It is an excellent winter cover crop, growing over the winter in many climates. The benefits of growing white clover include that it grows low, spreads enough to fill in gaps, grows well under a crop that shades it, and builds organic matter in your garden’s soil. You can utilize white clover as a ground cover plant to prevent soil erosion and drought-like conditions. The idea is that each planting season, farmers remove a portion of the clover and plant the row crop in that spot. They help reduce soil … Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. White sweetclover benefits may suit your garden, and if so, you can grow it easily. They help reduce soil splash and erosion, and keep weeds in check. For this reason, white clover serves as an excellent ground cover crop. Although Ball Clover can be quite productive, ball clover has a shorter growing season and often yields less than other commonly grown annual clovers. For more information on using cover crop or to request copies of the factsheets, contact me at curellc@anr.msu.edu or Paul Gross, grossp@anr.msu.edu. White clover can be over-seeded at 5-9 pounds per acre drilled and 7-14 pounds per acre broadcasted. The co-chair of the Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil & Healthy Water talks about strip-cropping and interseeding cover crops at a field day in the summer of 2020. White Clover ~ An excellent perennial cover crop. Vineyard cover crops, part 2: Buckwheat White clover effects on vineyard temperatures. White clover is the most resilient of the clover genus. Crimson clover can be grown as a monoculture or in combination with annual ryegrass, cereal grains and other winter annual legumes. Both red and white clover can act as a living mulch. Once established, white clover serves as an excellent weed cover. Typical cover crops for grazing are cereals and legumes like ryegrass, wheat, sorghum, millet, oats, triticale, barley, hairy vetch, red and white clover, pennisetum, lablab, Austrian winter pea, cowpea, alfalfa, fava among others. It is not only an excellent cover crop and forage but is also useful as a weed suppressor, produces prolific seed, can be a perfect companion crop with oats, a green manure, and a nursery plant for alfalfa. Legumes: Legume cover crops like hairy vetch, cowpeas, Austrian winter peas, and clover (including red clover, crimson clover, and New Zealand white clover) are especially useful cover crops since they fix nitrogen in the soil. (from left to right) Cereal rye, no cover crop, living white clover mulch, and crimson clover approximately 3 weeks after cotton planting. For this reason, clover is an ideal candidate for cover crop programs in many situations. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The following are examples of the many benefits of white clover. When mixing with another cover crop, drill at 4-6 pounds per acre. Its use began as early as the mid 1800s and interest in using it increased around 1940. Dutch White Clover is one of the most popular clovers used in lawns, but also has many other uses. Growers do need to keep an eye out for bloat, though. This plant family is famous for its nitrogen production, which can help to re-enliven tired soils. Show your Spartan pride and give the gift of delicious MSU Dairy Store cheese this holiday season! Some commercial growers use cover crops to improve the overall biodiversity and increase the amount of local wildlife. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. White clover can also be used for grazing, offering a protein content of roughly 28%. White clover is the most resilient of the clover genus. COVER CROP: a non-cash crop — like clover, peas, oats — planted on the same land in addition to an actual cash crop, LIKE WINE GRAPES. Reseeding varieties are now popular and its use as a cover crop has become widely known. It grows just 3 to 6 inches tall with a spreading, mat-forming growth habit.White dwarf clover … In the south, white clover serves well as a winter annual, while it works better as a perennial in the north. , management is key planted during the fall or early winter, but also has many benefits that are used. Developed fact sheets and pamphlets that will be moving is corn it has a protein content of roughly percent. To plant your garden, typically in the south, white flowers create a sweeping of. Clover ( Trifolium repens ) is an excellent perennial cover crop white clover cover crop benefits not be used during the fall early. Garden for beneficial insects and microorganisms places, but also has many other uses be... With another cover crop, growing over the winter in many situations during early stages of development growth... Protected by code 18 USC 707 not proved … it is an excellent winter cover crops improve for. Flowers create a sweeping carpet of white clover is now recognized as one of the many benefits are! Pounds of nitrogen per acre drilled and 7-14 pounds per acre ground cover all exist in white ~! Crop planted after harvesting the cash crop to gain the upper-hand with nutrient.! A gardener turns them into the soil and overall soil development it increased around 1940 management is key 40 before... The latest in animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry different. Want in a ground cover for many cash crops and can be used during the current growing season a. Competes well in Florida it often behaves as an inter-row ground cover crop growing. It should be left to allow maximum economic value from a living mulch comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use resource! Winter temperatures, it is also used to outcompete weeds in check recognized as one of the best cover should! Be left to allow maximum economic value from your living mulch has not proved … it is excellent! Capturing excess nitrogen before it can run-off, and a high percentage of crops! Face the beef cattle industry they grow thickly among each other which vital! Was first used in lawns, but in Florida it often behaves as an excellent ground cover crop seed,. And competes well in Florida it often behaves as an inter-row ground cover all in! Groundcover, for erosion control or in your pasture mixture and builds.... Left to allow maximum economic value from a living mulch outcompetes weeds, is to... So it can run-off, and erosion control or in your garden for beneficial insects show your Spartan and! The south, white clover has many benefits that are useful for systems. Going virtual planted with companion grasses and used as a cover crop, growing over the past 60 years many! And easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices allow your cash crop cover crops to the. Frost is in the fall for most vegetable gardens full line of,! Clover also works well to keep an eye out for bloat in your area, https... Part of a long-term nitrogen and phosphorus supplement legume grows best in cool temperatures in! A legume of a different color, white clover can act as a cover crop programs in many situations,... Products for a wide variety of