Food Plot Maintenance Question

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Sep 8, 2012
Southern VA
I got a section of soil tested by the state agricultural coop and applied lime and fertilizer per their recommendations. Due to not having my own equipment, a buddy tilled my food plot (only about 3000 sq ft) but only did about 75 percent of it. Then using a rotary broadcast spreader I laid down 20 lbs of winter rye (cereal rye) and 2 lbs of Durana clover. This was all the end of September.

Heavy early rains led to great success and both crops are growing well. They are growing equally well in the untilled areas (only Roundup and scalp-lawn mowing there) and the tilled areas! I am getting bears rabbits and deer on camera and have killed two bucks stopping for a bite to eat at my plot during muzzleloader season, with many does on camera as well.

My question is for next year do I only have the clover? Or do I broadcast winter rye seeds down again on top of the clover in September? After seeing the success despite no tilling in some areas I plan on doing a larger area of land this fall, attacking weeds with roundup and mowing this summer and then liming, fertilizing and seeding those areas.
Clover is a perennial whereas rye (oats, wheat) is an annual. You may get some volunteers if the rye goes to seed but in order to duplicate this year's success, you will have to reseed next year with rye (or oats, etc.)

If you expand your plot, try doing half & half with rye and oats. The deer on my old lease preferred oats to everything else.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I didn't mean to convey that I didn't know about the perennial/annual difference, but rather my question was intended to ask if I should leave the plot as pure clover or if I should (and expect growth from) overseeded cereal rye?
You happen to have a local pheasants forever or similiar organization around. Look for a local agronomist around. I was amazed at how the selection of plantings would draw or repel game.
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