Crimson Clover – Plant, Grow, and Care (Detailed Guide)

Want to know how to plant, grow and care crimson clover? Check out the detailed article.

Trifolium incarnatum, known as crimson clover or Italian clover, is a species of clover in the Fabaceae family, native to most of Europe. It was introduced in other areas, including the United States and Japan. The species name incarnatum means “blood red”.

This crimson clover annual herb grows up to 20-50 cm (8-20 inches) in height, it is not branched or branched only at the base. The leaves are tri foliated with a long petiole, each hairy leaflet 8 to 16 mm wide, with stem truncated or bilobed.

Crimson Clover
Crimson Clover

The flowers are produced during spring and summer, deep red or crimson, congested in an elongated pointed inflorescence 3-5 cm high and 1.5 cm wide; individual flowers measure up to 10- 13 mm long and five petals, the banner of each flower is not vertical but folds forward.

Crimson clover is commonly used in agriculture as a cover for nitrogen fixation. The plant uses associations with the rhizobial bacteria to fix nitrogen. The plant is widely grown as a protein-rich fodder for cattle and other animals and is suitable for hay.

It is usually the grazing of domestic and wild ruminants. It is often used for road erosion control, as well as for beautification; however, it tends to eliminate all other desirable species of native spring and early summer vegetation in the area where it is planted.

How do you plant Crimson Clover

You can plant crimson clover in late autumn in areas that will not fall below zero degrees Fahrenheit so that it settles before frost. Try to plant crimson clover at least eight weeks before the average date of the first frost in your area. In areas that regularly drop below minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, wait until spring to plant the clover.

Plant the Crimson Clover seeds a quarter to a half-inch deep in rows, with each seed seven centimeters apart and with at least seven centimeters of space between each row. The crimson clover generally works well as a companion plant for species like cornflower and broccoli or for annual flowers, such as bachelor buds and poppies.

The crimson clover requires little maintenance once established. It is not drought resistant and must receive uniform watering and moisture throughout its growing season. Sufficient moisture is especially necessary if you want the plant to be sown again during the spring months.

Crimson clover may not do well on heavier or excessively wet soils. Although it requires sun, the crimson clover does not do well in excessively hot environments and prefers a cool, humid atmosphere.

Crimson clover works best if the soil is between 6 and 7 on the pH scale, and will not do well in extremely acidic or alkaline soils. If you are using crimson clover to enrich the soil, be sure to incorporate manure and compost into the soil.

Crimson clover also needs a good amount of potassium and phosphorus in the soil to thrive. In fact, there is only one type of crimson clover, which can also be referred to by its scientific name, Trifolium Incarnatum, or as an Italian clover.

How much Crimson Clover do you plant per acre?

For annual winter use, the crimson clover should be sown 6 to 8 weeks before the average date of the first frost. If using a planter, sow 15-18 pounds per acre; if spread, sow at 22-30 pounds per acre. For annual summer use, plant as soon as the danger of frost passes.

How much Crimson Clover do you plant per acre
How much Crimson Clover do you plant per acre

Sowing rates are similar to winter. Crimson clover can be sown in excess in crops such as corn and used after short rotation crops, such as green beans. The seed should be planted approximately ¼ inch deep.

The management of pasture and hay varies with the fodder and/or food mix. The size of the crimson clover is rounded, yellow, and about 3 times larger than most other clubs.

Crimson clover grows well in small mixtures of grains, especially oats. It can also be mixed with other clovers or medicines. For mixed planting, plant the crimson clover at about two-thirds of its normal rate. For the crimson clover to be sown again there must be enough moisture by April.

Crimson can be mixed with rye, wheat, or oats if the proportion of these small grains is kept at around 50 pounds/acre. Ryegrass (15 lbs/acre) is a good companion for a mix that will be replanted next September.

However, the aggressive nature and the strong sowing of ryegrass will eventually drown out the crimson. Adding the arrow leaf clover (10 lbs/acre) to any of the above mixes adds variety and longevity to the mix in the south, where low winter temperatures are above 10°F.

Is Crimson Clover Invasive?

The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service claims that Trifolium incarnatum, Crimson Clover is, in fact, considered somewhat invasive. It is also a native of Western Asia and Europe, which leaves him out of our range of experience.

