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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : White Clover

Species: White Clover

Additional white clover information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

White Clover Establishment

White clover can be "frost seeded" (in early spring when the soil is still honeycombed with frost) into existing grass pastures to improve pasture production and quality. This seeding technique requires that the seeding be done while the soil contains frost. Delaying seeding until mid-morning when the soil has become slippery on the surface will result in poor stand establishment. White clover can also be no-till seeded into existing grass pastures.

Seeding white clover-grass mixtures into a conventionally prepared seedbed is also an excellent method of establishment. Do not plant deeper than 1/4 inch when seeding. Press wheels or cultipacking used in conjunction with or after band seeding will improve the seed-soil contact and the chances of obtaining a good stand. To obtain a proper seeding depth, the seedbed should be firm. This can be accomplished by cultipacking before seeding.

Fluid seeding (planting in a fertilizer solution) of white clover onto a well-prepared, firm, fine seedbed can also be successful. Cultipacking before fluid seeding to make a firm seedbed and after fluid seeding to insure good seed-soil contact will improve stand establishment. Fluid seeding requires special equipment, therefore a custom applicator is recommended.

Seeding rates of white clover into an existing grass pasture should be 2-4 lb. per acre. White clover seeds are relatively small and one pound of seed contains about 800,000 seeds. Therefore the seeding rates for white clover appear low relative to other forages. Hay or silage mixtures which contain white clover should also contain a red clover to increase the potential yield.