Oats-nurse crop for clover-question
Habitat Improvement
Messages posted to thread:
Langbow 25-Mar-22
kevo 25-Mar-22
t-roy 25-Mar-22
Langbow 25-Mar-22
drycreek 25-Mar-22
goyt 26-Mar-22
sureshot 26-Mar-22


So last fall I sprayed a 1/2 acre field that had lots of weed and crab grass. Disked it a few times, fertilized and limed. Planted Whitetail oats and clover per direction. Oats came in great and clover could be seen but not crazy abundant. Deer ate the oats down pretty good thru fall and early winter. I started to blow leaves off here in CT this week and do see clover here and there but lots of bare ground. How much can I expect the clover to spread and fill in? Part of me thinks I should seed some clover to help it fill in. Just curious if clover will spread or will the bare ground become weed filled.

Curious what everyone thinks and what others with more experience than me recommend

By: kevo

I would think the clover would fill in but when was it planted? How was it planted? The oats served their purpose as a nurse crop & browse for deer. It might not hurt to overseed a little more clover. Regardless, I wouldn't get too carried away mowing until you know you have a good stand. A weed such as lambsquarter here or there isn't the end of the world. Don't mow too close to the ground either. Hope this helps

By: t-roy

I would highly recommend frost seeding more clover into your existing stand, ASAP. The reason being, the freeze/thaw cycle helps to kind of pull the seed into the soil, giving you better seed to soil contact, and a higher germination rate. You probably don’t have too many days left with below freezing temps to get the benefit of the freeze/thaw action. It’s not critical that the F/T cycle happens. You will still get good germination. You said it’s a half acre plot. I would recommend seeding another 4-5 lbs of seed. That might be just a tad bit on the heavy side, but seeding clover heavy will not hurt a thing, other than cost you a little bit more.


I can’t recall exactly when I planted I think it was labor day weekend. T-Roy if that’s true that overseeding isn’t really possible then I think I will add some seed.


X2 on what Troy said. Down here, we have to plant clovers in the fall because they need a good root system to make it through our summers. In Conn. I highly doubt you have that problem.

By: goyt

I will X3 what t-roy said. I frost seed onto my legume plots most winters. There is a thread below about using IMOX. You may want to read it. Using herbicides to control grasses and broadleaves combined with frost seeding can extent the quality and life of your plot.


I would overseed more clover. In the future, I would not use oats as a nurse crop on fall seedings of clover, just on spring plantings.

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