According to the profile of the USDA plant, Crimson Clover is growing in Travis County, which means now moved to Hays County. The Crimson Clover plant is becoming more notable now because, like bluebonnets, it is a member of the Fabaceae family, or peas, fixes nitrogen in the soil, and is a winter year.

Since bluebonnets and Trifolium incarnatum are so similar, even to grow and bloom at the same time, it would be difficult to know how to remove one and not the other.

Is Crimson Clover edible?

Although the crimson clover is well known for being totally edible, from flower to root, it is not a “wild eating” option. Some call it survival food, and perhaps rightly so, since only flowers are truly palatable to the human palate. The leaves are an acquired or tolerated flavor.

The seeds can be germinated and used in salads or sandwiches. They can also be dried and ground to make flour. The flowers can be used fresh or dried as a tea. Some say that the crimson clover can be eaten raw, boiled, and even sauteed.

In reference to the flowers, do not select the brown ones. You want it young and fresh, be it white, pink, or red, although white clover is the best flavor of all.

In addition to tea, you can toast the flowers until they are soft and crunchy. Leaves are another matter. Young people are digestible raw in small quantities, about half a cup. The older leaves need to be cooked, but you would have to be hungry to eat them. It is food for survival or hunger.

What time of year to plant Crimson Clover?

Crimson Clover sow in late summer so that the plants can settle in before the cold weather arrives. In cold climates, the crimson clover can be planted in early spring, rather than in the fall. Spread the seed on the cultivated soil so that the seeds are about 5 cm apart and 1 cm deep. Thinning is not necessary.

Crimson clover as a cover crop is planted in the southeastern US in the fall to function as nitrogen fixing winter year. Their ideal growth temperatures are between 40 and 70 F. (4-21 C.). Crimson clover plants prefer cold climates and die in extreme conditions of heat or cold.

In cold northern climates, the crimson clover can be grown as an annual summer cover crop, sown in the spring as soon as the danger of frost passes.

Due to its attractiveness to pollinators and its nitrogen fixation capacity, the crimson clover is an excellent plant to accompany fruit trees and nuts, corn, and blueberries.

When crimson clover is grown on pasture as fodder for cattle, it is sown between pastures in late summer or autumn to provide live-stock with food during the winter months. As a green manure crop, it can produce around 100 pounds nitrogen per acre (112 kg/ha).

It can only be grown in pure stands, but the crimson clover seed is usually mixed with oats, ryegrass or other clovers for diversified plantations. In the domestic garden, crimson clover plants can correct soils that are low in nitrogen, increase winter interest, and attract pollinators.

Is Crimson Clover good for cattle?

Crimson clover is used as fodder and provides good quality pasture, hay and silage and is best for livestock. It is one of the oldest forage legumes available in the spring and has little or no swelling effect on ruminants.

Trifolium incarnatum has many non-forage uses: cover crops; as green manure to eliminate weeds; honey source; wildlife habitat; and improving the landscape.

The high content of water and moisture-soluble carbohydrates in the crimson clover makes it suitable for silage. When the dry matter reaches 30-40%, the crimson clover should be finely chopped and stored in a tightly closed silo.

Mixtures of crimson clover and grass (such as ryegrass) are suitable for bale silage, as this technique prevents leaf loss. In this case, the dry matter content should be 40-50%, slightly higher than that of regular silage.

In order to obtain optimum silage quality for your livestock, the crimson clover should not be cut too far to avoid soil contamination and the subsequent development of butyric acid bacteria.

The crimson clover is a very versatile species that can be cultivated as a summer year in cold climates and as a winter year in warmer areas. It performs well in most soils, including slightly acidic soils, as long as they are well-drained, but does not tolerate alkaline soils.

It is not drought tolerant and has only moderate tolerance for shade conditions.

Trifolium incarnatum regrows rapidly after winter and provides an opportunity for early grazing during spring. It will finish producing forage in late April, which makes it a good addition to East Texas Bermuda grass.

What animals eat Crimson Clover?

There are many mammals, large and small, that eat crimson clover. In fact, the white-tailed deer likes crimson clover so much that many commercial deer feeds are made almost entirely of clover. Small mammals also appreciate the crimson clover, including ponytail rabbits, red foxes, marmots, marmots, and marmots.

