Food Plot Seed: How to Plant Ladino Clover

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What Is Your Preferred Food Plot Seed Option?

Have you ever planted ladino clover? (QDMA photo)

Ladino clover is one of several great perennial clover varieties. It’s also likely the most popular of the white clovers. Ladino is very healthy for deer and comes packed with essential nutrients cervids need.

It’s a larger variation of the clover species and offers a lot of forage for wildlife throughout most of the year. Once mature, it stands at about 10 to 12 inches tall and blooms in the summer. It acts as a great tool for erosion control. And with timed mowing, it will regrow well on its own. This highly palatable food source is a great option for deer and other wildlife.

How to Plant

Begin by taking a soil test. The optimum pH is 5.8 to 6.0 or higher. Apply fertilizer as needed. Also, lime to adjust the pH if necessary, too. Next, till the soil. Then disk until you have a flat, firm seed bed.

Broadcast seeds at 5- to 7-pounds per acre. Less can be used if drilling. Plant seeds at approximately ¼-inch deep. When broadcasting, do so in two directions to ensure even seed distribution. Ration seed accordingly if using this method. Run over the planted area with truck, tractor or four-wheeler tires to press the seed down into the soil. A light drag will work as well. Take care not to put seeds too deep. This will inhibit germination.

When to Plant

This can be planted in the spring or fall, climate and location depending. If planting in the spring, do so after the fear of frost has passed. Make sure soil temperatures are above 60 degrees.

If planting in the fall, do so once cold weather arrives and has been there for a while. This well help ensure the seeds lie dormant until the following year. Frost seeding works very well, too. Seeding just after medium to heavy snowfall, and prior to snowmelt, will ensure the seed is worked into the soil as it continues to thaw, freeze and repeat throughout the remainder of winter.

Where to Plant

While it is a great food source, be careful where you plant it. It does not do well in sandy soil. It’s shallow root system does best in soils that are well-drained yet hold water long enough for the root systems to uptake adequate levels of moisture.

Hot temperatures also prevent maximum growth. Because of this, this plant does best in the middle latitudes of the country. That said, within reason, it can be planted throughout most of the country with at least limited results in areas with unideal climate and soil.

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