Red clover has many nicknames, including bee bread, cow grass, Purple Clover, Peavine clover, and red feathered Clover. Scientifically, it is known as Trifolium pratense and belongs to the Fabaceae family, which are legumes. They have small nodules on the roots, like peas and beans, so they improve the nitrogen content in the soil. The name of the red clover is misleading because the plant is not red. The leaves are green and slightly pubescent with hairy stems, and the flowers are pink, although they may be slightly purple. The plant grows rapidly, and flowers bloom in spring and summer. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, and spreads as it grows, allowing it to quickly cover a significant area.
Red clover is grown for several practical reasons. They make an excellent ground cover that adds nitrogen to the soil while loosening it. At the end of the growing season, it can be converted into soil and used as green manure to improve soil nutrients.
Planting Red Clover
Red clover can easily adapt to most climates, making it easier to plant in your garden.the seeds are frost-resistant, so you can plant early in the year between January and April or plant after in the year between August and November. Although the seeds are tough in the cold, the seedlings are not strong enough to compete for raw materials. Avoid planting in areas with many weeds, as they can suffocate from seedlings, but they usually do well in grassy areas. Also make sure the area is well-drained. Plants are somewhat tolerant of stagnant water, but they will not last long if puddles persist or occur frequently.
Sun and temperature
Red clover grows best when it is in full sun for at least six hours, but can tolerate partial shade. It is suitable for USDA zones 3a-9A and needs at least 90 frost-free days. Ideally, they need at least 15% C (59% F) to germinate, but seeds and seedlings can survive temperatures of up to 17% F (-8.3% c).
Water and humidity
Red clover is drought-resistant, so it can last several days without water, but it grows best when it has constantly moist soil. Avoid keeping the soil too moist, as too much water can lead to rotting of the roots and finishing the plant. The best way to water red clover is to water it with a drip irrigation system so you can keep the leaves and heads from getting wet to prevent the spread of ailments. However, if you water overhead, do it early in the morning so that the water evaporates from the leaves for the night. Avoid watering after in the day, as this can attract pests and encourage the spread of ailments.
Since red clover fixes nitrogen, you should not fertilize it often unless you have soil lacking nutrients. When planting seeds, use a 20-60-40 diluted fertilizer of your choice. An annual application of 0-30-90 will benefit from it once it is established. Established plants do not need additional support, as they contribute to the soil itself.