In-season mowing? Yes!

Mowing food plots during hunting season will do a lot to encourage futher growth of the forage, as well as providing tender shoots for deer to eat.

Deer are suckers for lush food plots, especially oats and clovers, but these choice forages don’t grow well without a little tender-loving-care on into the season. Few food-plot varieties can be labeled as plant-it-and-forget-it seeds. Stands of oats and clover can be strategically mowed to reduce competition and encourage vigorous growth.

North Carolina hunter/landowner Rich Roberts closely monitor growth throughout the season and mows the clover and oat plots when they need it.

“With clover and oats, you need to attack the weeds to keep them as pure as possible. I like to mow the plots to keep them going,” he said.

Additionally, oats are the most preferred by deer when they are young and tender. Mowing will encourage new sprouts.

“With clover, I mow it down to just above leaf height to allow the clover to take over and shade out the weedy growth. And with oats, I will mow the stalks down to 10 inches when they are 18 inches or more in height. It forces the oats to grow new tender shoots that deer love,” he said.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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