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Mowing clover question
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
craigmcalvey 03-Jul-21
t-roy 03-Jul-21
craigmcalvey 03-Jul-21
welka 11-Jul-21
CAS_HNTR 11-Jul-21
lewis 11-Jul-21
Two Feathers 11-Jul-21
Bow Crazy 12-Jul-21
MQQSE 12-Jul-21
Pat Lefemine 12-Jul-21
GFL 12-Jul-21
From: craigmcalvey
03-Jul-21
I have a nice plot of clover established and it’s currently about 10-12” tall. My question is not if I “need” to mow it but more “should I?” I know clover benefits from regular mowing, but my dilemma is that it’s so dry here in MI. What do I lose if I don’t mow it and just let it blossom and go to seed rather than risk it going dormant as that happened last year.

Craig

From: t-roy
03-Jul-21
If other weeds in the plot aren’t a major issue, I’d recommend not mowing it, Craig. Hot, dry weather can stress it, especially if if stays dry for a prolonged period.

From: craigmcalvey
03-Jul-21
Thanks t-roy, that was my gut feeling too.

From: welka
11-Jul-21
Deer will hit it harder if you mow and have a shot to have tender shoots come back before it goes dormant. Also, the absolute best time to mow clover is when the white flowers turn brown and "inside out" flipping towards the ground. That is millions of free clover seed and you just lop the tops off, the seed will thicken the plot. Good luck.

From: CAS_HNTR
11-Jul-21
I mowed mine 2 weeks ago and I looked at this weekend.....looks AWESOME. We have had some light rains and not super hot. I agree that I wouldn't mow it if its already stressed.

From: lewis
11-Jul-21
Any weather at all coming mow it good luck Lewis

From: Two Feathers
11-Jul-21
My plot is very small. Last year I mowed twice and by the time to came hunt, the deer and bear had it grazed down to nothing. This year I'm not mowing and will find out how that will work out.

From: Bow Crazy
12-Jul-21
A newer study out of the University of Tennessee, under the direction of Dr. Craig Harper, shows new insight on mowing perennial food plots: clover, chicory and alfalfa. Get the new issue of "Quality Whitetails", from the National Deer Association, for a great article on the study and what they found out. I can summarize when I get a few minutes... BC

From: MQQSE
12-Jul-21
I haven’t mowed any of mine this year. They are lush and the deer are steadily hitting them. They don’t look like a manicured golf course, but then again I am into growing and killing big deer.

From: Pat Lefemine
12-Jul-21

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
I have five acres of clover that looks just like this. Weed management via mowing and spraying only, no fertilizer.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
I have five acres of clover that looks just like this. Weed management via mowing and spraying only, no fertilizer.
I mow continuously unless stressed. Understand that some weeds will create stress during a drought. So if the drought is stressing my clover but weeds are starting to overtake the plot, I’m mowing- even if the clover is stressed. If you let invasive weeds like pigweed or water hemp get a foothold you’re clover plot will be ruined anyway so I will mow and hope for the best. Clover is very hardy and it will go dormant during drought but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily dead.

I’ve seen guys let 3’ pigweed go to seed just because it’s dry and they’re afraid to kill their perennial plot. That’s not good.

From: GFL
12-Jul-21

GFL's embedded Photo
GFL's embedded Photo
I mow all clover fields every 3 weeks if I’m getting summer rain.

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