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Cover Crop - Clover

How to Grow Clover as a Cover Crop

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A field of red clover.
Photo © Flickr user shannonm75

What is it: Clover can mean a variety of different plants, all legumes. Crimson clover, red clover, and white Dutch clover are all commonly used as cover crops. Clover can be used to enhance soil fertility, or as a living mulch among vegetables to suppress weeds.

Seeding rate: Seed red clover at a rate of 10-12 pounds per acre. Plant into winter annuals such as rye, before the ground thaws in spring.

Why use it: Clover is excellent for building soil fertility, as it fixes nitrogen in the soil. Yellow blossom sweet clover helps build good soil structure.

When to kill it: Mow clover before it seeds, then till into the ground. Allow to sit for four weeks before planting.

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