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Is it time to turn-under clover??
I have a three ac food plot thats been in clover for the past 7 years. It still look fairly good but weeds are starting to take over. My soil test shows the only thing I need is 0-0-60. Im thinking about turning the clover under in the spring & plant Rape for a year, then go back to clover in 2022. What do you guys think I should do?? I have a lot of deer in my area & the clover get pounded constantly.
That depends on a few things, At least for me it is. What kinda of quality food is around your place, even on other places, If you know?? If yours is still the best around even a plot that only 30% clover will still draw deer to it if it's one or the best food around. Deer will easily find the clover in it. But if you really what to do what you said. In Pa I'd do it in the summer time. I'd nuke the field, let it brown then disc it. let it sit a few weeks to start to green up, then nuke the green up and then put the rape in. Then come spring, disc the rape plot, let set a few weeks to green up, then nuke it and replant the clover.
Why nuke a plot that already has what you want in the long run? You're talking about spending extra time and money to plow (or disc), kill it, etc.
Use the right herbicide to control the weeds/grasses that are coming in, overseed more clover into it, clip it as recommended, and possibly use foliar fertilizer to really maximize growth, nutrition, and palatability.
"I have a lot of deer in my area & the clover get pounded constantly." Reminds me of my (really cute and sweet) ex-wife. Thought I could do better... anyway good luck.
What skookum said, get rid of what you don’t want. A white clover blend can’t be beaten for spring, early summer, and fall where I live.
What skookum said.....keep lime and fert right. Keep the weeds at bay with chemical or mowing and add more clover. The seeds are super small and hard and in my experience they work well for overseeding.
Spray next spring after it starts growing good with glyphosate. The clover will recover, everything else should die out, then overseesd with clover, drag it into the thatch to get it down to soil. You'll be good to go.
Do NOT spray clover with glyphosate. Use the correct herbicide for your objective.
My concern is...Am I hurting anything by keeping my food plot in clover for so many years? Is it beneficial to plant a different crop (rape) for a year? In the past I've planted corn, beans & several other crops & the deer mow it down before it matures. Clover has worked out the best for me. AS stated above, my soil test has indicated I'm lacking potash. So I hit the field with 0-0-62. MY objective is to have a lush clover field in the future. So do I try to kill the weeds in the spring or turn it under, nuke, fertilize plant rape for a year & then back to clover the following year??
Sounds like you like to tinker., I do too. Been 7yrs and you're getting the itch to get dirty. Why not split the plot in half; leave half and tinker with the other half? Make a rotation. What you have is good and it's working. I like to work in long strips alternating switchgrass, cereal grains, clovers, brassicas, and milo/millets. Some strips stay for years, some change every yr.
I like catscratch’s suggestion. You still get to get some dirt under your fingernails, plus you will still have at least part of the plot producing browse. One suggestion I’d give is, if you’re wanting to plant corn, beans, etc., you will, pretty much, need to fence it off to keep the deer out of it. The electric deer exclusion fences work pretty well for this. Gotta keep them out until those crops mature. You can also interseed a cereal grain into those standing crops in early September and get some additional attractive browse for the deer in the fall/winter as well. (If you get some decent rain after seeding it)
If your intentions are to keep a clover plot for the future then I would do like others have stated.....selective herbicides for the weeds or grass with frost seeding of clover seed every couple years.....tilling will introduce new weed seeds and be a constant fight.
I treated my clover fields with IMOX this spring. Where the clover was reasonably present it did a good job of killing the grasses and weeds giving the clover a chance to get a head start. I wish I would have frost seeded last winter to help even more. The grasses and weeds came back a little. I think from seeds already there but my and my neighbors plots which we did at the same time looked the best they have for years. I plan on doing the same thing this spring. In some of the plots the clover was already too far gone and there was just not enough left to to fill in for the grasses and weeds so they just came back. I decided that I wanted to put at least some of the plots into brassicas or something else and I realized that the IMOX would stay active for months and for some plants over a year. I ended up burning those off with glyphosate and 2,4 D ester once and then a second time with just glyphosate and planted cereal rye which worked well. If your goal is to have clover I would consider frost seeding and spaying with IMOX. The IMOX is expensive to buy but the usage rates are so low that it only cost about $15/acre. If you want to put part or all of it into brassicas I would burn that area a couple of times and then plant in August.
IMOX kills grasses and broadleaves in one pass, vs having to spray Clethodim, then spraying 2,4-DB (Butyrac) separately. It is actually just as cheap per acre spraying IMOX, plus only having to spray once. Definitely a plus frost seeding in late winter/early spring, too. Pretty cheap insurance to try and improve your existing stand.
Lots of good suggestions here... Thanks for helping this rookie food plotter.... FYI, I did spray the plot last spring with Imox & Nitro-surf. It did kill some of the weeds but the plot was still about 20% weeds in the fall. So,,,, I guess I'll not turn the plot under & stay with what I have. I'd like to hit the plot with 0-0-62 again, frost seed this winter & nuke with Imox & Nitor-surf in the spring.
I live in Michigan. The temp currently is running in the high 20's/low 30's & no snow yet. When should I frost seed & apply 0-0-62? The plot is planted with ladino clover. Should I frost seed with the same clover or add something new?
