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

Ernest Plutko ernestplutko at wiktel.com
Wed Jul 8 11:52:46 EDT 2009

You can buy these clover seeds in feed stores by the pound or 50
pound bag,  There are a variety of clovers available with different
hardiness and characteristics.  

---- Original Message ----
From: 8orge.onx at gmail.com
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] special Living Mulch clover: still available?
How hardy?
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 19:35:57 -0400

>RIIVKA wrote:
>> Try "Dutch White Clover" or "New Zealand White Clover". Fedco
>> both; Johnny's carries the New Zealand; as both companies are based
>> 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
>daisies, and a limited amount of grass.  I've been cutting this
>low this season, which greatly slows the goldenrod etc but seems like
>might on the other hand, start encouraging the now-thin grass
>RIVKA wrote
>> Doesn't Indiana Berry specialize primarily in fruits? I didn't
>> 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.
>"...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
>may be more from nutrition competition than from the size and scope
>weeds present, since many, or maybe even most, of the blueberry
>in size, dwarf the size of the weeds.  But nutrition does seem to
>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
>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
>choke out some of the perennial and other persistent  growth between
>the rows.
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