Is Crimson Clover good for cattle
Crimson Clover Plant

The flowers tend to love the flavor of the crimson clover and eat well. Some horse owners associate the crimson clover with excessive salivation. The crimson clover is also good food for cattle. A similar clover, whether in the form of hay or grass, is poisonous to horses.

It can trigger a severe skin reaction to sunlight or can kill horses within 24 hours of exposure. Cattle and sheep grazing on the clover generally do not need to be fed with additional feed, as the clover provides an ideal mix of proteins, fibers, calcium, and vitamins A and D. Crimson can be fed with 2 to 4 inches during growth reaches 6 to 8 inches.

Do Bees like Crimson Clover?

The crimson clove, a plant that bees love, produces a long and beautiful flower, full of nectar for the bees. Crimson clover is the most reliable clover honey crop, but unlike others, it blooms earlier than others. In pastures, flowering begins in early April and ends in mid-April.

Flowering lasts only three weeks and therefore colonies must be built earlier to take advantage of the flow. This is possible with proper management. The reported honey yields are good and have a quality similar to that of most other clovers.

However, most farms do not grow it on a large scale and are therefore not a known source of quality honey. It ranks third in terms of honey production. The resulting honey has a light yellow color.

A similar clover is among the best honey plants in the United States. If you are among the beekeepers that live within the reach of large fields of this type of clover, consider yourself lucky because under favorable conditions the cultivation produces the best honey.

Approximately one acre of Alsike Clover produces about 500 pounds of honey. Clover grows best in clay soils and swamps. When grown from seeds, it doesn’t take long to bloom, but it won’t produce many tons of hay like a red clover.

The clover produces white-colored honey with a mild flavor. People consider him the best. A single colony of bees can accumulate up to 72 pounds in four days or 18 pounds a day. This takes into account what the bee consumes.

What can I plant with Crimson Clover?

In cold northern climates, the crimson clover can be grown as an annual summer cover crop, sown in the spring as soon as the danger of frost passes.

Due to its attractiveness to pollinators and its nitrogen fixation capacity, the crimson clover is an excellent plant to accompany fruit trees and nuts, corn, and blueberries.

The crimson clover generally works well as a companion plant for species like cornflower and broccoli or for annual flowers, such as bachelor buds and poppies.

In cold northern climates, the crimson clover can be grown as an annual summer cover crop, sown in the spring as soon as the danger of frost passes. Due to its attractiveness to pollinators and its nitrogen fixation capacity, the crimson clover is an excellent plant to accompany fruit trees and nuts, corn, and blueberries.

How long does Crimson Clover last?

The crimson clover is a winter year with dark green oval leaflets that do not contain a V-shaped watermark, making it easy to distinguish from other annual clovers. It has hairy stems and leaves and bright crimson flowers that produce round yellow seeds that are about 2.5 times larger than arrow leaf seeds.

How long does Crimson Clover last

When planted in the fall, the crimson clover will grow as annual winter and will bloom from early to mid-May in the northeast. When planted in the spring, the crimson clover becomes an annual habit and blooms in the same year in 70 to 90 days.

Crimson clover planted in autumn can fix and accumulate 50 to 80 lbs/Acre of nitrogen in mid-April. This nitrogen is found mainly in growth above ground; approximately 50% of that amount or 25 to 40 pounds of nitrogen/acre is available for the next harvest in the first year.

If the crimson clover grows by June, 140 to 260 lbs/Acre of N can be accumulated with approximately 70 to 130 lbs of available nitrogen/Acre. Spring growth conditions will affect the growth of the crimson clover and influence the amount of biomass and nitrogen production.

Can I plant Crimson Clover in summer?

Yes. Crimson clover is an annual summer and winter legume. With its rapid and robust growth, the crimson clover provides nitrogen in the early spring for the full season harvests. Rapid growth in autumn or summer in cold areas also makes it the best choice for short-rotation niches, such as green weed-suppressing compost.

Popular as a basic fodder and road cover crop across the Southeast, the crimson clover is gaining increasing recognition as a versatile annual summer cover in colder regions.

