Fertility Builder: One-Two Year Mixture
A grass and clover mix is the most effective green manure of all for improving soil fertility and structure. To realise its full potential it should be grown for at least one full year before incorporation. br> br>Red clover fixes up to 300 kg N/ha which is made available in the form of nitrate and is released rapidly after incorporation. To delay the release of nitrogen, clover should be mixed with grass. The grass is higher in carbon and acts like a sponge, holding the N for longer. This is especially important for autumn-sown crops such as winter wheat where the highest demand for for N can be six or seven months after the green crop has been incorporated. A mixture also offers more weed competition and removes the risk of a single species failure. White clover is included for its ability to improve soil structure. Regular topping, ideally with a flail mower, will be necessary. The first topping will be required in May, followed at monthly intervals until growth slows in August. After incorporation a minimum of three weeks should be allowed before sowing the next crop. These seeds need a fine and firm seed bed. They can be broadcast or shallow drilled (no deeper than 10 mm).
|Contents per Acre||%||kg|
|certified GLOBAL red clover||29.4||2.65|
|certified ABERHERALD white clover||5.6||0.50|
|certified NIFTY perennial ryegrass||65.0||5.85|
Medium Leaved White Clover
White clover is one of the most common legumes in the UK. This species can be recognised by its creeping growth habit. Its creeping stolons help to fill in gaps in the sward, putting down roots at each node. White clover varieties can be categorised into small, medium and large leaf sizes. Generally the smaller the leaf size, the more persistent and prostrate the plant will be, the small leaf type will tolerate closer grazing from sheep and tends to sit lower at the base of the sward, the small and medium leaf varieties are used for grazing mixtures. Using mixtures of white clover varieties helps to ensure that at least one can tolerate and contribute to what ever management regime is being imposed at a given time. The medium leaf varieties are very adaptable, generally they can be used for both grazing and cutting mixtures. They combine a good tolerance to cattle or sheep grazing and can contribute to cutting yields, while still being more persistent than the large leaf varieties. There are also variations, which can be classed as small to medium in terms of leaf size. Common medium leaf varieties are aberherald & aberdai, while the variety aberpearl is classed as small to medium leaf in terms of size.
Perennial ryegrass is the most commonly grown productive grass in the UK, used particularly for livestock grazing and forage. It has been the subject of plant breeding for over 60 years, ensuring there are a wide range of perennial ryegrass varieties available commercially.
Red clover is one of the most popularly used true clovers in the UK. Once established it’s capable of rapid growth and shows reasonably good persistence up to three years, although ongoing breeding work is being carried out to increase plant persistence. The highest yielding strains of red clover are called 'double cut' varieties, normally providing quick regrowth after cutting and several flushes or cuts per season. The 'single cut' strains of red clover, notably the variety altaswede provide one large cut per season, flowering approximately 10 days later than the 'double cut' strains.