Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Red clover is used extensively as part of the rotational farming systems of organic farms that maintain soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilisers.
When used in a rotation red clover improves soil fertility better than many other green manure crops. It is considered to be the best clover for fixing nitrogen to the soil.
Red clover is winter hardy and also relatively drought tolerant due to the deep rooting ability. It will perform best on well drained, fertile soils with a pH of 6 to 6.5.
Clover does not spread and so a good distribution of seedlings is vital from the outset. The seed is small and should be sown no deeper than 10 to 15mm (½ in). In a crop rotation plan use clover before a brassica to release nitrogen to the following greens.
- Common Name Trifolium pratense
- Other Common Names Bee Bread
- Other Language Names IR. Seamair dhearg
- Family Leguminosae
- Genus Trifolium
- Species pratense var. sativum
- Cultivar Wildflower of the British Isles
- Hardiness Hardy Annuals
- Flowers Red Flowers
- Natural Flower Time From May
- Height 15m to 30cm (6 to 12in)
- Time to Sow Sow in April through to September
- Time to Harvest 3 months – to 3 years
- Coverage 6 to 8kg per acre – 50gm covers 30 square metres