Crimson Clover grows quickly and is one of the most beautiful cover crops available. It provides early spring nitrogen, rapid fall growth, or summer growth for cool areas. Often used as a winter-killed annual like oats for zones 5 and colder. Planted in late summer it provides good ground cover and weed control. It grows well in mixtures with small grains, grasses and other clovers. Often used along with oats.
Crimson clover is an introduced winter annual and herbaceous legume with showy, deep red blossoms 1/2 to 1 inch long with abundant nectar. They attract various types of bees and other beneficial insects. The seedlings grow rapidly from the crown forming a rosette. The flower stems develop rapidly ending with the pointed cone-shaped, crimson flower head.
Crimson clover will grow in just about any type of well-drained soil, especially sandy loam. Once established, it thrives in cool moist conditions. It does not do well in extreme heat or cold.
For Winter annual use: Sow in late summer so that plants can become established before cold weather comes, six to eight weeks before the average date of first frost. Best results are when planted 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep.
For Summer annual use: Plant as soon as all danger of frost is past.
For Green Manure use: Take down plants just as the red tops begin to fade, before the seeds form. Slice plants off at the soil line with a sharp hoe and turn under. Turn under 2-3 weeks before a subsequent crop is planted.
Crimson Clover Seeding Rate:
15 lbs/acre drilled
30 lbs/acre broadcast
10/acre drilled as part of a mixture
Color: Crimson red colored blooms
Height: 1 – 3 ft.
Climate: Sun – Med/Moist
Seeds/lb.: 120,000 – 150,000
Rate: 1/2 – 1 pound per 1000 square feet
Bloom Time: Early Summer or Late Fall depending on planting time
Zones: 3- 6 annual, Zones: 6-9 perennial
Find more information about cover crops in this post.