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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,759

    Default sweet clover question

    Ok, in late summer/early fall of 2009 I planted a 50 x 20 area in my backyard with white sweet clover, the seed sprouted in a week or so and grew to about 8 inches tall before winter set in. The following spring 2010 it came up and grew to full size, about 6 feet, and bloomed fantastically. When it was done blooming in summer it dryed back and went to seed. The seeds all fell off afterwards. Now, I was expecting the seeds that fell to grow a little just like the fall before when I planted them, but that's not what happened, nothing came up. Can I expect those seeds that fell off the plants to come up this spring 2011? That would mean that they probably won't bloom this year if they do come up, they would only bloom next year 2012, is that correct? John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    White sweet clover is a biennial, meaning it grows for two years, then goes to seed and dies. The seed needs to be scarified (mechanical or chemical treatment to weaken the seedcoat) or stratified (cold treated) before germination. That is why the seeds didn't germinate last fall. The seeds set last year will probably germinate and grow this year. --DeeAnna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    Yes indeed and I am excited as this is the bloom year for the huge patch by my house!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    DeeAnna, yes you're right, I forgot about the cold stratification that they needed to go through in order to germinate, that probably means that they will sprout this spring and grow but won't bloom till next year. Thanks, John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    Not sure but I think I have read before that when you decide to start planting biennials that you should seed the first two years to fill in the gap year that you experienced. But from here on out you should be fine now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    HBBF, yeah I didn't think of that at time, wish I would have. Thanks, John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    No, HBBF, he will still see alternating "no or low bloom" years. Most of the clover seeds in the ground now will put on vegetative growth this year, then bloom in 2012, then more veg growth in 2013, etc. He would still need to seed in 2012 to get reliable bloom every year. It is true that some seeds set in 2010 might not sprout until next year, and that would give some bloom in the "off years", but the bloom might not be as heavy. --DeeAnna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: sweet clover question

    You know your stuff DeeAnna, I'll have to think if I have any more plant related questions that I need answered! Thanks, John

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