How To Grow The Best Clover Food Plots (Episode 187 Transcript)

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GRANT: Monday, June 17th. Working to make our clover stands and our treestands more productive this fall.

ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer.tv is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Muddy Outdoors, Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester, Redneck Hunting Blinds, Dead Down Wind, Record Rack, Antler Dirt, LaCrosse Footwear, ScentMaster, BloodSport Arrows and Prime Bows by G5.

GRANT: Most varieties of clover are perennial, meaning they grow year to year.

GRANT: Unfortunately, a lot of food plot farmers only get one to two years out of a clover stand.

GRANT: My best record for a clover stand is 11 years.

GRANT: The two secrets to keeping clover active and productive and a food plot for many years is making sure it's well fed, good soil fertility and keeping the weeds from competing for the moisture and nutrients to that clover.

GRANT: Most common method of keeping weeds out of a clover stand seems to be mowing. Mowing and a lack of fertilizer is probably why most clover stands fail during the first or second year.

GRANT: Mowing certainly doesn't control most forms of grass, think about the grass in your yard. You mow it, mow it, mow it, it keeps on growing. Some broadleaf weeds will be killed by clipping the top off with a mower, but certainly not all of them. In reality, the only way to control weeds, grasses and broadleaves out of a food plot is by using herbicide.

ADAM: Yeah. Had who, Kirk Gibson?

ADAM: Yeah.

ADAM: You may of noticed a lot of wheat growing in this food plot. Typically, when you're planting a new stand of clover, like this field, you always plant some sort of cover crop. We used Eagle Seed Monster Wheat to help protect that clover at its young stage. We decided we're not gonna spray the wheat, we're gonna let it mature and go to grain, providing forage to turkeys and other sorts of game. We typically plant Eagle Seed soybeans here at The Proving Grounds and they provide forage eleven months out of the year but we've got one month that we need to provide some source of food to the wildlife. That's where we use clover.

ADAM: The first important factor in clover maintenance is providing quality fertilizer. We use Antler Dirt here at The Proving Grounds and as you can see our clover is tall, lush and providing tons of forage for wildlife.

ADAM: The second important factor that goes into a healthy clover stand is weed control. Today we're using a broadleaf and a grass specific herbicide mixed with a non-ionic surfactant. We find this more effective than mowing.

ADAM: Typically, when spraying a clover field, you'll spray twice a year. Once in the spring, and once in the fall. So, we're gonna get to it, spray these weeds in our food plot so we can have a great stand to hunt on this fall.

GRANT: A simple backpack sprayer and some sweat equity can do wonders to maintaining your clover plot but without these tools, you'll probably have to replant each year.

ADAM: Today, the boys and I are out on Boom Pond Powerline putting up a new Non-Typical Hot Zone Fence.

ADAM: (Whispering) Pi-yow.

ADAM: Over the last couple falls, this tree has grown to become one of my favorites on the property.

ADAM: You saw me harvest a bobcat a couple years ago and then this past fall, I shot a nice doe out of it.

ADAM: As you can see behind me, the boys have the fence almost all the way up, driving the last few posts now so we're gonna make the fence hot, get out of here before the heavier rain gets in and come back in a few weeks and show you the results.

GRANT: The boys installed another Non-Typical Hot Zone Electric Fence at Boom Pond Powerline. It meets my criteria for great stand location. I can hunt with any type of south or eastern wind.

GRANT: And another factor that's huge is I've had success out of that stand in the past. Back when we first started GrowingDeer.tv, I harvested a nice buck out of that location. Mature bucks are drawn to certain types of habitats. Not necessarily specific areas. So, when you remove one large buck from that area, another buck, maybe growing into that age or competing with that buck, will adopt that same area and take advantage of the thermals, the wind direction and the security of that area. With all those factors in mind, it was a perfect opportunity to put up another electric fence and preserve that spot for a late season hot spot.

GRANT: If it's cold during the late season, deer have got to take more food in just to maintain body temperature.

GRANT: Often times, all the food is already consumed out of smaller food plots or even in ag areas where the farmers have tilled the ground and if you can preserve a little food, you can basically own the deer in that part of the range.

GRANT: We've learned from experience that by protecting some forage with electric fence, you can make a great hunting spot during the late season. That's exactly why we installed the Non-Typical Hot Zone Electric Fence. To protect the beans right in front of the stand, allowing them to reach maturity and have that favor deer food of soybean pods right there within 40 yards or less from the Muddy stands.

GRANT: One of the great things about GrowingDeer and the web, is we can bring you a new show every week and it's semi-live, so you can follow this summer and see all those beans mature inside the fence versus outside the fence and how we do this fall once we take down the fence or open the gap.

GRANT: We've got several more projects to complete before deer season opens, and I'll bet you do too at your hunting grounds but take a moment while you're out there working and enjoy Creation and more importantly, listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.

ADAM: And weed control and small Hidey Hole Food Plots just like this one.

ADAM: May have noticed a lot of clover grow…Oooo!

ADAM: Before the heavier rain gets in and come back in a few weeks and show you the results. Yeah, yee-yee!

UNKNOWN: Hallelujah.