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Walk Me Through a Clover Plot

897 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Shady
Okay, I own 50 acres of which 5-8 is overgrown fields. I have a nice level 1.5 acre area that I had mowed down and want to put clover in for next year. I had the soil tested and I need 6k lime/acre and 400# of fertilizer/acre. What next?

I was going to kill it off with weed and grass killer next month and have the neighbor disc it up and spread the lime before winter sets in, then respray and plant in the sping?

Sound right?

The area is hidden from the roads and gets southern sun all day. Its kinda rocky soil as it is a remnant of an adjacent abandoned strip mine that was reclaimed several years ago. The rest of my property is woods on top of a hill that was timbered two years ago. The cutters left the treetops and its is thick and almost impassable for people besides the skidder paths.
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All day sun on clover is generally not so good. It is shallow rooted, so, it gets stressed with too much sun and not enough moisture.

I'd disc in the lime, for sure.

But, yes, kill it off, and plan on another kill next spring. Old fields like this always have plenty of weed seeds in them, which, if you don't take care of, you'll be fighting them for a long time. If there was some sort of annual crop you could put in next spring or fall, might be a better idea. Then, plant a perennial in spring of 2012.
Going from old field to clover in 1 year is asking for weed problems.

At a minimum, spray it now, lime and disk. Spray it again in late april/early may. Let it sit. Spray again mid June, spray again mid July and if it needs it, again in mid August. Then, late Aug, early Sept next year plant your clover (and chicory) along with oats. That will give you a fall plot next year and a nice clover plot in 2012. You will frost seed more clover in Feb 2012. This is bare minimum time you need for a relatively weed free clover plot.
Try some winter wheat and dwarf essex rape. It will help you work the ground over a few times and you get to watch it grow while waiting.
I seeded last september and had an awesome plot in the spring.
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