Crimson Clover – more than just good looking
At Kiwi Seed, we are constantly looking at old and new varieties on the market that have potential to help improve our clients needs. To be honest, we under estimated the potential of this specific variety in the previous years. Crimson Clover has shown to have a great potential during our trial work last year, especially on difficult sites. During our research we have noticed that Crimson Clover is frequently used in no till vineyards as a cover crop, either interrow or under vine due to its soft seed and reseed- ing ability. Looking at it`s beautiful flower display and it`s long list of benefits we are confident this is a plant, which will be noticed.
Benefits of Crimson Clover
- Long used as green manure and plant companion species for vines
- N fixing plant with help of pink nodes on root
- Deep roots penetrate the soil, also on very difficult sites.
- Assisting with weed control, through early establishment and vigour
- Bulk is a great soil structure improver once dug in
- Some tolerance to RLEM as seedling improving as plant matures
- Magnificent flowers attracts many beneficial insects
Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum)
is a soft seeded deep rooted annual clover, which is character- ised by an upright growing habit and long bright flower heads above the trifoliate leave foliage in mid late spring. During its approx. 122 day life circle this plant can reach up to 60 cm height with it`s erect stems often leaning over at the base by spring.
It`s quick establishment make it an ideal candidate for short term rotations.
Management of Crimson Clover
Just as every other annual clover Crimson Clover should be sown in early to mid Autumn (March– April) to ensure its full potential. Either as single species or as part of a clover grass mixture the seed should be sown coated with Group C Rhizobium for full Nitrogen fixation.
8-10 kg/ ha (pure), 1-4 kg/ha (mix)
Crimson Clover can be mowed to 7.5– 12 cm height during winter and early spring, as well as grazed. For regeneration avoid grazing or cutting during and post flowering (October– November) until the seed matures in early summer to ensure reseeding. Our variety in stock is safe for animals and should not pose fertility or bloating problems in grazing animals.
Legumes, such as Crimson Clover are great companions for perennial grasses!
The summer dormant- winter active Prosper tall fescue e.g. works very well in vineyard grazing- management systems and should also be sown in Autumn, preferably together with clover.
For more information on grasses and what else we have available please contact Maren.
crimson cover crop in Wairau Valley, Blenheim
Crimson on poor, acid soil near Blenheim