Clover is one of the many valuable, nitrogen-fixing crops that have many purposes. It may be used for hay, ground cover or as a reliable cover crop. Its fertilizer needs are variable depending on whether it is a new or existing stand.
Except for when first seeding clover, nitrogen is not a necessary element to add to legume species such as clover. When first seeding though, add 20 pounds of nitrogen per acre of clover seeded. After the second year, only phosphates and potash should be needed.
Phosphorus And Potassium
When seeding a new stand of clover, use a fertilizer blend which will yield 60 pounds of phosphate per acre seeded and 40 pounds of potash per acre. On mature patches, use a fertilizer blend of 0-30-90 to help give clover the nutrition it needs.
Clover can also need sulfur if it is planted in sandy soils. You can supplement with 50 to 75 pounds of gypsum per acre, or use 10 to 20 pounds of elemental sulfur per acre. These recommendations are in the absence of a proper soil analysis. Whenever possible, have your soil tested and defer to the recommendations from a soil lab.
- University of Missouri Extension; Red Clover; Howell N. Wheaton; October 1993
- North Dakota State University; Fertilizing Alfalfa, Sweet Clover, Alsike Clover, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Red Clover and Grass-Legume; W. C. Dahnke, et al.; October 1992
- University of Missouri Extension; White, Ladino and Sweet Clover; Jimmy C. Henning and Howell N. Wheaton; October 1993
- University of Minnesota Extension; Clover, How to Grow it/ How to Eliminate it; Beth R. Jarvis; September 1998