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The clover in our small food plot that we planted in the spring of '08 with Ed Spin's Ultimate Blend is growing pretty well. The clover has long spindly stalks, about 6" - 8" long, that curl and stand 3" to 5" above the ground. The only implement that I have to cut the patch with is a lawn mower. It cuts about 3" high. This past weekend I cut half the patch before the mower broke. I spread more lime and the recommended fertilizer on the entire patch after the partial mowing. I won't get back up north to work on the food plot until mid-October.

Can I expect any problems with growth next year from either the half that wasn't cut or from the half was cut shorter than the recommended 6"?

There are some bare spots and some sparse areas in the plot. The ground has a lot of existing fine roots in the top soil and I can't loosen it up with a garden rake to reseed. Will it hurt the existing growth much if, early next spring, I run over the entire plot with my quad and disc weighted to till the top 1/2" or so and then reseed the bare and sparse spots with more of the Ultimate Blend? Would I be better off getting a small roto-tiller and just turning up the bare and sparse spots before reseeding them.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Lindsey
 

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Lindsey,

I personally don't mow my clover plots. My deer take care of that job for me. My general rule of thumb if you do mow is to let the clover regrow for approx 4-6 weeks before hard frost slows growth. This allows enough growth for deer season and also allows the clover to recuperate prior to winter.

As far as bare spots, I would frost seed clover on the bare spots next spring. Its pretty simple, just broadcast the clover on the still frozen ground in the spring and allow the freeze/thawing in the spring work the seed into the ground. It works well and you do not need to work the ground again. I do this each spring to areas that the deer have torn up. My personal choice has been Ladino clover since Spin's ultimate blend also has annuals in it and they may not do well frost seeded.

Tim
 
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