Red Clover, Red Clover, Send Nitrogen Right Over!

Red Clover in Bloom

A patch of clover in bloom always brings a smile to my face. Clover flowers attract pollinating insects, which, besides being a delight to watch, are important to the health of the garden as well as the ecosystem as a whole. The blooms also mean that the clover is thriving and, given a chance, will go to seed, thus producing more clover plants.

Happy clover plants contribute lots of nitrogen to the soil. In fact, estimates for how much nitrogen a stand of red clover creates every year hover around 50-75 pounds of nitrogen per acre. On our farm, this equals a very real dollar savings in terms of fertilizer, especially in our pastures, where our grass is amazingly green, even though we apply nitrogen fertilizer at less than the recommended rate. We have our clover to thank for the free N!

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