Should I use a cover crop when planting clover?

By Grant Woods,

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I’m getting ready to plant some very small deer food plots in the woods and open field edges. I have heard you say that low growing clovers generate faster in high traffic areas. What type of clover is low growing and would you mix other things with it or would you sow it solo?




I strongly prefer using wheat as a cover crop when I establish clover during the fall.  The wheat will usually germinate quickly and provide forage while the clover is still very small. In addition, the wheat will protect the young clover from hard rains, harsh sun during dry conditions, etc.

The following spring the wheat will serve to outcompete most weeds. In addition, when the wheat matures deer and turkeys will benefit and be very attracted to the wheat grain!

Once the grain is consumed the wheat straw will decompose and serve as organic matter and fertilize for the clover.

I’ve had much success using the Monster wheat variety from

I like a short growing clover.  I avoid most ladino varieties.  I’m experimenting with some newer varieties now and will keep you posted how they perform.

Enjoy creation!