Cover crops, also known as green manures, are one of the cornerstones of sustainable agriculture. Weeding, harvesting, and even foot traffic can degenerate the soil of a home garden. Utilizing cover crops, such as fast-growing grains, legumes, and grasses, can improve the soil, suppress weeds, and aid in controlling pests. Use cover crops in fallow garden beds during the off season to help build the soil for a healthier and more abundant garden next year!
Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) is a new variety offered from Botanical Interests® this year. If the soil in your garden requires a little extra attention, sow crimson clover in the fall (six weeks before your average first frost). To sow, create a loose seedbed and spread the seed over the area. Gently rake the seeds into the soil so they are covered. This will ensure full contact with the soil and protect the seeds from hungry birds. You can till the crimson clover into the soil at any stage of growth but be sure to cut or mow it before seeds begin to form-just after flowering. In all but the warmest climates, the plant will be winter killed so you can also wait until the next spring to till it into the soil. Crimson clover not only adds nitrogen to the soil, which improves fertility for next year’s garden, but it also attracts beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and bees which makes it a great addition to the garden or orchard!
Don’t throw those flowers away, though. Make crimson clover tea! Pour boiling water over 1-2 tablespoons of dried flowers. Steep for about 10 minutes and serve either hot or cold over ice. If you like your tea sweet, add a splash of clover honey.
Other types of Cover Crops are available in stock!