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Thread: How much clover in grass?

  1. #1
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    How much clover in grass?

    Bit of advice needed please,

    last summer I planted a grass ley with red clover. Unfortunatly with all the crap weather since then up until about 3 weeks ago I dont think the clover has established that well, question is how much is needed in a sward to make it effective at nitrogen fixing, planet (RB209) reakons you dont need any nitrogen for grass with clover in (for silage cutting), but if there is a poor take of clover then obviously I will need to apply N. Anyone got any advice?

    TIA Joe.

  2. #2
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    Re: How much clover in grass?

    you'll find the clover is behind the grass for first cut, but then will grow like the clappers after, is there any sign of the clover?

  3. #3
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    Re: How much clover in grass?

    two weeks ago i could not see red clover in some of our leys, a warmer week or so and it is growing quick. if it was only sown last summer it will as mentioned come stronger later on

  4. #4

    Re: How much clover in grass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilts` View Post
    you'll find the clover is behind the grass for first cut, but then will grow like the clappers after, is there any sign of the clover?
    I noticed this last year, infact in one of our fields up on top, the clover went so mad afterwoods the sheep couldnt keep on top of it / dwarfed the grass, ended up having to top it off!

  5. #5
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    Re: How much clover in grass?

    It takes time for clover to establish, especially in this recent weather. Assuming you sowed 50% IRG and 50% Red clover, I'd probably go with 50-60 units of N. By second cut the clover should be showing a lot more. Probably put another 50 units on depending on what you think.

    By the second year the red clover will be well going. 50 units N optional for 1st cut.

    Do not trample or drive on the sward when it is tender, and cut it higher than usual, if you cut too low you will kill the stuff by removing the crown. Yes you will sacrifice a small amount of yield but what is down there is crap quality anyway. Regrowth will be far better and faster.

  6. #6
    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: How much clover in grass?

    ^^ cut a 3+inch stubble

  7. #7

    Re: How much clover in grass?

    White clover is a more efficient nitrogen supplier than red. But both clovers offer no N in their first 12 months because they have very few root nodules maturing and decaying for the N to be released. Therefore all new pastures need a N boost in their first year to make for up what clovers cannot supply.
    All clovers are very soil temperature responsive when it comes to growth. The most common causes of failure (after insect damage) is sowing too early or late when temps are too low for germination and/or establishment.
    Establishment can be compromised by over-topping from vigorous grass growth while the clovers are stuggling to get light. Therefore don't shut up fields too early in their first productive year.
    UK soil temps this year will be very challenging to all clovers.

  8. #8
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    Re: How much clover in grass?

    you'll get a lot more forage from red, would need to look up the figures but we found in 5 year lays (the stuff never actually died on us) that generally by 3rd cut you'd be mostly cutting red and it'd analyse at 30% proteinish. I don't know what will happen if you put N on it as it was organic and only got FYM as soon as it was cut 8 weeks ish between cuts

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