Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Clover Adds Nitrogen to Any Yard or Garden

My dad always planted white clover in the yard to add nitrogen for a green lawn and knew it was a plus for sunny and shady areas. Growing up, I didn't know or think about the benefits, I was just looking for the four leaf clover for good luck.

But now, I realize his reasons. Clover (Trifolum or trefoil) is kin to the pea (legume) family with a genus of over 300 species. Best known are those that bloom with white, purple and red flowers. Each not only add nitrogen to the soil but help beneficial garden insects too.

Butterflies, moths, honeybees and other beneficial garden insects love clover. All of these pollinators bring an extra boost to flowers and vegetables in the yard and garden.

Cattle and equine ranchers have long known the benefits of growing clover and alfalfa (also a legume) to the grass in their pastures. Besides adding a great fertilizer to the land, both make a terrific forage for their animals when added to grazing grasses.

Add approximately 25 percent clover or alfalfa seeds to Fescue or Bermuda seeds when planting in your yard, as more might over take the other grass due to the high amount of nitrogen. White clover is a cool weather perennial (especially in our climate) that once established helps hard to grow bare spots encourage other growth and then will grow all year. Plant a mixture in early spring and cover with a bale of straw.
Clover or alfalfa (members of the legume family) will add nutrients to the space without adding any other fertilizer.

Until Next Time........
Happy Gardening 2014!
Posted by Wilma Smith

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