Mike: How often should we mow our food plots? We generally mow ours down to 8-10" tall, approximately once a month in the summer.
Also, how often should we apply herbicides? We've only applied once a year in the past, but it seems that is not enough to control the grasses and weeds on some of the plots.
I reached out to the land-management experts at Biolgic, and they said:
How often to mow is on a case by case, plot by plot basis. We try and limit our clover fields to around a 25% bloom. In other words, when the bloom is on we mow or clip off the tops. When the plants start the process of going to seed or seed production, they lose forage quality. By mowing your plots, the plants are forced back into forage production.
It may be once, twice or three times a summer that your plots need mowing. It really depends on the rain (or lack thereof) and as much on the deer-browse pressure as anything else. Small plots often don't need mowing where larger ones do.
As for herbicides, multiple applications may be needed to kill all the grasses in a plot. Remember some weeds about to germinate when others are dying so it’s an ongoing battle. But you can stay ahead by evaluating your plots and mowing and applying chemicals smartly. Make sure to read and follow all labels when using herbicides.