When to Plant Clover for Deer: Maximizing Deer Hunting Success

When to Plant Clover for Deer

Planting clover is a great way to attract and keep deer on your property. Deer love to eat clover, and it provides them with essential nutrients. If you want to improve deer hunting opportunities or establish a deer feeding area, planting clover is an excellent choice.

The Best Time to Plant Clover for Deer

Timing is crucial when it comes to planting clover for deer. The ideal time to plant clover seeds is during the late summer or early fall season. This allows the seeds to germinate before winter and establish a healthy root system. Planting clover too late in the year may result in insufficient root development and limited growth.

It is important to consider your specific location and climate when determining the best time to plant clover. For example, if you live in a southern region with milder winters, you may have more flexibility in planting clover seeds later in the fall.

Preparing the Soil for Clover Planting

Before planting clover seeds, it is crucial to have a well-prepared soil bed. The first step is to remove any existing vegetation, including grass and weeds. Clearing the area of debris will provide a clean slate for the clover seeds to grow.

Next, test the soil’s pH level. Clover generally thrives in a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. If the soil pH is not within this range, you may need to adjust it by adding lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower the pH.

After adjusting the pH, it’s time to till the soil. Use a garden tiller or a hand tiller to break up the soil and remove any remaining clumps. This will create a loose and fertile soil bed, allowing the clover seeds to establish strong root systems.

Selecting the Right Clover Seed Variety

There are several varieties of clover to choose from for planting. However, not all clover varieties are equally attractive to deer. When selecting a clover seed variety, opt for those that are specifically designed for deer forage.

Whitetail clover, red clover, and ladino clover are popular choices among deer hunters and wildlife managers. These varieties are highly palatable to deer and offer excellent nutritional value.

Planting Clover Seeds

Once the soil is prepared and the right seed variety is selected, it’s time to plant the clover seeds. Scatter the seeds evenly across the prepared soil bed. Depending on the seed variety and manufacturer’s instructions, you may need to adjust the seeding rate.

A general rule of thumb is to apply approximately 8-10 pounds of clover seed per acre. However, it’s important to refer to the specific instructions on the seed packaging for accurate seeding rates.

After spreading the seeds, lightly rake the soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. This will help the seeds establish contact with the soil and improve germination rates.

Water the seeded area immediately after planting. Moisture is vital for seed germination, so ensure that the soil remains consistently moist until the clover seeds germinate. This may require regular irrigation if rainfall is insufficient.

Care and Maintenance

Once the clover has germinated, it’s crucial to provide proper care and maintenance. Regular mowing can help keep the clover at an optimal height for deer browsing. Mow the clover when it reaches a height of 6-8 inches, but avoid mowing it too low, as this can damage the plants.

Additionally, it is essential to monitor and control weed growth. Clover can be susceptible to weed competition, which can hinder its growth and attractiveness to deer. Hand pulling or using herbicides specifically labeled for clover can help keep weeds under control.

Frequently Asked Questions For When To Plant Clover For Deer: Maximizing Deer Hunting Success

Q: What Is The Best Time To Plant Clover For Deer?

A: Planting clover for deer is most successful in early spring or late summer.

Q: How Long Does It Take For Clover To Grow After Planting?

A: Clover typically starts to grow within 7-10 days after planting.

Q: Can Clover Attract Deer To My Property?

A: Absolutely! Clover serves as an enticing food source for deer, attracting them to your land.

Q: What Are The Benefits Of Planting Clover For Deer?

A: Planting clover provides deer with essential nutrition, improves soil health, and enhances wildlife habitat.


Planting clover for deer can significantly enhance your hunting experience or create a reliable food source for the deer on your land. By planting clover during the late summer or early fall, preparing the soil properly, selecting the right seed variety, and providing adequate care and maintenance, you can establish a thriving clover plot that will attract deer for years to come.

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