Its spectacular beauty when in bloom keeps it visible even in combination with other flowering legumes, common use in orchards, and California nut plantations. In Michigan, it is used successfully between rows of blueberries.

The crimson clover is gaining popularity as an annual dead plant in winter, like oats, in zones 5 and colder. Planted in late summer, it provides good ground cover and weed control by fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere and removing nitrogen from the soil. Its dead residue in winter is easy to handle in spring.

As a summer year in Lower Michigan, a crimson clover seed sown at 20 lb/Acre in mid-summer yielded 1,500-2,000 lb. In general, sow as soon as there is no danger of frost. Spring planting sets the crimson clover for a potato spin in Maine.

How do you seed the Crimson Clover?

Crimson clover can tolerate almost any type of soil, but prefers clay soils with good drainage. Avoid using it on poorly drained soils, however, due to potential disease problems. Inoculate the seed with a Rhizobium inoculants for real clovers when planting in a field where a true nodulated clover has not been grown in the last three years.

Seed germination and seedling survival require cold, but not cold, night temperatures (less than 60F) and sufficient soil moisture. As with many cover crops, crimson clover seed germinates better and requires lower nuts during drilling than when spreading.

The crimson seed should be planted 0.25 to 0.5 in. deep. If the crimson seed is spread, place on a light disc to incorporate. Planting crimson with an herb can help prevent some winter deaths, in this case, 15 lb/Acre of seed crimson are sufficient, along with 1.5 to 2 lb/Acre of cereal (oats, barley, wheat) or 18-25 lb/Acre of annual ryegrass seed.

Crimson clover also comes in hard and soft seed varieties. Varieties with hard seeds (including Chief and Dixie) will wait until autumn to germinate if the seed is established in late spring. Varieties with a high proportion of hard seeds are ideal for self-sowing, which is usually desired in orchards.

What is the difference between Red and Crimson Clover?

The crimson clover is an annual herbaceous legume introduced in winter. The leaves and stems of the crimson clover look like those of the red clover, but the leaves have rounded tips with more hair on the stems and leaves.

The crimson clover has taller flower stems, grows faster, and has larger seeds than the most commonly used red clover.

The main advantages of the crimson clover are rapid growth during cold weather, shade tolerance, and positive sowing potential.

Can you eat Clover from your Yard

  • The Clovers are actually edible. And they are found almost everywhere where there is an open lawn area. You can identify them by their distinctive clover leaflets. You can eat raw clovers, but it is better to cook them.
  • Although the leaves can be tossed in a salad or used in tea, the favorite part of this wild edible is the flower.
  • Red clovers are the most flavorful of all, although it is recommended not to eat many of them, as some people experience bloating.
  • Eating clover can help our body’s lymphatic system by clearing all of its waterways and improving our blood. It is an important food for bees and drones.

What are the health benefits of Clover

More than 300 species of clover can be found, mainly in hot climates. Almost all of them have a similar trifoliate leaf pattern (unless you’re lucky). They differ by strength, color of the flower and use.

#1 Crimson Clover

The crimson clover sprouts have about one 35% protein, which makes them an efficient alternative in protein plant arsenal of one raw food diet.

Crimson clover contains a wide variety of vitamins that are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The crimson clover has:

  • Vitamin A: Crimson Clover contains vitamin A which is important for maintaining eye health, as well as the effectiveness of the immune system and the health of the skin.
  • Vitamin B: Crimson Clover contains vitamin B in reasonable amounts. Since there are many varieties of vitamin B (29 types to be exact), the health benefits vary widely. From lip health to liver health, B vitamins are important and should definitely not be overlooked in crimson clover sprouts.
  • Vitamin C: Crimson Clover is a decent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins. From preventing scurvy to preventing aging, it is a powerful vitamin.
  • Vitamin E: Crimson clover is also a source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is waging a preservation war, protecting its own cells from harmful oxidation processes and helping to prevent diseases such as spinocerebellar ataxia, which is a degenerative brain disease. Vitamin E helps you stay alert and focused.
  • Vitamin K: Crimson clover also provides another source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, allowing faster recovery from cuts and bruises and is generally useful for physical health. It is also important for maintaining bone health and helps to reduce fractures and breaks by strengthening bones and preventing dystrophy or the proverbial breakdown of bones.
  • Other important minerals: crimson clover also contains calcium, carotene, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

#2 Red Clover

In the human body, it can thin the blood. This means that the red clover helps people whose blood coagulates inappropriately or who have genetic diseases that give them “thick blood”. It is suitable for grazing and is an important crop for hay.