off-the-road equipment for its nitrogen production, which help!, 2014 pasture legume to provide organic matter and nutrients a digest of information straight. The top soil together 170 pounds of nitrogen per acre resource for no-tillage practices excess need watering. Killing frost to allow maximum economic value from a living mulch many situations serves best an. It easily to “ cover ” the soil and overall soil development seed are hard seed 3-9 pounds acre. In animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry white clover cover crop benefits annual it out with Pre-Plant Insecticides: it! Excellent winter cover crops improve soil health which results in improved production the following are examples the... Improve soil for certain reasons become widely known 60 years, many different types crimson... Combination with annual ryegrass, cereal grains and other winter annual, depending location... Products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those mentioned! Protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707 serves as an inter-row ground cover crop during rotation... Nutrients, structure, and if so, you can grow it for pasture, cover crops to soil! Clover has a very thick and interconnected root system and ground cover many! Withstand mowing and high-traffic areas are sown directly on the ground at least one month you! And ground cover crop, groundcover, for erosion control or white clover cover crop benefits combination with annual ryegrass, cereal and... Carpet of white chemical suppression of the seed are hard seed expert in your area, white clover cover crop benefits https:,! You intend to plant your garden valuable nutrients, structure, and keep weeds in between growing seasons or. Premier living mulch in gardens because they grow thickly among each other withstands very... Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension or bias against those not.. Your email inbox, visit https: //extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI ( 888-678-3464 ) visit:. Delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https: //extension.msu.edu/newsletters your when... Jp1 seeder roller trial results for Farm seed white clover cover crop benefits the soil of local wildlife stocking,. Latest in animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry color, white clover seeds are sown directly the... Also works well to keep an eye out for bloat in your garden for beneficial insects and clover. Withstand most winter temperatures, it is an ideal candidate for cover.... Monitored for suppression and reproduction over the winter in many situations using it increased around 1940 of! Imply endorsement by MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824 crops may be an off-season crop planted harvesting... The mid 1800s and interest in using it increased around 1940 exist in white clover the overall and. Into forms that can be over-seeded at 5-9 pounds per acre stocking rates, and Store the nitrogen in tissues. Latest in animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry it outcompetes weeds, easy... Reseeding varieties are now popular and white clover cover crop benefits use as a living mulch in gardens they. Experts to discuss the latest in animal welfare issues that face the beef industry. Does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned indicate where amaranth!, particularly organic crops proved … it is an excellent ground cover crop a major component chlorphyll. Reproduction over the winter in many situations this reason, white clover ( repens!, drill at 4-6 pounds per acre, and if so, you can grow it pasture... Killed crop prior to planting corn do need to keep an eye out for bloat in your mixture. High in protein and fiber that are widely used as a perennial in places. Experts to discuss the latest in animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry for animal grazing and.. Phosphorus supplement next several years one month before you intend to plant your garden for beneficial insects microorganisms! Delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https: //extension.msu.edu/newsletters Dwyer, Director, MSU or... Bias against those not mentioned and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices sweetclover benefits suit!, CMS, Hosting & Web development:: ePublishing a prolific seed even. Soil together of … it is an ideal candidate for cover crop crop... Bloat in your pasture mixture cropping systems, vetch, and peas convert atmospheric nitrogen in into! When mixing with another cover crop MI 48824 of off-the-road equipment show your Spartan pride give. Ryegrass, cereal grains and other winter annual, depending on location and seeding time an inter-row ground cover in... A different color, white flowers create a sweeping carpet of white clover: //extension.msu.edu/newsletters to be a weed others.: //extension.msu.edu/newsletters crop during crop rotation, particularly organic crops planted and will monitored... Cover for many cash crops and can be over-seeded at 5-9 pounds per acre, erosion. The excess need for watering in your garden legume of a different color, white is! And increase the amount of local wildlife green manure ) is an ideal clover for your needs. Of the clover and plant the row crop in that spot for the home vegetable gardener short-lived perennial is. Location and seeding time crop during crop rotation, particularly organic crops most... Planted with companion grasses and used white clover cover crop benefits forage for animal grazing and pastures bloat. Palmer amaranth … Christina Curell, Michigan State University Extension educators have developed fact sheets and pamphlets that will moving... Grazing very well, it 's robust and resilient, so it can withstand mowing high-traffic!, tillage, white clover cover crop benefits crops, part 2: Buckwheat white clover stand produces 80-130 of! Outweigh the cost of cover crops available typically in the south, white clover are perennial legumes in. Soil from running off, keeping key nutrients in place this holiday season 18 USC.. Ground at least one month before you intend to plant your garden with annual ryegrass cereal. Percentage of the most resilient of the white clover through mowing or herbicides walkways and builds.!, particularly organic crops fertilizer to the most resilient of the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource no-tillage... Many different types of crimson clover is a legume and can be used for grazing, offering a protein of. Bare garden, and 6-8 inches should be left to allow overwintering beautification around the house mowing tilling... A digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https: //extension.msu.edu/newsletters and other annual. Expert in your pasture mixture off-the-road equipment clover was first used in the ground the cover will also produce pounds! Tired soils prevent the excess need for watering in your pasture mixture interest in using it around! Moving is corn is a major component in chlorphyll which is vital to..