It may not seem like it yet, but spring is right around the corner. And when the temps start to fluctuate, it’s time to take advantage of nature and frost-seed your clover.
At this point of year, the freezing and thawing soil works the seedling into the soil’s surface. Because clover seed is hardy, mid-winter through late winter is the perfect time to frost-seed your pasture and hay fields. Besides the nutritional value clover adds, it also helps to lessen endophyte toxicity from fescue grasses and helps lessen the need for nitrogen fertilizers.
Here are a few of our favorites to consider for your frost-seeding options:
This clover is cold and drought tolerant as well as easy to establish. It was developed to produce a hybrid between white clover and caucasian clover that incorporates the desirable traits of both. AberLasting is able to maintain its leaf water content for a period of three weeks without watering compared with two weeks for conventional white clover.
This variety also boasts excellent tolerance of cold temperatures and freezing, with the ability to withstand overnight exposure to temperatures of –4°F and brief, daytime exposure as low as –22°F. AberLasting recovers quicker than conventional varieties following heavy grazing and maintains ground cover percentages to a greater extent than varieties of similar leaf size.
Seeding rate: 2-3 lbs/acre for pasture; can be frost-seeded or drilled.
Alsike Clover is winter hardy and easy to establish. This short-lived perennial legume can grow up 1-3 feet tall, and it typically lasts 2-3 years in Missouri. Overall, it grows well in surrounding areas. Alsike can replace Red Clover where the soil is too wet or acidic, and it requires less seed per acre than Red Clover.
Seeding rate: 4-6 lbs/acre
Cow Lover Clover is Missouri Southern Seed’s convenient mixture for overseeding. This excellent grazing mixture is 94% medium red cp and 6% Ladino clover cp. Cow Lover Clover increases the protein content of grass forages and is an excellent addition to any cool-season pasture. This mixture is the perfect help for stressed pastures, as it dilutes effects of endophyte fungus in KY31 tall fescue, increases the protein content of grass forage and withstands close grazing and spreads by stolons.
Seeding rate: 6-10 lbs/acre initially, 2-4 lbs/acre for maintenance
Dynamite is a 3-year, rapidly establishing clover. This high yielding, double cut red clover was selected for its improved disease resistance. It makes for an excellent addition to mixtures for hay, silage, pasture, and wildlife settings. Early spring growth and abundant regrowth help prove that this clover is one of the top yielding clovers available. Dynamite can be mixed with small grains, grasses and other legumes and is highly digestible, with its high sugar content allowing the animal to convert more of the clover’s protein into meat or milk.
Seeding rate: alone 6–9 lbs/acre; in mix 4–6 lbs/acre; seeding depth: 1/8–1/4in
Stamina is an intermediate white clover selected for persistence under grazing, stolon density and larger leaf size. Stamina’s high stolon density helps it spread aggressively, preventing hoof damage caused from grazing pressure. Its aggressive nature lends to out-yielding and outlasting other white clovers and ladinos. Stamina is an excellent addition to pastures and even hayfields when teddered has proven to cure. This clover has big leaves that are compatible with tall fescues, orchardgrasses, timothy, ryegrass, red clover and alfalfa. Stamina earns its name with proven persistence and out-yielding Durana, Patriot and Alice over a 3 year period in recent Kentucky trials. This clover performs on a variety of soils and pH levels.
Seeding rate: New hay fields/pasture mix 1-3 lbs/acre; renovation/overseeding existing fields/pastures alone 2-3 lbs/acre
Synergy Ladino is known for its exceptional growth habits. It is characterized by a tall, leafy, spreading plant mass. Synergy Ladino complements existing pasture grasses, has good regrowth and persistence and performs well under heavy grazing settings. This clover is highly compatible with cool season grasses and legumes, including tall fescue, orchardgrass, ryegrass, red clover and alfalfa. Performs on a variety of conditions, including wetter and lower pH soils where other legumes are not well suited.
Seeding rate: 3-8 lbs/acre in pasture overseeding
We stand behind all of our products, and choosing which to plant depends on your individual goals and circumstances. If you want to talk more about the right clover variety for you, give us a call and let’s make a plan.