If you have 80% clover IMO you have a great plot for it being that old. I like your plans to treat it with IMOX again. Even if you stay at 20% weeds going into the fall the results would be very acceptable to me. I would frost seed just before or during the time period when you have regular freeze thaw cycles. In Ohio it 2/15 to 3/15 to frost seed. It maybe a month later where you are at. Maybe around 3/15 but someone familiar with the area maybe be able to weigh in here. I would fertilize just before the IMOX treatment as IMOX is most effective with growing plants. If that does not work out for you I would fertilize when you can. I would avoid fertilizing when there is frost in the ground to avoid run-off. I use a mixture of Ladino and Alsike clover because I have varying degrees of moisture in my plots. If you are getting good results with the Ladino I would stick with that. If the yields are good and the deer like it why change. Just make sure that your seeds are inoculated.
Thanks again for all the good info...
Question - I can buy 50lbs of inoculated Lidano clover at my local seed/feed store for $160. That will seed approx. 2.5ac. or I can buy 18lbs of Imperial whitetail clover for $118.00 that will seed approximately the same acreage. What the big difference & which product do you guys suggest I buy??
If your clover is starting to have issues go in and frost seed more during very early spring. Lows below 32 degrees and highs in the 40+ degree Range. Hardship to beat a good clover stand for both nutrition and drawing power. IMO
I have ladino clover plots that are over 6 years old I over seed around 5 lbs and winter rye annually. I spray using clethodim and 24 db and crop oil all mixed together never had a problem.good luck Lewis
I use seeds from local farm outlets so I can not comment on the Imperial whitetail clover. Farmers who are more experienced at planting seeds would probably use 4#/acre of pure live seed (PLS) for a new planting. For food plots that are broadcast spread 5-7#s/acre of PLS is recommended for a new planting. If the Imperial Whitetail clove is inoculated ie. coated and the germination rate is not 100% it is not all PLS. Therefore 18#s for 2 1/2 acres maybe about right for frost seeding to fill in the existing plot. I agree with Lewis that 5 #s/acre of coated seed is about right for frost seeding your plot which is 80% clover now. That should give you 2-3#s/acre of PLS. It is hard to apply only 5#s/acres so be careful. So I would use a quarter to a third of the 50# bag from the local store and save the rest for future use. If you want to apply more I doubt that it would hurt anything. Again. if you are having good success with the seed you are using I would not change.
I have not had the same positive experience that Lewis had using clethodim and 2,4 D together. The grasses were controlled well but not the broadleafs. However I had a lot of purple dead nettle and that is what did not respond. The IMOX seems to have removed all of the purple dead nettle with just one application of IMOX. Some of my plots were over 30% purple dead nettle before I got them under control,
You might want to reconsider inoculating your seed. Inoculation is adding microbes that help the plant fix nitrogen from the air. If you are having weed and grass (nitrogen lovers) problems then added nitrogen might work against you.
I did a walk-around in my plot today & I think my 20% weed estimate is wrong. I have both weeds & grass & the mix is more like 35/40% weeds & grass. There are some areas that are very heavy with clover but others are very grassy. AS stated above, I sprayed the plot last spring with Imox & it did kill some of the grass & weeds but overall I wasn't that impressed. So, I guess my options are - frost seed in March, then spray the field when the exacting weeds & grass start to grow. Or turn the field over, disk, hit it with Round-up & replant..
Question - does Imox & clethodim do the same thing?
“ Question - does Imox & clethodim do the same thing?”
Yes and no. Clethodim controls grass. Imox controls grass and broadleaf weeds.
I used imox a lot this year in Ohio and my experience is that it did a far better job killing grass than clethodim. However, it was hit and miss on broadleaf weeds. It did great on ragweed, smartweed and purslane. It was disappointing on pigweed and useless on Dock. I plan to spray 2-4,DB in early spring to control the remaining weeds.
Right now you probably have a seed bank for weeds and grasses. Killing everything one time with glyphosate will not change that any more than killing the weeds and grasses once a year and then letting them go to seed when they reemerge. Fortunately you have a food plot now which is drawing and feeding deer. One way to go would be to frost seed in the areas where there are weeds and grasses and then have several applications of IMOX and or 2-4, DB through out the year as necessary to control the weeds and grasses. Maybe start with IMOX early in the spring and when the weeds come back use 2-4, DB. Regular mowing should help keep grasses from going to seed. Later on use IMOX again. If after a year you do not think that things are going in the right direction you can burn off the plot multiple times before reseeding.
I can't burn the plot off because it's next to a horse pasture & a 5000ac metro park. But, I can use Imox several time during the growing season. I guess I'll give it one more try before I turn it under. I'll frost seed in March, & hit it with Imox & Nitro-surf a few times during the growing season.
One thing that I think happens sometimes with Imox is letting the weeds get too mature for it to work. I did not have good luck with it this year, but I could not get into my fields with the tractor early to spray. For that reason I am going to purchase a 60 gallon UTV spray rig and try to hit those fields earlier. I over seeded some less than desirable stands this fall down here in the south and I am pretty please with what I am seeing.
What sprayer are you looking at? Pump specs? Anything else? Thanks.
Enduraplas field boss. You’d probably be better off googling for specs.