Clovers and How to Grow Them

Jan 27, 2013 by

Clovers and how to Grow Them by Thomas Shaw was originally published in 1912 and honestly has everything you need to know in terms of growing Clovers such as: Medium Red Clover, Alfalafa, Mammoth Clover, Crimson Clover, White Clover, Burr Clover, Sweet Clover and Japanese Clover.

A few lines on the sowing of Clover seeds:

“Seasons for Sowing.
Clovers are more commonly sown in the springtime in the Northern States and Canada than at any other season and they are usually sown early in the spring, rather than late. On land producing a winter crop, as rye or wheat, they can be sown in a majority of instances as soon as the snow has melted. That condition of soil known as honeycombed furnishes a peculiarly opportune time for sowing these seeds, as it provides a covering for them while the land is moist, and thus puts them in a position to germinate as soon as growth begins. Such a condition, caused by alternate freezing and thawing, does not occur on sandy soils. Where it does not so occur, sowing ought to be deferred until the surface of the ground has become dry enough to admit of covering with a harrow. As in sowing the seeds of certain grasses good  results usually follow sowing just after a light fall of snow, which, as it melts, carries the seed down into the little openiings in the soil.

But there are areas, especially in the American and Canadian northwest, where in some seasons the young clover plants would be injured from sowing the seed quite early. This, however, does not occur very frequently. When sown on spring crops, as spring wheat, barley and oats, the seed cannot, of course, be sown until these crops are sown. The earlier that these crops are sown the more likely are the clovers sown to make a stand, as they have more time to become rooted before the dry weather of summer begins. In a moist season the seed could be safely sown any time from spring until mid-summer, but since the weather cannot be forecast, it is considered more or less hazardous to sow clovers in these northern areas at any other season than that of early spring. If sown later, the seed will more certainly make a stand without a nurse crop, since it will get more moisture. If sown later than August, the young plants are much more liable to perish in the winter. In the States which lie between parallels 40° and 35° north, and between the Atlantic and the  meridian west, clover seeds may be sown in one form or another from early spring until the early autumn without incurring much hazard from winter killing in the young plants, but here also early spring sowing will prove the most satisfactory. The hazard from sowing in the summer comes chiefly from want of sufficient moisture to germinate the seed. ”


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