Author Topic: Why are they planting clover?  (Read 12 times)

Michael Caswell

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Why are they planting clover?
« on: September 01, 2021, 04:33:58 am »
On a recent trip to the Brockport area to see the new dam restoration, I noticed the slopes had been planted with clover, lots of it.

I thought they said they were planting grass? So why all this clover?

And then I remembered! Many years ago I was a sales rep for a cattle feed company, so I was trained to diagnose and recommend different diets for ruminants (cows, sheep etc). Clover (a legume) mixed into the grass in a field is a good source of nitrogen as it extracts this element from the air and stores it in its roots. As the plant dies off, it leave this element in the ground for grasses to use.
Unfortunately, for some cows, eating too much clover can cause bloat and they can die easily. In a few cases a trochar and cannula punched through the side of the animal into the rumen will relieve the gas.

I doubt we'll be seeing herds of cattle or flocks of sheep on our slopes, so we won't have this to worry about, but no doubt as to why clover has been added to the grass mix, it's to 'fix' nitrogen into the soil to promote grass growth.  Very clever and environmentally sound, in my opinion.

Doug K

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Re: Why are they planting clover?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 03:05:26 pm »
Are you sure there will never be livestock roaming the Erie Canal Embankments feeding on all that grass & clover? Seems like a local Facebook group has other ideas




And they didn't plant all the clover, it grew along with the grass mix that was put down on the earthen dams, probably spread a bit by the wind. The same grass was hydroseeded on part of our adjacent property, and it has very little clover but nice fescue grass.


Michael Caswell

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Re: Why are they planting clover?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 09:24:15 pm »
90% of what I saw was clover. Little grass.  Someone mixed up the seed ratio. It doesn't matter much as there is a good mix, which will ultimately lead to a healthy  cover.


Doug K

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Re: Why are they planting clover?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2021, 02:22:09 pm »
The reason the clover is more predominate over the grass is easy to understand. The same seed planted in our yard by the Canal Corporation is maintained to a height of 2-3 inches, as lawn.

The Canal Embankment is maintained at about 5X that height, today it is a foot tall. And CLOVER is very good at taking control of an area of earth, with it's broadleaf shape. It is also VERY good for the earth, and the health of the soil.

Found some great articles on all this below the picture





https://homeguides.sfgate.com/clover-alternative-groundcover-74639.html

https://www.naturesseed.com/blog/more-than-luck-why-you-should-add-clover-to-your-lawn-grass/

https://www.americanmeadows.com/grass-and-groundcover-seeds/clover-seeds/plant-clover-to-improve-soil-health