An annual legume used as a nitrogen fixer, soil improvement/building, erosion prevention, ground cover and for forage.
It has rapid and robust growth, making it ideal for early spring nitrogen fixing or summer to fall weed suppressing green manure.
It's a spring, summer or fall nitrogen source; scavenging excess nitrogen from the soil while also fixing nitrogen from the air.
The residue and mulch left after mowing or a killing frost provides ground-cover through the winter and is easily managed next spring.
Clover produces a lot of biomass, both above and below the soil surface – adding needed organic matter and carbon to the soil. Its extensive root system helps stabilize soil and minimize erosion due to wind or moisture, especially over the winter.
Crimson clover has an abundance of showy, deep red blossoms which produce lots of nectar, attracting several species of bees and many other pollinators. The blossoms play host to the minute pirate bugs, a beneficial insect that preys on thrips.
Clover increases the natural nitrogen soil reserves by scavenging mineralized nitrogen that might be excess or tied up and unavailable to other plants due to pH or soil chemistry, as well as fixing nitrogen from the air. The scavenging effects reduces nitrogen leaching into percolating water and thus into groundwater, especially during winter and spring.
For a fall cover crop, it is best to loosely broadcast clover seed six to eight weeks prior to the average first expected frost date so it can establish its root system before being killed by hard frosts. For spring or summer use, broadcast as soon after the last frost date the soil can be worked and is not wet.
Clover will be killed by moderate to hard frosts, but needs to be mowed or weed whacked in areas with mild winters with no expected hard frosts, leaving the residue on the soil as a mulch. It is best to kill the clover after the early buds have set or at early seed set, but before seeds begin to mature if re-seeding is not wanted.
Lightly broadcast seeds and work into the top half inch of moist soil, or cover with 1/2 inch of mulch or compost. Water to equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week until seedlings become established. Do not fertilize as this delays the nitrogen fixing action of the legumes.
Our clover has an OMRI listed (suitable for organic production) inoculant seed coating and does not need additional inoculation when planting, so you can plant straight out of the bag. The seed photo above shows the light blue coating on the seeds.
- 8 oz will seed approximately 200 sq. feet
- 1 lb will seed approximately 400 sq. feet
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8oz nicely packaged
Bought these inoculated seeds to make my own cover crop mix for the fall. Time will tell if I waited too long to get them planted. Packaging and shipping were great, makes you want to hold them in your hand.
Terrior Comes Through Again
I needed a ground cover that would improve my really bad soil and offer the disappearing bees and pollinators a refreshment stand. As usual, Terroir filled the bill. I planted these seeds in several different locations and they sprouted and grew in every one of them - from crushed granite mixed with sandy soil to soil that had been covered for YEARS by heavy green plastic. Full sun, partial shade - it made no difference. They thrived. And two days ago they started to bloom AND I saw three honey bees land on them. Can't say enough good things about the quality of the seeds, the great service and the many wonderful articles and tips that are published in email, blogs and the FB page. Thanks!
Experimented in one of my six raised beds (4'W x 16'L) and was very happy with virtually no weeds. Plan to use this as a between plantings cover crop going forward!!