winter rye planted mid summer will be a great fall attractant, good choice.

From: kadbow
The mule deer like that yellow sweet clover at my house. I would throw in your rye and ladino and then mow.

From: Corn bore
Mistake for deer....yes. But not a total loss. Makes good cover for pheasants, deer and other stuff the second year has some food value, nutrients to ground and good for bees. Not the same stuff as is in Pats beautiful plots in other words probably not what you intended.

From: APauls
Thanks for the thoughts guys. I think I'll try and restart and make sure I at least get the winter rye in in August. I'll toss the new clover varieties out and see what grows. For a half acre the seed is about $20, so if it doesn't go I'll just frost seed again later. Appreciate the insight.

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