Horny Buck Seed Company, AgSource Laboratories and Plot DR have teamed up to cover Soil Test, Test Results, Lime and Fertilizer recommendations, Liquid Lime and Fertilizers, Soil prep and Seeding. This video is loaded with great information.
Scrape Line Hunters edited and product this video
Clovers: are legumes, they need phosphate and potash that are added to soil by fertilizing based on your soil needs (always take a soil sample and have it tested to determine what your soil needs, this will allow crops to grow to their potential). Clovers produce nitrogen through nodules on their root system and use what nitrogen they need and release the rest back into the soil. Clovers grow best with pH levels 6.0 to 7.0 but some can grow with pH levels in the 5.5 range (I will note that below under common varieties). Clovers can grow in all types of soils so make sure you choose the right cover for your soil conditon. Clovers need 4 to 6 hours of light a day but the more sunlight they have the faster they will grow. Clovers need 30 inches of rain annually to make for a full lush stand. Fall plantings are the best time for planting because weed growth has slow down or stopped altogether for the season. Planting can be done by burn down, lightly tilling, fertilizing, applying lime, broadcasting seed and cultipacking seed. Remember clove seed is very small so seeding rates are important. You can waste seed very easy if you don’t set your seeder to the proper rate. Clover should be planted at the rate of 8 to 20lbs (depending on the variety of clover you are planting) per acre at the depth of no more than ¼ inch. Spring frost seeding can also be a very effective way to plant clover seed. All you have to do is prep your soil in the fall and broadcast your seed in spring when temperatures reach the 40’s during daylight and back in the mid 30’s at night. What this does is allows the sun to open the soil just enough to allow seed to get into the ground. To maintain clover mowing will have to be done 3 times a season depending on rain fall and were you live, this will also help with weed issues in your plot. Mowing before weeds head out and drop seed is key to maintaining weeds by mowing. Grasses can be controlled by spraying your plot with clethodim. Sometimes clethodim needs to be applied twice to be effective. Always read the directions before applying any type of weed killer. Late fall fertilizing will help clovers going into winter and the following spring. 5-20-20 works great at the rate of 150lbs per acre.
Most common varieties of clover
Medium Red Clover: Perennial, fast growing, multi cut, winter hardy, grows in any loam or clay soil, responding best to well drained, fertile soils, but also tolerates less well drained conditions. It grows best I soils with pH range 6.0 to 7.0. Red clover seed should be inoculated. Stem lengths can vary from 18 to 30 inches depending on verities. It also has an extensive root system that permeates the topsoil. Its taproot may penetrate several feet. Flowers are rose to pink in color. Seeding rate of 8 to 10lbs per acre.
Alsike Clover: Perennial, adapted to a wide range of soil types and grows well in northern climates, winter hardy, grows well on soils that are too acidic for red clover (pH 6.0) and can tolerate more alkalinity than most clovers, will tolerate wetter soils better than other clovers, works best if planted in a mix. Seeding rate of 6 to 8lbs per acre.
Berseem Clover: Annual, fast growing summer annual, it can produce fixate large amounts of nitrogen 100 to 200 units, grows best with pH range 6.0 to 7.0, can handle drought better than most clovers, seeding rate 8 to 12lbs drilled or 15 to 20lbs per acre broadcasted, can be planted as a cover crop.
Crimson Clover: Annual, fast growing in soil pH 6.0 to 7.0, grows well in about any type of well-drained soil, especially sandy loam. fixates nitrogen 70 to 100 units, can be used as a cover crop, has a dark red cone shaped flower, seed 15 to 18lbs per acre if drilled or 20 to 30 if broadcasted.
FIXation Balansa Clover: Annual, one of the most cold-tolerant annual clovers with tempratures down to -14 F, can be used as a cover crop for nitrogen production and weed control, FIXatioN matures approximately 14 days later than Crimson Clover and up to 28 days later than other commercially available Balansa varieties – while still producing greater overall growth throughout the growing cycle, will grow in heavy clay soils to sandy soils, soil pH of 4.5 to 8.5, High crude proteins as high as 28%, highly palatable, large leaves, can produce 100 units on nitrogen per acre, depth root system make id drought tolerant, Seeding rate 8lbs per acre broadcasted.
White/Ladino Clover: Perennial, grows in soil conditions with pH 6.0 to 7.0, winter hardy, crude proteins 25%, highly digestible nutrient, used as a companion crop with forages, can fixate nitrogen at rates up to 200 units per acre, grows successfully on sandy soils with a high-water table or irrigated droughty soils when adequately fertilized, thrives best in a cool, moist climate, has small leaves and white flower. Seeding rate of 20 to 25lbs per acre.
Frost seeding can be one of the most efficient ways to plant clover seed. With spring days getting longer soil freezes and thaws so all you do is broadcasted the clover seed onto your soil and it falls into the cracks of the soil. This method works great and the best part is you don’t have to do any tilling Because all that does is bring ups dormant weed seed that you'll have to dealing with all season. This also can be used to add new life to aging clover plot that maybe showing signs of thinning. Remember a healthy clover plot that is lush during growing season will take less work to control unwanted weeds. When frost seeding a new plot, you’ll want to increase the seeding rate. If the seed your using says apply 8 lbs. per acre then increase to 10 to 12 lbs. But if you over seeding an existing plot 4 to 5 lbs. will work fine.
The seed I’m using for frost seeding is Luck O’ Buck from Horny Buck Seed Company. It’s a blend of five clovers that give you diversity to different soil types. This blend offers great proteins that will help deer recover from a hard wither, does that are fawning and for Buck antler growth. The different clovers flower at different times throughout the season so the work as great pollenates for bees. This blend seeding rate is 8 lbs. per acre.