[NAFEX] NZ Clover experience

Richard MURPHY murphman108 at msn.com
Thu Jul 9 12:16:40 EDT 2009


I put in New Zealand White Clover in the Pear Orchard alleys, zone 4 Maine.

The clay-loam was freshly rototilled, and I broadcast the seed using a bag/crank broadcaster $35.

The seed germinated quickly, and where it was dense enough, it even choked out the Timothy hay that was tilled it; no RoundUp. Where it was too thin, the Timothy eventually came back and won that battle. So..... next time I will clobber the Timothy with a 2% dose of (41%) Glyphosate (Round Up), as soon as it is ankle high. Then rototill and seed quickly the clover, before the soil warms up enough for the weeds to germinate. The clover germinates in cool soil fine. I have a HUGE seed bank in the soil, with Ragweed being the most tenacious of the lot.
    The NZ Clover does very well in the wet clay soil. Put away your lawn mower, thought. You'll need a Bush Hog to cut it. Or, you can let it get mature, to about 10" high, and just Round Up in the tree rows, but it makes driving the sprayer / tractor in the alleys a bit more difficult. Bees like it, the nitrogen is appreciated, no diseases noticed yet. One problem with it is that it provides a habitat for the Voles, of which I have thousands. Tree wraps are a fact of life for me.  20/20 hindsight: maybe try White Dutch / grass mix next time. That's what's in the Apple alleys, and life is easier there. The 54" Cub Cadet lawn mower tractor can handle that, and DROPS are easier to collect.

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