[NAFEX] special Living Mulch clover: still available? How hardy?

Heath Flax 8orge.onx at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 19:35:57 EDT 2009


RIIVKA wrote:
>
>
> Try "Dutch White Clover" or "New Zealand White Clover". Fedco carries
> both; Johnny's carries the New Zealand; as both companies are based in
> Maine, I doubt this is a hardiness problem;

The one I was thinking of, I remember as having been specially
developed for use as a living mulch and had been bred to have very
limited growth --I vaguely seem to recall a claim of only 4 inch top
growth; and I remember it was said to be quite non-invasive:  would
make a thick stand and just stay there for the most part.
Dutch white clover, yes I think that is standard where I am (approx
Zone 5b) for general use such as green manuring...and maybe I'll go
with that if I decide to try to make a permanent living mulch.
My use would be for, in between my blueberry rows, where now I have
just whatever's shown up, being a mix of perennials like goldenrod and
daisies, and a limited amount of grass.  I've been cutting this pretty
low this season, which greatly slows the goldenrod etc but seems like
might on the other hand, start encouraging the now-thin grass
component.

RIVKA wrote
> Doesn't Indiana Berry specialize primarily in fruits? I didn't think
> they carried a wide range of cover crops; maybe I'm wrong.

--Right, Indiana Berry specializes in berry and small fruit stock and
supplies.  I remember them as a few years ago having had one or two
Living Mulch seed offerings, including the special Clover a few years
ago, presumably for just the use I have in mind:  between berry rows.
I too, don't think they carried much of any seed for green manure/
cover crops in general.


STEPHEN SADLER wrote:

"...subterranean clovers (subclovers) are often used.  They die back
early and reseed heavily, reappearing with vigor.

--These sound very interesting; somehow I'm not sure I knew of any
annual clovers, and for sure, the nitrogen from them sure might be of
use to me, even if these plants are a little bigger and more vigorous
than I had in mind.  Really, my bigger problem from the weeds, if it
keeps raining or if I can get watering set up for them (working on it)
may be more from nutrition competition than from the size and scope of
weeds present, since many, or maybe even most, of the blueberry bushes
in size, dwarf the size of the weeds.  But nutrition does seem to have
been a limiting factor, possibly because of ground that's both a
little sandy, and also sloping, leading I think to some of the
nutrition washing out, especially nitrogen.  I "am" fertilizing
modestly this year, though,; although 10-10-10 I'm using at the
moment, is about a dollar a pound where I've been buying it.

ALAN HAIGH wrote:

"dicots take up a lot of water.  Spare the mowing and they take up a lot more."

--"funny" that seemingly I hadn't thought of that, which I stood to
realize if only because of the example of the 50 plant row I ended up
deleting over its being too close to the woods it was next to:  the
big leaf cover of these trees just siphoned away too much water and
nutrients, despite beinga good 15 feet away. My blueberry bushes sure
seem to like all the water they can get, except mainly for one of my
sections that's bottomland (peat/muck) wherein  the muck which starts
just a few inches down from the surface peat, seems almost constantly
saturated damp (overly) and  the bushes' roots seem unable to
penetrate much to take much of any advantage of the copious water that
is so very close. ..ending up meaning that even there, in dry
stretches, the plants seem to need irrigating   So I guess, most all
my blueberry crave (more ) water except in years like this one and
except that I'm planning at the first onset of over-dryness, to start
exploiting water nearby instead of letting plants fend for
themselves....which might well enable more flexibility in using or
trying out various living mulches, at least long enough to try to help
choke out some of the perennial and other persistent  growth between
the rows.



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