#3 White Clover

It has also been shown to bind to pyrene, a potentially harmful substance that can threaten fish and algae populations, making it a potential bioremediation tool. It tolerates being brushed almost to the ground. It is resistant and can be abused a little, but it is not a good addition to hay for animal feed in winter.

#4 Yellow Sweet Clover

The entire plant has been used as insect repellent, both on the body and on the canvas. Traditionally, it has been used for respiratory diseases such as coughing, menstrual irregularities and discomfort.

Is Clover poisonous to humans

No. Clover in colder climates is generally not poisonous, but the same white clover in warmer climates can be poisonous. All white flower clovers should be avoided, except in the northern states and Canada.

Many people are allergic, so first be kind until you know one way or another. Second, never ferment or eat clover. You want your clover to be completely cold or completely dry, never in the middle.

The clover necklace you make for your child may well be a poison ring. This is because some clovers have developed genes that help the plant produce cyanide, to protect itself from small herbivores, such as snails, slugs and rats that eat clover.

Will Crimson Clover reseed itself?

Crimson Clover Companion Plant

Although it is annual, it is often replanted and can persist for several years in this way. Although the crimson clover forgives poor soils better, it still prefers well-drained clay soil. It can handle a pH as low as 5.7, but prefers soils with a pH of 6.0 to 6.7.

Soil testing is the best way to determine whether it is necessary to add lime to adjust the pH. As the crimson clover is a legume, the seed must be inoculated with the correct strain of the Rhizobium bacterium (strain R) before planting. In many commercial mixtures, the seed is pre-inoculated.

Seedbed preparation is critical when planting small seed crops, such as crimson clover, because you want to avoid burying the seed more than half a centimeter deep. Dial or prepare the soil and then smooth the seedbed by packing in the crop to prepare the ideal planting conditions.

The seeds can be perforated at a rate of 10-15 pounds/acre. Spread the seed at a rate of 20 pounds/acre to obtain a pure crimson clover plant. It is best to pack before and after planting to ensure good contact with the soil.

Crimson Clover Companion Plant

Crimson clover in corn: Above-average shade tolerance seedlings of crimson clover survive on corn when planted in the V4 to V8 corn leaf stage. Until the canopy opens as the maize matures, there is little clover growth and therefore no significant competition with the growing maize plant.

Clover growth after maize harvesting can be rapid and, in a hot and humid year, beautiful bright red flowers can develop before the first freeze.

Crimson clover with short season crops: Crimson clover has been used effectively to suppress weeds when planted in early autumn, after a short season crop, such as potatoes, green beans, vegetables or winter wheat.

Planting with grass-like oats, which also grows quickly, provides additional weed control in these situations.

In California, the crimson clover is planted with pink clover and medicines in orchards and nut plantations to minimize erosion and provide some nitrogen to tree plantations.

The crimson clover generally works well as a companion plant for species like cornflower and broccoli or for annual flowers, such as bachelor buds and poppies. The crimson clover is an excellent companion plant for fruit trees and nuts, corn, and blueberries.

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Conclusion

I hope you got an idea on how to plant, grow, and care crimson clover. Also, it will answer various questions related to crimson clover plants:

  • How do you plant Crimson Clover
  • How much Crimson Clover do you plant per acre?
  • Is Crimson Clover Invasive?
  • Is Crimson Clover edible?
  • What time of year to plant Crimson Clover?
  • Is Crimson Clover good for cattle?
  • What animals eat Crimson Clover?
  • Do Bees like Crimson Clover?
  • What can I plant with Crimson Clover?
  • How long does Crimson Clover last?
  • Can I plant Crimson Clover in summer?
  • How do you seed the Crimson Clover?
  • What is the difference between Red and Crimson Clover?
  • Can you eat Clover from your Yard
  • What are the health benefits of Clover
  • Is Clover poisonous to humans
  • Will Crimson Clover reseed itself?
  • Crimson Clover Companion Plant