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BLACKJACK

Perennial Food plots, what have you had luck with?

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Just plowed up some ground last week with the intention of planting a few more perennial plots next spring. I already have several clover spots, and I’ll probably put some more clover in, but looking for some more variety. What have you had luck with in your perennial plots? How about chicory? Alfalfa? Anything else?

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The only perennials I plant now are clover and chicory, and I am doing less chicory because my broadleaf herbicide takes it out. Clover and chicory are great companion crops if you don't spray for broadleafs and the deer hit the chicory really well. I have good conditions for clover and have always heard that if you can get clover to grow, skip the alfalfa. Don't plant a perennial grass. Not sure if this helps at all, but good luck.

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The reason I mention alfalfa is that on a few spots I planted a 'Haymaker' mix of clover, timothy, and alfalfa and after 3-4 years, theres alot more alfalfa than clover, it lasts longer. Plus it seems to do better on dryer spots. But how much do the deer use it?

I have another spot that has some chicory in it, with out mowing it tends to flower and get woody.

Guess I'll stick with the clovers. I may try several different types of clover, red, some from the MDHA, some of that Imperial clover and see if there really is a difference in deer preference.

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I'm a big fan of Imperial clover. I've experimented with lots of others but am probably going to go with only Imperial as I replant and/or expand my plots.

If you soil is drier then alfalfa could be a better option. If you want to try Whitetail Institute products they have an alfalfa variety called Alfa-Rack which I don't really have any experience with.

I have planted chicory by itself and in with clover. My deer don't hit it too much until late in the summer or early in the fall but then they hit it good. Chicory is supposed to handle hot, dry weather better than clover, which is one of the reasons they're good companion crops in the same plot. I've always mowed my clover and chicory, I try to mow it 3 times per year.

I've also heard that alfalfa should be mowed at least monthly to keep it tender and to keep the deer hitting it.

Did the deer eat the timothy, especially after the first year? I've never tried it, have heard it's better for horses than for deer.

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PERCHJERKER, its interesting that you've had better luck with the Imperial Clover. I was looking at one of my spots where I have three types of clover, one being the Imperial clover, and the Imperial looks the worst right now, (its been dry here). I'm doing a fall planting of clover and I'm going to try the same experiment again, three types of clover to see which one thrives and which ones the deer like. I'm also going to add some oats to it for use this fall. Since the Imperial clover is so spendy, if it doesn't clearly outperform the others, I won't be planting it anymore. I have also tried the Alpha-rack, it seems to grow ok, not sure on how much the deer use it.

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Other clovers will grow better than Imperial (a ladino variety) in dry conditions, but when I say I like Imperial best it's because my deer use it way more than the other clovers I've tried. And Imperial grows good in my soil adn I've never had a problem with it, in fact I've got a plot in it's 5th year this year with no overseeding or reseeding - just mowing, sraying, and fertilizing.

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