A Lesson Learned

A few years ago, I learned that clover could be used as a cover crop to enrich the soil in your garden. It was October, my garden was bare, so I decided to give it a try. I ordered some clove seeds and spread them in my garden. Well nothing happened that year and I promptly forgot about it. The next season I started noticing little clovers plants popping up everywhere. And as years go by, they were getting bigger and bigger. Now I've got a problem, the clovers are growing into thick mats, and are choking out my vegetables.
Years later, I am still fighting the battle of eradicating clovers from my garden. Now I have some friends on my side. I discovered my chickens love the tender leaves of the clovers, so feed the dug up clovers to them.
I still see advises on the internet telling people to plant clover as a cover crop for vegetable gardens. What I wonder is have these people actually grown it in their own garden?
The moral of the story is not all information you learn could or should be putting into practice. If you find some information you are not sure of, check with your friends first, or better yet, post it on FB and see if you can get some answers.
Friends won't let friends harming themselves with dangerous information!


Beth said...

Can you please tell us exactly what clover variety (botanical name please) you planted?

My Garden Journal said...

It was the Crimson Clover, supposed to be the kind you use for crop covering... I have since learned from a Master gardener in Yamhill county, that you MUST till the clover under before they flower and produce seeds. Since mine didn't come up the first year, they were mingled with my veggies that were already in the garden, so I couldn't till... You could say that I didn't do it right, but still, I think something can go wrong this easily shouldn't be used for the home gardeners... oh well you live you learn.. :p

Barbara said...

The reason it is recommended as a cover crop is that like Timothy Hay the roots go deep and bring nutrients back up to the top of the soil. Cover crops are then tilled back into the soil to decay and woolah you have nutrients back in the top of the soil. Clover is also grown for hay for many animals. Because of the nutrients in clover you can feed it to not only your chickens but other farm animals as well. My suggestion is to check with your Agriculture Extension Office about suggested cover crops. Every county has one.
Clover is classified as a herb and has many medicinal uses. Your chickens are going to be very healthy. So it seems the clover turned out to be a good thing after all....grin.
Have a wonderful weekend!

My Garden Journal said...

Thank you Barbara! My husband just tilled up the garden and I went through the dirt and picked out as many clover clumps as I could. I think we finally has a handle on it... We have a very good extension agent here I will ask him about cover crops next time I see him :)