I have 4 different food plots on my land. When I first started them, I just bulldozed openings and tilled up the ground and planted clover. Three different kinds. Allsike, Red and White. They were O.K. but it was'nt until I started liming the food plots that they really started taking off. I bought a good soil test kit and started monitoring the ph. Allthough clover will grow in acidic soil, it is not as palatable, and does'nt absorb soil nutrients and fertilizers as well. If you just have clover, you don't need to apply nitrogen. Clover produces its own nitrogen. But, one thing I can't emphasize enough is the need for good cover around your food plots. If you have mature trees surrounding a food plot, it will be mainly a night time feeding area. My best food plot is on the edge of 18 acres of popple that is about 10 years old. Creating a stand of regenerated popple is one of the best things you can do for wildlife. The key too good whitetail habitat is "good cover first" and 2nd "new growth" of any kind. Deer like variety. If you keep vegetation of any type mowed and close to the ground. They will eat it.
I had a guy call me one time, to ask me to look at tilling up his food plots and planting them. He was'nt seeing any deer when he was hunting. I went to his property to look at them, and they were the most beautiful food plots I had ever seen. There was plenty of food. But the whole area surrounding them was mature popple, with some White Pine and maple mixed in. I told him he should have about 15 acres of the popple clear cut. It took about 2 months too convince him, but he finally did. We timed the cut in March when the energy from the existing popple was is its roots. This is key too good popple regeneration. By the end of summer, the popple was 7 feet high and so thick you could'nt see ten feet into it. Not only is it great cover, but the buds and leaves of young aspen are a preferred early fall food. Deer love to feed on there way to the food plot. Deer need browse as well as food plot forage. Him and his sons had there best year hunting ever. And it will be good for many years to come.
We manage our land for cover first. Because one thing is for certain. Mature bucks will take cover over food any day. The thought behing this is, a mature buck has his own supply of food, unavailable to other deer, just because of his size. He is able to reach higher for browse and leaves in areas that have been over browsed by the other deer. Therefore he can stay in the thick cover and still have a good food source.
Hope this helps a little.
Don't forget to wear your Obamaflage