Crimson clover, scientifically known as Trifolium incarnatum, offers numerous benefits if you’re interested in creating a carpet of nutritious and attractive food plots for deer. This type of forage crop has been widely recognized for its ability to attract deer while also improving the soil’s quality. Let’s delve into the comprehensive guide on using crimson clover for deer.
Understanding Crimson Clover
Crimson Clover is a versatile and hearty annual legume. An excellent resource for deer, it flaunts vibrant red flowers and often blooms during the spring and fall seasons. Plots of Crimson clover provide high-quality forage for deer, teeming with protein and beneficial nutrients their bodies require.
Reasons to Plant Crimson Clover for Deer
Sustaining Wildlife – Deer are naturally attracted to the lush, dense coverage of clover plots. The plant’s high levels of nutrients make it an essential part of their diet. Protein content levels in crimson clover can reach up to 25%, offering an invaluable food source, particularly in the fall and early winter.
Soil Improvement – Beyond its benefits to deer, crimson clover supports the health of your land. As a legume, it significantly improves soil fertility by adding nitrogen, a critical element for plant growth.
Cost-effective – Planting crimson clover is lighter on the pocket compared to other food plots. Its low maintenance nature and rapid growth make it an economical choice.
Planting Crimson Clover
When it comes to planting crimson clover, it’s essential to keep the following points in mind:
Timing – The best time to plant crimson clover is late summer to early fall. Seed germinates best when the soil temperatures are around 50°F.
Soil Requirements– Crimson clover thrives in loamy and well-drained soil with a pH level between 6 and 7.
Seeding Rates – A seeding rate of 20-30 pounds per acre is recommended for pure stands of crimson clover.
Maintaining Your Crimson Clover Plot
Maintenance of a deer plot involves the right balance of watering, mowing, and pest control:
Watering – Crimson clover requires consistent watering during the germination period. However, once established, it can thrive under moderate drought conditions.
Mowing – Regular mowing ensures the crimson clover remains thick, lush, and healthy. This also encourages continual growth and prevents the maturing of competing grasses and broadleaf weeds.
Pest Control – Crimson clover is relatively resistant to disease and pests. Nevertheless, it’s wise to monitor your plot closely for signs of trouble.
Crimson Clover: A Valuable Addition to Deer Habitat
In conclusion, using crimson clover for deer is one of the best decisions you can take for your land, and the local deer population. It is nutritionally dense, beneficial for the environment, and generally easy to care for. So whether you’re a seasoned stag or just a fawn in the field of deer food plots, crimson clover certainly gets the green light!
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