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Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:54 AM

I am getting ready to plant white clover. Any hints or suggestions? For now, I am planting in my

lawn. I've read several articles, and seem to be getting conflicting advice.

Also, I heard it is good to plant in my garden in the fall - to be tilled up before I am ready to plant next spring. Too late for this year - just heard about it.

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Reply I am getting ready to plant white clover. Any hints or suggestions? For now, I am planting in my (Original post)
patricia92243 Apr 2012 OP
Viva_La_Revolution Apr 2012 #1
patricia92243 Apr 2012 #2
Kolesar Apr 2012 #3
tru Apr 2012 #4
patricia92243 Apr 2012 #5

Response to patricia92243 (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:31 AM

1. I bought mammoth red clover, mostly for a fall cover crop

Used to be, people tried to keep it out of the lawn! I remember Grampa fighting a large patch by the curb every year. We loved it, cause we could make fairy jewelry out of the flowers. Once he had 3 teary eyed granddaughters upset he had mowed down the flowers before we could pick them.. he felt so bad he decided he could live with the clover if it made us happy. Used to have a picture somewhere of him wearing a flower crown and necklace and rings made of clover flowers.. it was beautiful. and he's probably rolling in his grave cause I'm giving out the family secrets. he was such a softie on the inside.

on edit:
Spring is the best time to seed To establish clover in existing sod, sow the seed in spring or early fall. Early to mid-April before grass starts growing quickly is the best time because there is little moisture stress and little competition from grass and other broadleaf plants. Clover seed can even be 'frost seeded' in late March or early April on ground that is still mostly frozen; the seed drops into small cracks as the surface alternately thaws during the day and freezes again at night. Early sown seed will germinate when the soil starts to warm up in latter part of April (in HRM).
Late summer/early fall is an alternative time, but is not as good as the spring because the less developed plants (compared to spring-seeded plants) are more likely to be winter-killed. If it's late summer and you're anxious to see some clover on the lawn, seed it then and again in late May or early June of the following year if you don't see good establishment of the fall seeded clover.

http://www.versicolor.ca/lawns/docs/clover.html

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 09:27 AM

2. Thanks for the help, and I love the story of grandpa - he sounds like a great man.

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Response to patricia92243 (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:38 PM

3. I planted crimson clover in August and September, then rototilled it under about a week ago

The clover got established and kept the annoying weeds from coming up this spring. It did its job. It looked very nice. The clover didn't get tangled up too badly in the tines.

The clover was about ankle high and I was able to mow it down easily with my battery powered push mower before tilling. So, my expectation is that you could replace the lawn with clover and be able to mow it when it gets high. I would really like a ground cover I did not have to cut eight times a month in May and June.

There is some trick to getting your preferred ground cover to grow in before the old grass and weed seeds germinate. Hopefully the clover will shadow it and the weed seedlings will be "smothered". With a prairie planting, one must rototill several times throughout one season before seeding in mid winter. Tricky

I am going to till up some lawn and plant buckwheat for a ground cover this year. I plan to hack it down once with a golf-club sickle, rake it up and compost it.

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Response to patricia92243 (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:21 AM

4. just throw it in

 

I just throw it in the lawn. That's what I do in spring.

If grandpa were older, he'd remember when clover was a standard part of grass seed mixtures, since it fixes nitrogen. Then Scotts etc decided they could declare it a weed and sell more herbicide.

I also threw it in an area last fall which had been newly excavated and filled with loam (former gravel parking lot.) I thought it had died over winter, but now it's growing. I have no grass in that area, so it's easier to see what the clover does over winter. I wonder what it will do next winter when it's more established.

You can get white clover seed coated in an inoculant which makes it more likely to take.

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Response to tru (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 09:59 AM

5. I already bought mine, and don't think it has an inoculant. IF this doen't grow, I'll be sure to

get that type next time. Right now I am waiting for it to rain. The ground is already too dry - scary for this early in the year.

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