General Deer Plot Maintenance

 Maintaining a clover and alfalfa wildlife plot adds to appeal and longevity. Depending on how much your plot is grazed in the summer, you may have to mow your plot to about 4-6 inches. It is best of you have a tool to catch your clippings. Mowing should be done when plants reach 12-14 inches tall.  This will create fresh, new, tasty growth.  Cut all plants to 4-6 inches high, do not mow when it is hot and dry. Mowing also keeps the tops of weeds down and helps prevent seeding. 

 Another way to control unwanted grass and broadleaf weeds is with the use of herbicides. Herbicides are the most cost effective way to rid your fields of grasses and weeds. Weeds need to be treated before they take over the plot. Be sure to buy herbicides that will eliminate only the weeds, such as the Whitetail Institute’s Arrest or Slay.

The Whitetail Institute has successfully tested and recommends Arrest and Slay herbicides to control weeds.  Arrest herbicide is used for the control of many grasses. Slay herbicide is used for control of broadleaf weeds. Both rapidly enter the plants through the foliage and stops growth within 48 hours of application.  Normally it will take 20 to 30 days to see the full effect of the application. Arrest is for grasses and can be applied with a wide variety of application equipment.  Slay is used for broadleaf weeds and can be used in any 4-wheeler or tractor sprayer but not in a hand sprayer. Slay also needs a stickler additive to work.

Once your plot is established, fertilize once or twice a year at the rate of  about 300 pound of fertilizer per acre. If planting clovers, do not use a high nitrogen fertilizer, clovers produce nitrogen. For clovers use 0-20-20 if available, or a fertilizer with the lowest first number.  Spring and early fall are the best times to fertilize.  Always apply fertilizer when plants are dry. It is best to do a soil analysis every 2-3 years to insure the recommended Ph and fertility.