Planting clover in zone-6, in the fall

joel_bc(z6 BC)August 25, 2005

Hi. I've got a piece of ground I'm working on that I want to plant clover on. I won't be able to do the planting until October sometime. I will be able to give it water, no problem.

Trouble is, we can get freezing overnight temperatures in November (sometimes, in late October). So I'm wondering if the young clover-plants would be vulnerable and the planting be damaged, overall.

Anyone know?



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huisjen(z5 ME)

Even if they germinate, I doubt they'll do much growing and are likely to have some freeze damage.

Could you mulch the area some and then frost seed in the clover in the early spring?


    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:21AM
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joel_bc(z6 BC)

Dan, thanks. I'm afraid the area is too large to mulch. It's a southern slope, though, and will get some benefit of the sun during the day, until covered with snow (probably in early December).


    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:58AM
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joel_bc(z6 BC)

The silence is deafening!... Is there a consensus here, on this forum (as voiced, so far, by Dan), that it might be best to wait until next spring to plant the clover?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 9:54AM
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geraldo(Cent. WA z6b)

I am south of you in Central Washington and I have always planted grass seed about October 31. I don't care if it even germinates in the fall. In fact I don't want it to germinate then. I don't water it or anything, In the spring the melting snow and the rain bring it right up. Make sure it is covered and the seed is making contact with the soil. Make sure everything is level the way you want and be sure to use plenty of seed. I am planting two acres of Kentucky bluegrass this fall this same way. Well, I will use a little red fescue with it.
I don't know if clover would act the same way. Go to the website for Scott Seeds or a company that sells the seed you want to buy. Phone (I would call the toll free number they almost always provide) or email them and tell them what it is you want to do and see what they suggest.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 12:01AM
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If weather permits why not plant a little earlier? With these rains of late I'm planting muddy spots on the pasture with good luck. The fall rains will carry it over.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 3:38PM
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joel_bc(z6 BC)

There's always an explanation...

The situation is around the south, east, and west of a building addition. The addition is on a slope, and I brought the new fill up to within a foot of the top of the foundation. The new soil lies on an incline (at the natural "angle of repose"). The soil is reasonably stable, though the outer layer is sloughy. Roots of something like clover (over, say the next year) should help with that.

But construction won't be finished until sometime in October, and it will not be convenient to have sprinklers going there too often between now and then.

This is why I wonder if I could plant in later this month or in October.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 7:51PM
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jim_k(z6 KY)

I also live in a zone 6, but far to the south of you, in the lower US.
I have sowed clover at all times of the year, and it never seemed to make any difference when it was sowed.
Clover has a very tough husk on the seed; this has to rot away before the seed germinates. This can take some time. I remember one year, several years back when I bought 20 lbs of white or Dutch clover to sow in the fall at one of our farm stores and the sales person ask how much ground was I going to plant this on, I said 6 acres. The sales personÂs mouth fell open and he said, " you arenÂt planting, youÂre paving the ground. You donÂt need more than 6 lbs of seed."
I planted it that fall and next spring I didnÂt see any clover. I thought they had sold me bad seed and went back to raise heck with them. They informed me about the husk rotting off and to be patient with the seed growing.
I would plant it now, not water and let nature take care of the growing.
Later that summer, I had a field full of clover and had to go back and make amends with the farm supply store.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 2:59PM
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Joel do you live two doors down from me in Pemby? Similar situation there. Actually it looks like they've now hydroseeded the area and it is greening up. Built in mulch. Clover seed is cheap and can go on thin. Maybe you have already planted, but if project is delayed as they usually are then just put some down and reseed when the project is done. Some will take and those little sprouts will be priceless holding the hill up.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 12:39AM
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